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The place of schools in parents’ community belonging

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Schools are central community facilities in the daily lives of families with young children. The paper draws on survey and in-depth interview data to describe the role schools play in parents’ sense of belonging to community. Māori and Pākehā parents indicated that schools and preschools were the most significant sites to their community belonging. They are a common meeting place, a source for community knowledge, and a point of departure for the development of parental friendship networks, and reciprocity in child care and support. Parents’ perceptions of local schools in all socio-economic neighbourhoods influenced school choice and commitment to a neighbourhood. For Pacific and Asian parents schools were less significant as sites of community belonging.
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Keywords: belonging; neighbourhood; school choice; schools

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Centre for Social and Health Outcomes Research and Evaluation (SHORE), 2: Whariki Research Group, Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand, 3: School of Geography, Geology and Environmental Science, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

Publication date: 01 August 2007

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