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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Through the Lens of Parent Leaders : : A Case Study Examining the Role of Applied Critical Leadership in Promoting Latino Parent Engagement

  • Author(s): Gil, Patricia Magaña
  • et al.

This study examined Latino parent engagement through the lens of parent leaders in order to identify factors that mediate Latino parental engagement at the leadership level. Based on current research there is need to explore Latino parent leadership due to a small body of literature on this topic. This study explored the possibility that parent leaders can serve as catalysts for improving the school system and work collaboratively with district leaders to close the achievement gap for Latino students. The purpose of this study was to identify and examine why and how parents have become engaged in leadership roles in a District English Learner Advisory Committee (DELAC) in one highly successful district. This case study engaged in interviews of district leaders, parent leaders and observations taken at DELAC meetings led by parents to explore the following question: How do district leaders support or constrain the engagement of Latino parents in leadership at the district level? This study reviewed district documents as an additional data source to identify the conditions and structures that allow parents in the one target district to be intricately engaged in DELAC leadership that led to district reform efforts with the goal of increased student achievement. Latino parent progression along a developmental continuum from volunteerism to engagement was analyzed to describe optimal conditions that support parent engagement. Results of this study indicate that district commitment, dedication of resources and funds, as well as a focus on developing parent leadership skills can support and nurture the leadership skills of parents to transform them into critical leaders

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