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    Factors that Influence Parental Choice of School and Experiences in a Rural Education Market

    McEvoy, Caroline (2003) Factors that Influence Parental Choice of School and Experiences in a Rural Education Market. Masters thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    The policy of encouraging schools to compete against each other in education markets internationally has been justified on the grounds of raising levels of attainment and widening choice. Although there has been little research on Irish education markets, it is becoming increasingly evident that parents from different social backgrounds are unable to compete on an equal basis and exercise the same level of choice. This thesis presents the views of parents from middle and working class backgrounds in a rural community on the factors which influence their choice and experiences of school. Focus groups were conducted with parents from different social groups, some of whom sent their children to the local school and some who choose schools outside the local area. Interviews were also held with primary school principals from local feeder schools. The findings reveal that parental choice and experience of school is closely related to the amount of social, cultural and economic capital they possess. It emerged from the focus groups that working class parents did not have the same ability to make choices between schools as professional parents. Working class parents did not possess high levels of financial resources and knowledge on the functioning of some schools to enable them make active choices. The findings also demonstrate that parents’ vision of education for their children and their relationships with school personnel also impact on their experiences and choices. Professional and working class parents come from diverse cultural backgrounds and have different expectations for their children’s futures. This cultural diversity also effects parents’ and students’ relationship with school personnel. All these factors impacted on the type of school which children attended, and hence influenced the success or failure of schools competing in the Irish education market.

    Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
    Keywords: Parental Choice; Rural Education;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Education
    Item ID: 5248
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 29 Jul 2014 15:59
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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