Contexts of school and Herder family communication in Mongolia A conceptual framework

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Batdulam Sukhbaatar
Klára Tarkó


Communicating and cooperating with nomadic herder families is a major challenge for schools and teachers since these children are separated from their families during the school year. A natural question then is how do teachers provide herder parents with regular reports on their children’s performance? Findings from recent studies (Farrell & Collier, 2010; Pang, 2011; Sukhbaatar, 2014) suggest a need for an ongoing and deeper examination of family-school communication involving a broader inclusion of various constituents and contextual factors at the systemic level. This paper examines the contextual factors that influence communication between schools and nomadic herder families in Mongolia through an analysis of data from journal articles, technical reports, book chapters, and official statistics from government agencies. A conceptual framework is proposed using Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory (1977) and adapting Pang’s (2011) contextual factors and home-school cooperation to locate the influencing contextual factors at different levels of the ecological systems. The proposed conceptual framework consists of four levels: the microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, and macrosystem. Unlike other research which has used Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory to examine home-school cooperation and communication, this study adds the weather context as an important factor in the exosystem to understand communication between schools and herder families in Mongolia. The weather context is important because nomadic herding is heavily dependent on weather conditions, and it seems to impact education in many different ways, including school-family communication. A methodology for a further empirical study is discussed in great detail.


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Sukhbaatar, B., & Tarkó, K. (2018). Contexts of school and Herder family communication in Mongolia: A conceptual framework. Magyar Pedagógia, 118(2), 157–174.