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Black Families and Schooling in Rural South Carolina: Families' and Educators' Disjunctive Interpretations of Parental Involvement

Peabody Journal of Education: Issues of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations, Vol. 90, No. 3

Michele Myers, University of South Carolina

ABSTRACT

The positive impact on children's educational trajectories when effective home-school partnerships are established has been extensively documented. This article shares findings from a 13-month research study in a rural, southern community in South Carolina that sought to investigate the nature of the “partnerships” formed between educators and families, while challenging stereotypes and misperceptions that prevent such partnerships from unfolding. In doing so, the researcher makes visible the experiences of Black families, students, and schools in communities rarely studied—poor, rural Black communities in the southern United States. The researcher uses the actual words of the teachers and parents to make visible the disjunctive interpretations about one of the major themes from the study, parental involvement as relationships. Finally, the researcher offers implications for educators and parents as they do the work necessary to form relationships that really benefit students.