Selections from Home advantage by Annette Lareau

Annette Lareau

Home advantage: Social class and parental intervention in elementary education

New York: The Falmer Press. 1989.

Although parent involvement is positively linked to school success, many parents are not as involved in schooling as teachers would like. (p.3)

Why does social class have such an important influence on parent involvement in schooling? At issue ... is the gap between the relatively high livel of involvement of middle-class and upper-middle-class parents and the relatively low level of involvement of working-class and lower-class parents. (p. 6)

the gap...

Upper-middle-class, particularly those whose offsprings are low achievers, try to take a leadership role in their children's schooling. They do not depnd on the school for authorization, nor do they automatically defer to a teacher's professional expertise... [the issue is not differences in value ... but in differences in the skills and resources at disposal] UMC parents drew on this information as they attempted to gain advantage for their children. (p. 9)

This is actually an acknowledgment of the work parents do, and their resources, with skills and dispositions as subsidiary matters. That this work is noticed by school officials see Secretary of Education Arnie Duncan's comment on "white suburban moms" in November 2013.

Teachers wanted parent involvement, but their actions strongly challenge the dominant view that teachers want a 'partnership' with parents. (p. 35)

Mrs. Morris reported that her husband's relatives ... accepted the news that Tommy would repeat first grade. Mrs. Morris's mother, however, was very upset by it. (p. 43)

the important think for me is the long conversational process within the family and with the teachers. There was struggling there on all parts. Whether the result of this process was "good" for Tommy in terms of his struggles with the children who lived up the hill is something else altogether that has little to do with anybody's understandings, values, or cultural capital.

Family-school relationships in Colton were characterized by separation. In ... upper-middle-class ... Prescott ... the parents were a visible presence on school grounds... There was an interconnectedness beween Prescott family life and school life not found in the working class communities. (p 61)

In addition to having different conceptions of their proper role in education, Prescott parents ahd more information about the schooling process than did parents at Colton. (p.75)

again, various things are "not found": "conception," "information"

Colton parents lacked educational competence (p. 107)

This lack of confidence in their ability to understand, challenge, and face teachers as equals was a key factor in shaping Colton parents' behavior. It influenced their views on their role in education and their demeanor at the the school. School was an alien world. Colton parents neither understood the inner workings of the educaitonal system nor had sufficient social status to validate their assessments of teachers's action. Instead, Colton parents appeared o depend on teachers, as professionals, to be self-regulating. Generally they did not believe that they could or should oversee and try to manage the behavior of teachers. (p. 112) [didn't Lareau tell her earlier that this is what the teachers want?]

The relatively high occupational standing and the occupational experiences of Prescott fathers ... gave them an advanteage in their interactions with teachers. (p. 114)

how would one relate this to Bourdieu's blanket statements about pedagogical authority? Clearly those who are submitted can be in the situation to manipulate it to their advantage. That is, some parents can pressure teachers to excercize the teachers' authority in the parents' favor.

note the absence of any definition of "education" (the word is in the index only in relation to schooling). There is no mention of religion, the arts, the shaping of ideology, etc.

... working class parents build their social lives around their kinship groups. ... These relatives provided other forms of support, but they could not share details about teachers... By contrast, Prescott parents were more likely to have relocated for their careers and were further away from kinship groups... Thye spent social time with nieghbors, other parents... and co-workers. (p. 173)

September 22, 2015 [2007]