Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2022

Degree Type


Degree Name



Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Christina P. DeNicolo


The goal of this study was to gain a better understanding of children's challenges in American schools from the perspective of their fathers. The research investigates how parents perceive and respond to the challenges that their children face in American schools. It also aims to provide a clear understanding of how Libyan emergent bilingual students are influenced by culture and identity. The first chapter discusses the importance of this research in understanding the difficulties that Libyan students face in American schools. Vygotsky's sociocultural theory (1978) is explained in Chapter 2. The theoretical framework is based on Vygotsky's socio-cultural theory, specifically his concept of social interaction. The method chosen for the qualitative phase of this research study is explained in detail in Chapter 3. An in-depth case study of Libyan fathers living in the Detroit Metropolitan Area is included in the study. The qualitative data is thoroughly examined in Chapter 4. Each theme is thoroughly explained. The three themes that emerged from the data analysis is described in Chapter 5. Three themes emerged from data analysis: identity development, a sense of school belonging, and navigational tools.