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Title:Silenced Voices: Rethinking Parental Involvement in Education
Author(s):Mattison, Erica D.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Rappaport, Julian
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Black Studies
Abstract:The present study explored the experiences of African American parents engaging in their children's education in a medium-sized mid-western community. More specifically, the project examined African American parents' perceptions of education and how these perceptions were related to their participation in home, community, and school activities. This study was based on a three-year-long participant-observation project in a predominantly low-income and African American elementary school, Woodson Elementary. The participants were the parents and/or guardians of Woodson Elementary School students. Participants were chosen based on Woodson staff's and parents' nominations of parents/guardians who were perceived to be involved or uninvolved in their children's education. Almost all participants were African American and female between the ages of 25 and 76-years-old. Ethnographic observations, semi-structured interviews, and survey data were used to identify the origin (e.g., parents' perceptions of education, prior school experiences, school norms) and nature of parents' participation in their children's education. Results indicate that African American parents/guardians, regardless of demographic characteristics (e.g., age, educational attainment, socioeconomic status) value education and actively participate in their children's education. Most parents participated in their child's education predominantly in the home and community as compared to their participation at Woodson Elementary School. However, two forms of parental engagement in schools (e.g., proactive and reactive patterns) were identified, which differentially impacted parents' ability to fully participate in their children's education. Results suggest that incorporating and valuing parents' unique ways of knowing and interacting in their children's education will facilitate parental engagement that is informed, builds relationships between teachers and parents, and meets the needs of students and families.
Issue Date:2007
Description:185 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2007.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3301192
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2007

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