Restructuring the Participation of African-American Parents in Special Education

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

60 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Two traditions have combined to contribute to a form of discourse that is detrimental to the participation of African-American parents in special education procedures: first, a deficit view of African-American families and, second, the deficit view of children's learning difficulties on which P.L. 94–142 is based. These deficit views, together with the focus by many professional educators on legal compliance rather than collaboration, have cast parents in the role of consent-giver in a grossly asymmetrical form of discourse, with power residing mostly with professionals. Four specific parental roles—including parents in assessment, placement, policymaking, and advocacy—would restore the balance of power in parent-professional discourse. Future research should focus on the documentation of egalitarian participation structures for African-American parents and on action-oriented ethnographic studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-131
Number of pages9
JournalExceptional Children
Volume59
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

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Special Education
special education
African Americans
restructuring
parents
Parents
participation
deficit
discourse
Documentation
learning disorder
Compliance
balance of power
Learning
documentation
American
educator
Power (Psychology)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Education

Cite this

Restructuring the Participation of African-American Parents in Special Education. / Harry, Elizabeth.

In: Exceptional Children, Vol. 59, No. 2, 1992, p. 123-131.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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