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Emerging Lenses: Perspectives of Parents of Black Students on School Success

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posted on 15.04.2014, 00:00 authored by Carole R. Collins Ayanlaja
Emerging Lenses: Perspectives of Parents of Black Students on School Success Carole R. Collins Ayanlaja Department of Educational Policy Studies University of Illinois at Chicago Chicago, Illinois (2011) Dissertation Chairperson: Dr. Ward Weldon This study highlighted the relationship parents have with their child’s schooling from the context of race, culture, social networks, and parents’ perceptions of social and cultural capital sources that are operative for their children. It focused on how race matters to parents, and acknowledged parents’ perspectives of how school reacts to them and their children. The study identified how parents view the practices in schools and to what degree school makes connections with parents to support students. The theory that guided the study emphasized social capital, networks, race and schooling. Stanton Salazar’s network analytic approach recognized the formation of supportive relationships as critical for the success of minority youth. Coleman’s, Intergenerational Closure, established the concept of networking among families to propel student success. Ogbu’s argument offered a compelling, counter explanation of Black American achievement. Literature on race, ethnicity, parent involvement, and student resilience informed the study. Several findings emerged from the study. Parents believed that their children experienced racism and that the school was uncommunicative. They perceived the school to lack an effective means for them to get information and become involved. Parents didn’t form strong networks with peer parents that transmitted school information. They had a sense of social capital, but didn’t use it to maximize advocacy and connections with school. The researcher offered recommendations for school personnel to create opportunities for school-family bonds and to support in- home involvement that complements family strengths. The study directed policy makers to develop neighborhood-enhancement programs and work with families to identify obstacles that prevented families from partnering with the school. The study suggests that students identify school and community advocates. Parents were advised to seek opportunities for involvement and monitor the progress of their adolescents. Further, they should communicate with schools to keep the academic needs of their children at the forefront, keep themselves informed about school practices, and leverage social capital to increase their influence upon schools.



Weldon, Ward W.


Educational Policy Studies

Degree Grantor

University of Illinois at Chicago

Degree Level


Committee Member

Quiroz, Pamela A. Smylie, Mark A. Stovall, David O. Watkins, William H. Lewis, Amanda E.

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