Date of Graduation

Spring 5-16-2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in International and Multicultural Education (IME)


School of Education


International and Multicultural Education (IME)

First Advisor

Shabnam Koirala-Azad

Second Advisor

Onllwyn Dixon


This thesis is based on an in-depth case study of one cooperative pre-preschool and preschool in San Francisco. Qualitative research methods, such as observation and one-on-one interviews, were used to study the structure, culture, and community at the school. Cooperative schools have not been well researched or documented in academic literature and this study hoped to shed some light on this model of school organization. The parent-initiated and community-oriented nature of cooperative schools make them stand out as unique among the large, bureaucratically-run schools and daycares typically found in the United States. The results of this study highlighted four themes important within the cooperative school, which emerged through interviews and observations and these include: community, parent education, the parent-teacher relationship, and implementing high quality early childhood education.