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ERIC Number: EJ1091751
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1547-1888
Question-Asking and Advocacy by African American Parents at Individualized Education Program Meetings: A Social and Cultural Capital Perspective
Wilson, Natasha M.
Multiple Voices for Ethnically Diverse Exceptional Learners, v15 n2 p36-49 Fall 2015
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 mandates parental involvement during Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings. Several factors including previous IEP experiences, level of ongoing communication between parents and education professionals, or existence of social and cultural capital resources can impact involvement. African American parents with low educational attainment or from low socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds can be at risk for lower levels of involvement. With in-depth, semistructured interviews, this exploratory study examines two critical communicative dialoguing skills that parents at risk for lower levels of involvement often lack: question asking and advocacy. Eight African American parents (across socioeconomic and educational backgrounds) recalled questions asked and advocacy statements made at previous IEP meetings. Using grounded theory analysis, Strauss and Corbin (1998) showed that collaboration and communication occurred in areas mandated by law, but parents were largely unguided in asking their own questions or making statements. While many participants recalled high levels of involvement in the IEP process via question asking and advocacy, they drew on contacts and specific knowledge that at-risk parents do not typically have. Implications for parents with limited social or cultural capital are discussed, and a model approach to increase parental involvement based on innovations in patient-provider research is explored.
Division for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners, Council for Exceptional Children. 1110 North Glebe Road Suite 300, Arlington, VA 22201. Tel: 888-232-7733; Fax: 703-264-9494; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A