Fennimore Publishes on Parents Who Challenge Injustice and Inequity in Public Schools

Posted on 9/7/2017 6:14:57 AM

Beatrice Fennimore, professor, Professional Studies in Education, published an article called “Permission Not Required: The Power of Parents to Disrupt Educational Hypocrisy” in the 2017 Review of Research in Education.

The theme of this year’s journal was “Disrupting Inequality through Education Research.” Authors with accepted proposals were expected to write a critical essay in a selected area while also providing an extensive review of research in that area. For this volume, authors were also asked to confront existing educational research that reinforced discrimination or inequality.

Fennimore’s article is focused on literature documenting the experiences of nondominant and minoritized parents who challenge injustice and inequity in the public schools attended by their children. It interrogates hegemonic traditional approaches to parent involvement that favor the school-based activities of white middle-class parents while ignoring or silencing the efforts of nondominant parents to confront discriminatory assumptions and unequal opportunities in public schools.

Fennimore, who was formerly an urban school parent for 18 years, included her own participant-activist-research on nondominant parents who struggled for equal schooling in the article. She challenged current educational researchers to realize that studies continually “proving” the inferiority of nondominant parents and their children enhance and support bias in teacher education and inequality in schools. Rather, she encouraged researchers to be “worthy witnesses” to the struggles experienced by caring and involved nondominant parents who must fight for equal educational opportunities for their children in schools.

This issue of Review of Research in Education, published on a yearly basis by the American Educational Research Association, was edited by Maisha Winn and Mariana Souto-Manning.