Defining and measuring parenting for educational success

A critical discourse analysis of the parent education profile

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Parent Education Profile (PEP) is an instrument used by family literacy programs to rate parents' support for children's literacy development. This article uses Critical Discourse Analysis to examine how the PEP constructs the ideal parent, the text's underlying assumptions about parenting and education, and its ideological effects. The analysis shows how many features of the PEP evaluate parents according to a middle-class, predominantly White model of parenting and family-school interaction. Furthermore, the PEP tends to assume a universal, normative model of parental support for literacy, parental (mothers') responsibility for educational outcomes, equal access to resources required to meet the PEP standards, and a limited parental role in assessment. In so doing, the PEP lends support to several dominant discourses regarding poor and minority families, such as the discourse of parent involvement and the "mothering discourse," which encourages mothers' supplementary educational work. Implications for policy, research, and practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)555-596
Number of pages42
JournalAmerican Educational Research Journal
Volume45
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2008

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parent education
discourse analysis
parents
literacy
discourse
research policy
middle class
educational success
minority
responsibility
interaction
resources
school
education

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education

Cite this

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abstract = "The Parent Education Profile (PEP) is an instrument used by family literacy programs to rate parents' support for children's literacy development. This article uses Critical Discourse Analysis to examine how the PEP constructs the ideal parent, the text's underlying assumptions about parenting and education, and its ideological effects. The analysis shows how many features of the PEP evaluate parents according to a middle-class, predominantly White model of parenting and family-school interaction. Furthermore, the PEP tends to assume a universal, normative model of parental support for literacy, parental (mothers') responsibility for educational outcomes, equal access to resources required to meet the PEP standards, and a limited parental role in assessment. In so doing, the PEP lends support to several dominant discourses regarding poor and minority families, such as the discourse of parent involvement and the {"}mothering discourse,{"} which encourages mothers' supplementary educational work. Implications for policy, research, and practice are discussed.",
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