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October 26, 2022 72 min
Research shows that parent engagement can improve outcomes, yet the existing research relies on a very narrow definition of "parent engagement", and is inconclusive about who benefits from that engagement. It is clear that already advantaged students benefit from the presence of PTAs and other forms of parent engagement in schools. However, those benefits do not flow to all students equally. Dr. Brittany Murray's research focuses on race, families, and school inequality. Following in the footsteps of scholars who have begun to problematize the question of parental engagement, Dr. Murray asks us to consider if parent involvement is the universal good we've been led to believe it is. When we see the consistent representation problems that plague PTAs across the country, we have to ask how we can engage in ways that work to benefit all students and not just the children of those who are most able to participate in our narrow definition of parental engagement. LINKS: Dr. Murray's paper on bridging vs bonding social capital Dr. Annette Lareau Dr. Jessica Calarco Her episode on our show Her paper,  Avoiding Us Versus Them - on privilege dependance.  Her book, Negotiating Opportunity: How the Middle Class Secures Advantages in School Dr. Joyce Epstein's work Dr. Linn Posey-Maddox Dr. Maia Cucchiara Dr. Christine Woyshner Dr. Putnam's Bowling Alone Dr. Victor Ray on racialized organizations Granovetter paper about the strength of weak ties Dr. Ann Ishimaru Her episode on our show Her book, Just Schools: Building Equitable Collaborations with Families and Communities ACTION STEPS: Get involved in ways that push back on opportunity hoarding When you do get involved, name that you are not looking for special treatment for your kid and that your commitment is to ALL kids. Work to create opportunities for community building outside of the traditional PTA context Share this episode with your school community Be the change we seek :-) at Use these links or start at our storefront to support local bookstores, and send a portion of the proceeds back to us. Join our Patreon to support this work, and connect with us and other listeners to discuss these issues even further. Let us know what you think of this episode, suggest future topics, or share your story with us – @integratedschls on twitter, IntegratedSchools on Facebook, or email us The Integrated Schools Podcast was created by Courtney Mykytyn and Andrew Lefkowits. This episode was produced by Andrew Lefkowits and Val Brown. It was edited, and mixed by Andrew Lefkowits. Music by Kevin Casey.
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