Family Obligations in Micronesian Cultures: Implications for Educators

Nov. 10, 2010

Source: International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, Volume 23, Issue 6 (November 2010), pages 671 – 690.

Micronesian people, a new group of immigrants to the USA, have a strong system of responsibilities to family members that guides their priorities and actions. When family obligations clash with school priorities, conflicts can occur.

In this article, the author explores the relationships and responsibilities of family members to each other in Micronesian cultures and implications for Micronesian parent priorities that may affect their children's schooling.

For this reason, the author interviewed 26 Micronesian adults.

The system of family obligations in Micronesian cultures is described.
Furthermore, the role of the family in the priorities and behaviors of Micronesian families around schooling of their children is explored through emergent themes of
(a) identity,
(b) family relationships,
(c) family roles, and
(d) responsibilities of immigrants.

The author concludes that the conventions of family obligations are the core of many cultural traditions from the Pacific. The author argues that understanding these traditions may help teachers and administrators better assist immigrant Micronesian families and their children to be successful in American schools.

Updated: Mar. 02, 2011