The Inclusion of Parents and Families in Schooling: Challenging the Beliefs and Assumptions that Lead to the Exclusion of Our Students’ First Teachers

Gwyn M Fournier

Abstract


Through autobiographical narrative inquiry, I use my stories of experience to unpack the notion of inclusion, and then, using that definition, I explore commonly held beliefs and assumptions about the positioning of parents and families in schools.  I discuss how educators often unintentionally exclude parents and families from their children’s schooling through common, taken-for-granted institutional practices, and how these practices then continue to perpetuate exclusion.  I share my rethinking of practices, and I extend Pushor’s notion of parent engagement, reframing her conceptualization through a lens of inclusion and ethical space.  I explore how educators might work with parent voice and presence in an inclusive way, repositioning ourselves alongside parents and engaging in authentic relationships to deepen learning opportunities for our students and enriching the lives of our students and their families, as well as our own. 


Keywords


Parent Engagement; Education; Inclusion

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