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Community partnerships for educational success: Exploring Inuit conceptualizations of parent/family involvement in secondary school in Nunavik

Principal Investigator: Nicole Ives
Co-Investigators:            Sinha, V., Beauregard, F., Moller, S., Smith, D.-L., Thomson, W.
Funding Source:              Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada
Period:                                 2010-2012

This project, implemented in Kuujjuaq, Nunavik, allowed for the exploration of Inuit conceptualizations of family involvement in secondary school using focus groups and interviews with secondary school students, teachers, parents, and community members engaged with and interested in Inuit education issues. A central piece of the study was work with Inuit secondary school student participants to develop their own interview schedule. Students’ increased engagement with the study was reflected in their focus group two months later when they provided answers to the questions they had helped to develop. Preliminary findings from this ongoing study reveal several barriers to student success, including (a) a lack of engagement with teachers; (b) a disconnect between parents and what happens in the classroom; (c) a growing intergenerational gap between youth and elders; and (d) a perceived lack of employment options for youth.