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ERIC Number: ED383959
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994-Oct
Pages: 16
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Working with African American Mothers and Urban Schools: The Power of Participation.
Winters, Wendy Glasgow
Inner-city schools face a myriad of problems, including escalating violence and hunger. This paper describes programs that were initiated in predominately black inner-city communities and which fostered parent involvement and collaboration between parents, teachers, school professionals, and the community. Participation, it was learned, can bring about safe and academically productive schools. Including minority poor parents in the schools requires clear mechanisms for involvement and necessitates programs to stimulate and capture their participation. Pupil services personnel play a critical role in collaborative efforts. Collaborative models were based on the premise that everyone needs information and support to function effectively. Therefore, everyone in the collaboration was exposed to, and took part in, training and development. Involvement was measured by constructing a parent-school activity index to gauge participation in day-to-day school activities. Eleven categories of activities were generated and included parental activities such as classroom assistance, executive committee and advisory board membership, tutoring, workshop participation, lunchroom assistance, attendance at parent-teacher meetings or conferences, and participation in a variety of fund raising activities. Likewise, in order to understand alienation of parents, elements of alienation such as "meaninglessness,""normlessness," and "powerlessness," were explored. Accountability was highlighted since previous work showed that it is a critical component of empowerment. Shared accountability effectively shifted power from the school to include parents. Results revealed that the targeted group, mothers, appeared more empowered, generating the hypothesis that alienation and participation were inversely related. (RJM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A