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ERIC Number: EJ960623
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 22
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 69
ISSN: ISSN-0737-5328
Parents as "Help Labor": Inner-City Teachers' Narratives of Parent Involvement
Christianakis, Mary
Teacher Education Quarterly, v38 n4 p157-178 Fall 2011
This article examines teachers' perceptions of parent involvement through the narratives of 15 racially and linguistically diverse teachers who worked together at Jefferson Elementary, an inner-city school in Northern California composed mostly of African-American, Latino, and Asian students. One overarching research question framed the qualitative study: How do teachers at an inner-city elementary school perceive parents and parental involvement? Analyzing teachers' constructions of parental involvement allows for a deeper understanding of how teachers in under-resourced inner-city schools seek to utilize parents, as well as what kinds of activities teachers emphasize that may be different from well-documented parent involvement or volunteer practices of middle class school communities. Understanding teachers' perspectives of their working relationships with parents at under-resourced inner-city schools can also help illuminate potential collaborations as well as possible tensions between teachers and working class parents. What is more, given that credential programs throughout the country require that teacher candidates understand how to involve minority families in schools, the present study may help teacher educators and their students explore how particular parent involvement models inform teacher-parent relationships, involvement practices, and interactional patterns, particularly for those who work in urban settings. If future teachers are to involve parents in meaningful ways, they must come to understand how the perceptions and practices of parent involvement are mediated by both the reality of parents' lives and the constraints of particular school contexts. The author grounds this discussion in a brief review of parent involvement research. Specifically, she discusses the research that explores involvement of minority and low-income families in schools, as well as the literature on school partnerships and school empowerment models. Following the literature review, she details the methods used to collect the interview data. The findings illustrate how the teachers employed neither partnership nor empowerment models, but instead, used parent labor to accomplish their teaching work. Finally, the author discusses the implications for teacher education. (Contains 1 table and 1 note.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California