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The title of the article “From Moral Supporters to Struggling Advocates. Reconceptualizing Parent Roles in Education Through the Experience of Working-Class Families of Color” by Susan Auerbach describes the study in detail. The key words such as “parent involvement, college access, secondary education, high school, Latino education, educational equity” give the idea of the key concepts that are discussed in the article (Auerbach 250). The title is concise with all meaningful words.
The abstract presents the purpose of the study (to reveal the role of marginalized parents in promoting children’s access to education), method (qualitative case study), and findings. It does not reveal the variables because they were not defined for this research. The major findings are reflected in the abstract. On the whole, the abstract provides enough information for readers to decide if the article is within their interests.
The research problem is not clearly identified, but still it is explained in the introduction. This problem is significant because it can contribute to “a more inclusive discourse on families, schooling, and equity” (Auerbach 251). The author provides a theoretical rationale for the study analyzing previous researchers of parent involvement into the education of their children. The conceptual framework of the study is appropriate to the research problem because the author claims the work is based on a three-part, interdisciplinary framework and a concept of parent role construction (Auerbach 254).
The researcher supposed that parent participation in children’s education is “socially structured by class and race,” culturally mediated by particular cultural schemas and scripts,” and “psychosocially enacted according to individual psychosocial resources and relationships within families” (Auerbach 254). The research question concerning the construction of the role of marginalized parents in promoting access to educational opportunities for their children is logical in the light of the conceptual framework. The hypothesis and research questions are not clearly stated while research questions are clear from the context. The method and setting section is a logical continuation of the literature review.
The sample is clearly described including social and ethnical context. The sample is relatively small (10 parents from 11 families) but is purposefully selected. The method of in-depth interview does not allow to involve a big sample because of data procession complexity. The interviewing process was made comfortable for the participants because it was conducted in two languages native for them, English and Spanish.
The author states that validity and reliability of the study were strengthened due to the extended period of fieldwork and application of multiple methods (Auerbach 257). The materials used for data collection (i.e. in-depth, semistructured parent interviews) are described clearly. The procedures are described in chronological order but without many details. The design of the study (qualitative case study) is identified (Auerbach 251). The design and procedures follow the conceptual framework and allow the investigation of the research problem as well as answering the research question. In general, the method section mirrors the significant information about the study.
The results section is rather big and not well organized. The author provides a very detailed description of the findings which adds complexity to the article. Topical, theoretical, and en vivo codes used by the researcher are appropriate to the study design (Auerbach 257). The salient results are related to the research problem and author’s suppositions expressed in the beginning of the study. Figures and tables are illustrative and clearly labeled. They are well-organized and not directly repeated in the text contributing to better comprehension of the research findings.
Discussion and Conclusions
Discussion and conclusion parts are not clearly identified in the article. Some discussion and summary are provided in the section “Reconceptualizing Parent Involvement” which is the final part of the paper. The limitations are not clearly delineated, but evident from then text. Thus, that author states that the data “is more suggestive for this population than for U.S.-born Chicana and African American parents” because the majority of sample consisted of low socioeconomic status Latino emigrants (Auerbach 277).
The major findings are analyzed and discussed according to the conceptual framework and the defined research problem. The implications for both researchers and educators are outlined and include the broadening of definition of parent involvement, helping educators understand the variety of forms of parent help, and recognition of goals of parent support (Auerbach 277). The author’s conclusions are based on the results of the research and both summarize the findings and describe the perspectives.
The article is not recent itself, so the reference list comprising 70 sources includes sources current for the time of the research. However, the problem was not well studied, so there are many sources that are not current but contribute to the understanding of the topic. The cited works present all the aspects of the researched problem. Citations in the text are used appropriately.
The article is generally well written. Still, the results section is rather big which makes it complicated. No problems of people with disabilities are reflected in the article. The most important things learned from the article include the idea that understanding of the role of family support in education can help school to cooperate with parents for more respectful and culturally sensitive school-family relations that can contribute to better students’ academic results. I believe that the major strength of the study is in the implications it provides for further research and practice. The study can be probably improved by a bigger sample or inclusion of some quantitative elements.
Auerbach, Susan. “From Moral Supporters to Struggling Advocates. Reconceptualizing Parent Roles in Education Through the Experience of Working-Class Families of Color.” Urban Education, vol. 42, no. 3, 2007, pp. 250-283.