Engaging African American parents: insights from a cultural arts after school program
Journal for Multicultural Education
Article publication date: 16 August 2021
Issue publication date: 11 October 2021
Literature indicates African American parents can feel real or perceived discrimination that strains their interactions with teachers, resulting in them feeling alienated from their children’s school.
This is an exploratory case study of two African American parents, who although guarded in their relationships with teachers, exposed their vulnerabilities to Project ESTEEM faculty as they requested support in resolving behavioral and academic challenges with their children. It is an exploratory case study in that the field notes were taken prior to defining the research question, positioning it as research that sets the stage for a future more comprehensive study. The researchers, as participant observers recorded field notes of events and interactions that occurred. The research question was, “What were the factors that influenced the relationships between the Project ESTEEM faculty and African American Parents? The subquestions were “What were the distinctions of alienation that challenged the parents’ relationships in the schools? and "How were the factors that challenged the parents’ relationships with teachers mitigated in Project ESTEEM faculty’s relationships with the parents?” A constant comparative method was used beginning with open coding, followed by identifying patterns, themes and subthemes reflecting the specific needs of the parents in relationship to the overall theme.
The stories highlight sociocultural contexts influencing the alienation of some African American parents in their children’s education through an analysis of the relationships fostered with Project ESTEEM faculty.
This case study reports the experiences of two parents from one community and school, participating in a specialized program.
The significance resides in the representation of alternate viewpoints in understanding the alienation experiences of African American parents from schools.
Brand, B., Barksdale, M.A., Wallace, T. and Avent, Y.L. (2021), "Engaging African American parents: insights from a cultural arts after school program", Journal for Multicultural Education, Vol. 15 No. 3, pp. 282-298. https://doi.org/10.1108/JME-08-2020-0083
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