A longitudinal, 3-year study investigated the participation of African-American parents of 24 preschoolers in special education programs in a large urban school district. Data were collected through ethnographic interviews with parents and professionals, observations of conferences, and examination of students’ documents. Despite current perceptions of low levels of participation by African-American parents, the data show consistent initial efforts by families to support their children's schooling, eventually giving way to disillusionment with the separations created by special education placements and the lack of avenues for parental influence. The article explores ways for professionals to move from preoccupation with compliance to true communication.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology