Although districts and schools have implemented several types of parental engagement programs, numerous programs fail to meet the needs of African American parents, especially during the high school years. One reason may be the lack of awareness and sensitivity toward the needs of African American parents. Using a two-part conceptual framework informed by Hoover-Dempsey Sandler’s (1995, 1997) model of parental engagement and critical race theory, this qualitative case study examined how African American parents defined parental engagement during the high school years. This study also explored parents’ role construction and self-efficacy, and if and how parents understood district parental engagement policies. Data were collected from documents and semi-structured interviews from 15 African American parents of high school children. Data were analyzed using thematic network analysis (Attride-Stirling, 2001) and a variation of constant comparative analysis (Strauss & Corbin, 1990). Study findings revealed that parents described high school parental engagement as a fluid process that changed over time to best fit the academic and nonacademic needs of their children. This impacted parents’ parental engagement behaviors and practices. Whereas parents were unfamiliar with the district’s parental engagement policies, they were familiar with other school practices and policies that impacted their engagement behaviors. Parents defined their role in broad terms, such as being their children’s protector, teacher, and advocate. Parents’ self-efficacy was mainly based on their children’s academic performance in school and a village of supporters. Parents reported creating informal information networks to access information and services to assist them in supporting their child academically during high school. Although parents reported engaging in school-based activities, the primary method of engagement was home-based engagement practices.
|Advisor:||Earley, Penelope M.|
|Commitee:||Ginsberg, Mark, Reybold, L. Earle|
|School:||George Mason University|
|School Location:||United States -- Virginia|
|Source:||DAI-A 80/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Education Policy, Education, Educational psychology|
|Keywords:||African American families, Critical race theory, Family-school relationships, High school, Parental engagement, Parental involvement|
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