Parent empowerment? Collective action and inaction in education
UNSPECIFIED. (1996) Parent empowerment? Collective action and inaction in education. OXFORD REVIEW OF EDUCATION, 22 (4). pp. 465-482. ISSN 0305-4985Full text not available from this repository.
The aims of this paper are two-fold. First, to examine the concept of 'empowerment' in more detail, and to analyse contrasting perspectives to the 'empowerment' of parents, which have informed developments at a national and local level, primarily in the UK, but also in the US and elsewhere. Second, to illustrate, by drawing on empirical data, the limited impact these approaches have upon a group of working class parents in London.
The first approach is exemplified by social democratic initiatives which define 'empowerment' as a strengthening of the role of parent-as-citizen, through mechanisms designed to encourage the closer involvement of parents in the planning and delivery of local education services. The second definition of empowerment is contained within the Conservative Party's emphasis on promoting the role of the parent-as-consumer, especially through policies claiming to enhance parental choice of school. A third approach, supported by the 'new centrists', emphasises the responsibility of the individual to empower him/herself, by taking advantage of opportunities to participate.
The first part of this paper will provide a critique of the initiatives which result from these contrasting understandings of empowerment. However, it is also important to look at how macro-political approaches are experienced locally; to examine, in other words, how discourses around 'empowerment' are understood by differently situated groups and individuals. Consequently, the second part of this paper will focus on a racially mixed, working-class group of parents and their perceptions of the forms of action open to them in a particular situation-a teacher shortage-acknowledged to have deleterious consequences far their children's education.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Journal or Publication Title:||OXFORD REVIEW OF EDUCATION|
|Publisher:||CARFAX PUBL CO|
|Official Date:||December 1996|
|Number of Pages:||18|
|Page Range:||pp. 465-482|
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