Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Becoming a Part-of: A Classic Grounded Theory of the Role of Parents as Teachers Within the Public Education System

Robert McKenzie, Jr., Fielding's School for Educational Leadership for Change

This grounded theory study examines the role of parents as teachers within the public education system. Becoming a part-of emerged as the core variable that explains the conditions and consequences for parents that underscore the conflict between the home and the public school system. Likewise, it highlights the primary patterns of behavior and the stages that parents at all levels of involvement navigate as they seek to resolve their primary concerns in support of their children.

Becoming a part-of is a process consisting of four stages. The stages serve as a connecting link between the various sets of conditions, circumstances, and properties. They also allow for the theoretical tracing of and accounting for change over time; these stages may be generally perceivable by those persons involved, in this case parents and teachers.

The four stages of becoming a part-of are accessing, agreeing, actioning, and accounting. The accessing stage begins in the home where parents, as their children’s first and most influential teacher, prepare themselves and their children to enter the public education system. The agreeing stage begins in the classroom, where parents and teachers confirm their shared responsibility as educational leaders. The actioning stage involves the best efforts of both of them to engage in mutually inclusive strategies in order to accomplish their educational goals. Finally, the accounting stage comprises their mutual efforts to create a strong foundational connection, to become an accessible, viable, and sustainable part-of the shared parent-teacher educational leadership team.

Through this study I explain the need for further research into practical and meaningful ways to support the strategic positioning and systems integration of parents as teachers and educational leaders.

Key words: grounded theory, classic grounded theory, advocacy, educational leaders, public education, education system, accountability, parent involvement, parent as teacher

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