Date of Graduation

2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Department/Program

Leadership Studies

First Advisor

Christopher N. Thomas

Second Advisor

Uma Jayakumar

Third Advisor

Shabnam Koirala-Azad

Abstract

The problem addressed in this study was the minimal school involvement by Latino immigrant parents due to the hegemonic practices, cultural misunderstandings and deficit-thinking models adopted by school personnel. The purpose of this Participatory Action Research (PAR) was to investigate the perceptions and benefits of participant and co-researcher parents who collaborated in the creation of an anti-hegemonic culturally sensitive advocacy-training program. The theoretical framework employed was Critical Race Theory because it addressed the issues of institutional racism, challenge to the status quo, social justice leadership and allowed for an interdisciplinary approach in order to utilize the parents' experiential knowledge to create new epistemologies that correspond to their cultural needs.

Participation included five co-researchers and five participants, all Latino immigrant parents of English language learner students. The co-researcher parents collaborated to investigate and create the components of the anti-hegemonic culturally sensitive advocacy-training program. This particular study encountered a contradiction to previous research in that Latino parents felt that there were no obstacles to their involvement. It also uncovered that before any information is provided to parents in order to increase their participation, the security and comfortableness of their children has to be addressed first. In retrospect, this study found a genuine need for the understanding of the emotional and academic connections between Latino parents and students.

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