School Selection for Their Children in Canada: What Do Chinese Parent-Students Consider?

  • Sonia Wai-Ying Ho University of Windsor
  • George Zhou University of Windsor

Abstract

In recent years, more and more Chinese students have come to Canada for their education. Some of them are parents, and they bring their children with them. Using a multiple case study design, this study explored these international parent-students in regards to how they select schools for their children. Six participants were recruited. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews. Data analysis reveals that participants viewed school selection for their children as their responsibility and thus they were highly engaged in the process. No significant challenges arose in the process of school selection as parents adopted different strategies. Participants considered five key factors when selecting schools for their children, including peers’ family background, school rank, language of instruction, impression of the teachers, and parents’ religious background. These factors were shaped by the Chinese culture, the participants’ class identity, and their anxiety and expectations towards their children’s future.

Key words: International parent-student, parental involvement, school selection, social class identity

Ces dernières années, de plus en plus d'étudiants chinois sont venus au Canada pour y faire leurs études. Certains d'entre eux sont des parents, et ils amènent leurs enfants avec eux. À l'aide d'un modèle d'étude de cas multiples, cette étude s'est intéressée à ces parents-étudiants internationaux et à la façon dont ils choisissent les écoles pour leurs enfants. Six participants ont été recrutés. Les données ont été recueillies par le biais d'entretiens semi-structurés. L'analyse des données révèle que les participants considèrent le choix de l'école pour leurs enfants comme leur responsabilité et qu'ils sont donc très engagés dans le processus. Aucun défi significatif ne s’est présenté au cours du processus de sélection des écoles, les parents ayant adopté différentes stratégies. Les participants ont pris en compte cinq facteurs clés lors du choix de l'école de leurs enfants, à savoir le milieu familial des pairs, le classement de l'école, la langue d'enseignement, l'impression des enseignants et l'appartenance religieuse des parents. Ces facteurs ont été façonnés par la culture chinoise, l'identité de classe des participants, ainsi que leur anxiété et leurs attentes quant à l'avenir de leurs enfants.

Mots-clés : parent-étudiant international, implication des parents, choix de l'école, identité de classe sociale

Author Biographies

Sonia Wai-Ying Ho, University of Windsor

Sonia Wai-Ying Ho currently works for the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board. She obtained a bachelor degree in early childhood education from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, a Master’s degree in guidance and counselling from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and a MEd. from the University of Windsor. Ho has recently completed a Graduate Certificate program in Autism and Behavioural Science from St. Clair College. Her research interests include gifted education, early childhood education, and parental involvement in education.

George Zhou, University of Windsor

George Zhou is a full Professor in the Faculty of Education, University of Windsor, Canada. He received his PhD from the University of Alberta. He taught in City University of New York before moving to the University of Windsor. His research areas cover science education, teacher education, educational technology, parental involvement, and comparative and international education.

Published
2021-05-31
Section
ARTICLES