An ethnographic study of problems related to the principalship of a combined French immersion and French minority-language kindergarten to grade five school

Murphy, Elizabeth (1992) An ethnographic study of problems related to the principalship of a combined French immersion and French minority-language kindergarten to grade five school. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

The aim of the present study is to uncover an idiographic knowledge of the problems related to the principalship of a combined French immersion and French minority-language school. The study relied on the use of ethnographic research methods, participant observation of one month's duration and five semi-structured interviews. -- Problems associated with the principalship of the French immersion program involved lack of support services in French, keeping abreast of changes in the English program, adapting to the special needs of the program's changing clientele and coping with parents' high expectations and frequent demands. -- For the French minority-language program, the problems revolved around conflicting expectations of parents, parents' demands for control and management, difficulties of providing a culture base in an anglophone society, linguistic heterogeneity of students, demands of instruction in multigrade classrooms, and low enrolments in the program. -- Problems associated with having the two programs housed in one school are associated with an increase in workload for the principal and the need to foster communication and cooperative relations between parents of the two different programs. -- The problems were considered in respect to their routineness,the times in which they occur throughout the year, their possible causes, and their implications. -- Combining two relatively new programs in one administrative unit presents an exceptionally demanding and challenging situation for the principal. The problems related to parental participation in the school under study raise questions about the extent with which parents should be involved in school administration and governance. Perceived inequities in the distribution of the school's resources has caused concern among groups of parents and raises the issue of equity and of equality of educational opportunity in general. -- The existence of French immersion and French minority-language programs also raises questions about the role of schools and their aims. Many of the issues related to the French minority-language program in the school are only superficially related to education and are merely a manifestation of a more complex struggle for political and social recognition and autonomy.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/5085
Item ID: 5085
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 197-207.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1992
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: French language--Study and teaching (Elementary); School principals--Newfoundland and Labrador

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