ERIC Number: EJ768443
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Jan
Reference Count: 65
W. E. B. Du Bois and the Socio-Political Structures of Education
Williams, Robert W.
Negro Educational Review, The, v55 n1 p9-26 Jan 2004
Family involvement in education often has been justified in terms of parental rights or positive educational outcomes. Such justifications are often cast as models and useful strategies to follow. Yet largely absent from the practical advice are the contextual dimensions that condition involvement in the first instance: namely, race, class, gender, among other demographic aspects. This paper focuses on understanding a way to ground the role of family involvement for African Americans today. The paper's theoretical point of departure is W.E.B. Du Bois, the tireless fighter for African-American rights and freedoms. Du Bois utilized a structural approach in both his social science research and his political commentaries. It is an approach which situates the phenomena under study, such as individuals or social groupings, within the contexts of their lives and interactions. As a theoretical consequence, we can better understand how "facts" emerge from specific conditions and how changed conditions thereby might change the facts. As a practical consequence, social movements gain tools for promoting social justice. Du Bois created a framework of analysis that can be used fruitfully to understand the structural importance of black family involvement in education: namely, the specificity of African Americans within a larger society and as part of a larger diaspora. Illuminating such specificity is important because of the lingering racism in the 21st century and the legacy of racial oppression in America. This article will present Du Boi's insights into the socio-political contexts of education, as well as into the content of instruction. In addition, I will sketch several possible guidelines, extracted from his thoughts, that might be useful for a new millennium of education in America.
Descriptors: Family School Relationship, Race, Social Science Research, Educational Objectives, African American Family, Parent Rights, Family Involvement, Politics of Education, Critical Theory, Hermeneutics, Context Effect, Intellectual History, Profiles
Negro Educational Review, Inc. NER Editorial Offices, School of Education, 1601 East Market Street, Greensboro, NC 27411. Tel: 412-648-7320; Fax: 412-648-7081; Web site: http://www.oma.osu.edu/vice_provost/ner/index.html
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A