Race, Community, and Urban Schools: Partnering with African American Families

Race, Community, and Urban Schools: Partnering with African American Families

by Stuart Greene

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In this important book, award-winning author Stuart Greene enters the ongoing conversation about low-income African American families and their role in helping their children flourish. Greene focuses on parents’ self-defined roles within the context of race, urban development, and an economy that has created opportunity for some and displaced others.  Moving beyond analysis to action, the author describes a partnering strategy to help educators understand the lived experiences of children and families and to use their funds of knowledge as resources for teaching. This book combines critical race theory, critical geography, first-hand accounts, and research on literacy practices at home to provide a powerful tool that will help teachers and administrators see families in new ways.

Book Features:

  • Describes a partnering model that encourages educators to consider the social, cultural, racial, and economic factors that shape parent engagement with schools.
  • Identifies important areas of misunderstanding between African American parents and their children’s teachers.
  • Incorporates personal narratives of children whose voices are rarely part of research on parent involvement.

Race, Community, and Urban Schools will make a difference in the lives of teachers and administrators.  As you read this book, you may find yourself moved, intrigued, or saddened by some of the examples Stuart Greene provides.  And throughout, you will find yourself rethinking, reprocessing, and recreating some of your most cherished ideas or preconceived notions about African American families.”

—From the Foreword by Patricia Edwards, Michigan State University

“This powerful—and hopeful—book challenges dominant portrayals of African American parent disengagement in their children’s education and exposes relations of race, power, and urban restructuring that exclude low-income parents of color. Through counterstories of parents’ deep commitment to their children’s education, Stuart Greene opens a space for us to think differently about creating democratic family-school partnerships.”
Pauline Lipman, professor, University of Illinois at Chicago

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807772621
Publisher: Teachers College Press
Publication date: 08/19/2013
Series: Language and Literacy Series
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 1,239,601
File size: 447 KB

Table of Contents

Foreword Patricia A. Edwards vii

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

The Purposes of This Book 5

The Role of Parent Involvement in Education Reform 9

A Conceptual Map of Parent Engagement 15

A White Teacher-Researcher and African American Families 18

Organization of This Book 20

1 African American Families' Engagement in School, Race, and Changes in the Political Economy 23

Assumptions About Parent Involvement 28

Traditional Models of Parent Involvement 30

An Alternative Discourse of Parent Involvement 32

African American Parents' Roles in a Changing Political Economy 34

Conclusion 40

2 The Power of Agency and Community at Ida B. Wells Primary School 42

Parent Involvement at Ida B. Wells 44

A School-Community-University Partnership 47

Parents as Supporters 49

Parents as Advocates 57

Parent-School-Community Partnerships 61

Conclusion 64

3 "We're Spending Time Together": What We Can Learn from Children About Parent Involvement 65

Paige: "Books Soothe Me" 68

Aliska: "I Know That I'm a Strong Girl" 73

Jasmine: "There Are Two Roads. I Go to the Right Road" 77

Minelik: "Reading Is Kind of Like the TV but All Put Into a Book" 80

Children's Stories as Counternarratives 84

Conclusion 87

4 Schools as Inclusive and Exclusionary Spaces? 89

Parents' Legacies of Schooling 94

Creating a Culture of Parent Involvement at Ida B. Wells 98

Conversation and Communication in the Parent-Teacher Conference 100

Re-Imagining Schools as Inclusive and Democratic Spaces 105

Conclusion 107

5 Families as Advocates in Creating Spaces of Hope at Home, in Schools, and in the Community 109

African American Families and Education 110

Parent Involvement in a Changing Political Economy 114

Literacy, Voice, and Community 118

Creating Public Spaces 121

Closing Suggestions 125

Appendix A Community-Based Research 129

Appendix B Interviews of Teachers in Chapter 1 131

Appendix C Research Methodology for Chapter 2 132

Appendix D Family Profiles 134

Appendix E Research Methodology for Chapter 3 135

References 137

Index 149

About the Author 158

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