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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ed.D.

Department

Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

David Whitin

Abstract

ABSTRACT

AFRICAN-CENTERED EDUCATION IN MIDDLE SCHOOLS: THE DECISION-MAKING PROCESS IN A PARENTAL ENGAGEMENT MODEL

by

LATRICE N. HICKS DUNN

May 2012

Advisor: Dr. David Whitin

Major: Curriculum and Instruction

Degree: Doctor of Education

The ways in which key stakeholders influencing decision-making processes in African-centered schools in urban areas are qualitatively different from that of parental involvement in mainstream schools; these perceived differences influence decision-making in various ways. The purpose of this research is to investigate ways in which parents, teachers and administrators of African American middle-school student's talk about the decision-making aspect of parental engagement in African-centered school settings. Parental involvement significantly impacts student achievement. Therefore, identifying beliefs about parental roles at the school and home level provides some insight into ways in which parents are a part of the decision-making process in curriculum and instruction. Increasing parents' ability to negotiate the education of their children is the goal of this research. An ethnographic research approach was utilized in this study. This pragmatic approach was chosen because of the interest in understanding the effect of the actual role of parents and perceptions about the role of parents in the decision-making process. Three data sources were established for this study; they included interviews of parents, teachers, and administrators. The findings of this study suggests that the ways in which the parents, teachers, and administrators interviewed talk about parent participation in African-centered schools include forms of traditional parental involvement and parental engagement as defined by the research; the extent of parent decision-making varies and is not an isolated form of participation but rather exists at all levels on the continuum from involvement to engagement.