Exploring Community Philosophy as a tool for parental engagement in a primary school

Open access

Abstract

In this paper, I will reflect on the initial reconnaissance, action, and reflection cycle of my doctoral research, exploring Community Philosophy as a tool for critical parental engagement in a primary school (Elliot, 1991). I will examine how I reflexively engaged with my influence on participants, which then significantly influenced the framing of, and the planning for, the second action research cycle.

The challenges that the initial stages of my research have presented will be considered using Herr and Anderson’s five components of validity (Herr and Anderson, 2014). I then use the four Chronotopes of Research developed by Kamberelis and Dimitriadis (2005) to discuss the implications for my understanding of positioning, authenticity and transformation, and the resultant reframing of my research.

In order to set the context for my research, I begin by giving a brief overview of my own interest in ‘democratic voice’. This is followed by an exploration of the current ‘closing the gap’ discourse in English education (OFSTED, 2013; Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, 2014; Wilshaw, 2013), to demonstrate how parental engagement has become individualised, lacks democratic voice, and often valorises middle class parents. Hence I will argue that there is a need for a more democratic and collective model of parental engagement, and make a case for justifying Community Philosophy as a possible model.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • [1] Adams R. and Perraudin F. (2015). Education Bill to Close Loopholes’ Blocking Academies Expansion. The Guardian. London UK: Guardian Media Group. http://www.theguardian.com/education/2015/jun/03/education-bill-loopholesacademies-schools (Accessed 6th October 2015)

  • [2] Benhabib S. (1996). Democracy and Difference: Contesting the Boundaries of the Political Princeton USA: Princeton University Press.

  • [3] Bolton G. (2010). Reflective Practice: Writing and Professional Development London UK: Sage.

  • [4] Denzin N. K. (2010). The Qualitative Manifesto a Call to Arms Walnut Creek USA: Left Coast Press Inc.

  • [5] Department for Children Schools and Families. (2008). The Impact of Parental Involvement on Children’s Education. London UK: Crown Copyright.

  • [6] Department for Children Schools and Families. (2009a). The Extra Mile (Secondary) Achieving Success with Pupils from Deprived Communities. Nottingham UK: DCSF Publications.

  • [7] Department for Children Schools and Families. (2009b). Breaking the Link Betwen Disadvantage and Low Attainment: Everyone’s Business. Nottingham UK: DCSF Publications.

  • [8] Department for Education. (2011). Pisa 2009 Study: How Big Is the Gap? A Comparison of Pupil Attainment in England with the Top-Performing Countries. London UK. Crown Copyright

  • [9] Department of Education. (2015). The Constitution of Governing Bodies of Maintained Schools. Statutory Guidance for Governing Bodies of Maintained Schools and Local Authorities in England. London UK: Crown Copyright.

  • [10] Desforges C. and Abouchaar A. (2003). The Impact of Parental Involvement Parental Support and Family Education on Pupil Achievement and Adjustment : A Review of Literature Nottingham UK: Department for Education and Skills. http://bgfl.org/bgfl/custom/files_uploaded/uploaded_resources/18617/desforges.pdf (Accessed 6th October 2015)

  • [11] Dewey J. (1916). Democracy and Education London UK: The Free Press.

  • [12] Doucet F. (2011 ). (Re)Constructing Home and School: Immigrant Parents Agency and the (Un)Desirability of Bridging Multiple Worlds. Teachers College Record 112: 2705-2738.

  • [13] Dyson A Goldrick S Jones L Kerr K. (2010). Equity in Education: Creating a Fairer Education System. Manchester UK: Centre for Equity in EducationUniversity of Manchester http://www.seed.manchester.ac.uk/medialibrary/Education/research/cee/publications/equity_in_education.pdf (Accessed 15th July 2015)

  • [14] Evans J. (2012). Connected Communities - Philosophical Communities. London UK: Queen Mary University of London Arts and Research Council.

  • [15] Elliot J. (Action Research for Educational Change. Buckingham UK: Open University Press.

  • [16] Fals Borda O. (2006). The North-South Convergence: A 30-Year First-Person Assessment of PAR. Action Research 4: 351-358.

  • [17] Fals Borda O. (2013). Action Research in the Convergence of Disciplines. International Journal of Action Research 9: 155-167.

  • [18] Field F. (2010). The Foundation Years: Preventing Poor Children Becoming Poor Adults. London UK: HM Government. http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20110120090128/ http://povertyreview.independent.gov.uk/media/20254/povertyreport.pdf (Accessed 6th October 2015)

  • [19] Freire P. (1972). Pedagogy of the Oppressed Harmondsworth UK: Penguin Books.

  • [20] Freire P. (1982). Creating Alternative Research Methods; Learning to Do It by Doing It. In: Hall B. L. Arthur G. and Rajesh T. (eds) Creating Knowledge : A Monopoly? (pp29-40). New Delhi India: Society for Participatory Research in Asia.

  • [21] Gergen K. and Gergen M. (2013). Social Construction and Research as Action. In: Reason P. and Bradbury H. (Eds.) Handbook of Action Research(pp159-171). 2nd Paperback ed. California USA: Sage.

  • [22] Goodall J. Vorhaus J. Carpentieri J. Brooks G. Akerman R. and Harris A. (2011). Review of Best Practice in Parental Engagement. London UK: Department for Education.

  • [23] Greenwood D. J. and Levin M. (1998). Introduction to Action Research: Social Research for Social Change. London UK: Sage Publications.

  • [24] H M Government. (2011). Opening Doors Breaking Barriers: A Strategy for Social Mobility. London UK: Cabinet Office.

  • [25] Hartas D. (2012). The Achievement Gap: Are Parents or Politicians Responsible. Bera Insights Autumn 2012.

  • [26] Herr K. and Anderson G. (2014). The Action Research Dissertation : A Guide for Students and Faculty London: Sage.

  • [27] Hoel N. (2013). Embodying the Field: A Researcher’s Reflections on Power Dynamics Positionality and the Nature of Research Relationships. Fieldwork in Religion 8: 27-49.

  • [28] Jones O. (2015). Don’t Let the Tories Steal Aspiration - We on the Left Must Claim It. The Guardian. London UK: Guardian Media Group. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/may/12/tories-aspiration-labourambition-conservatives (Accessed 6th October 2015)

  • [29] Kamberelis G. and Dimitriadis G. (2005). Qualitative Inquiry Approaches to Language and Literacy Research New York USA: Teachers College Press.

  • [30] Kamberelis G. and Dimitriadis G. (2015). Chronotopes of Human Science Inquiry. In: Denzin N. K. and Giardina M. D. (eds) Qualitative Inquiry-Past Present and Future: A Critical Reader. Walnut Creek USA: Left Coast Press 41-68.

  • [31] Kemmis S. and McTaggart R. (2008). Participatory Action Research Communicative Action and the Public Sphere. In: Denzin N. K. and Lincoln Y. S. (Eds.) Strategies of Qualitative Inquiry pp(271-330). 3rd ed. London UK: Sage Publications.

  • [32] Kemmis S. McTaggart R. and Nixon R. (2014). The Action Research Planner : Doing Critical Participatory Action Research London UK: Springer.

  • [33] Koshy V. (2009). Action Research for Improving Educational Practice: A Step-by-Step Guide. Sage Publications Ltd.

  • [34] Lipman M. (2011). Philosophy for Children: Some Assumptions and Implications. Ethics in Progress Quarterly 2.

  • [35] McClain M. (2010). Parental Agency in Educational Decision Making: A Mexican American Example. Teachers College Record 112 (12) 3074-3101.

  • [36] Milburn A. (2014). State of the Nation 2014. London: Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission.

  • [37] Mongon D. (2013). Educational Attainment: White British Students from Low Income Backgrounds. London UK: OFSTED. http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20141124154759/ http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/access-and-achievementbackground-papers (Accessed 6th October 2015)

  • [38] OECD. (2010). Pisa 2009 Results: Overcoming Social Background - Equity in Learning Opportunities and Outcomes (Volume II). http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264091504-en (Accessed 6th October 2015)

  • [39] OFSTED. (2013). Unseen Children: Access and Achievement 20 Years On. London: OFSTED. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/unseen-children-access-and-achievement-20-years-on (Accessed 6th October 2015)

  • [40] Opie C. and Sikes P. J. (2004). Doing Educational Research: A Guide to First-Time Researchers. London UK: Sage Publications.

  • [41] Ospina S. Dodge J. Foldy E. and Hofmann-Pinilla A. (2008). Taking the Action Turn: Lessons from Bringing Participation to Qualitative Research. In: Reason P. and Bradbury H. (Eds.) The Sage Handbook of Action Research: Participative Inquiry and Practice (pp 420-434). 2nd ed. London UK: SAGE

  • [42] Perry E. and Francis B. (2010). The Social Class Gap for Educational Achievement: A Review of the Literature. London UK: RSA Projects.

  • [43] Reason P. and Bradbury H.(Eds.) (2008). The Sage Handbook of Action Research: Participative Inquiry and Practice. London UK: SAGE.

  • [44] Reay D. (2006). The Zombie Stalking English Schools: Social Class and Educational Inequality. British Journal of Educational Studies 54: 288-307.

  • [45] Reay D. (2008). Tony Blair the Promotion of the “Active” Educational Citizen and Middle-Class Hegemony. Oxford Review of Education 34: 639-650.

  • [46] Reay D. (2012). What Would a Socially Just Education System Look Like? London UK: Studies Centre for Labour Studies http://classonline.org.uk/docs/2012_Diane_Reay_-_a_socially_just_education_system. (Accessed 15th July 2015)

  • [47] Reznitskaya A. (2012). Dialogic Teaching: Rethinking Language Use During Literature Discussions. The Reading Teacher. 65:7:446-456.

  • [48] Robinson F. and Gregson N. (1992). The ‘Underclass’: A Class Apart? Critical Social Policy 12: 38-51.

  • [49] SAPERE. (2015). Community Philosophy. http://www.sapere.org.uk/Default.aspx?tabid=102 (Accessed 6th October 2015)

  • [50] Save the Children Fund. (2012). Closing the Achievement Gap in England’s Secondary Schools. London: Save the Children.

  • [51] Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission. (2014). How the Key Players Outside Central Government Can Tackle Child Poverty and Promote Social Mobility. London: SMCPC. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-the-key-players-outside-central-government-can-tacklechild-poverty-and-promote-social-mobility (Accessed 6th October 2015)

  • [52] Stringer E. T. (2014). Action Research Los Angeles USA: Sage.

  • [53] Tiffany G. (2009). Community Philosophy a Project Report. Reflections on the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s New Earswick Community Philosophy Project. York: Joseph Rowntree Trust. https://www.jrf.org.uk/report/community-philosophy-projectreport (Accessed 6th October 2015)

  • [54] Torrance H. (2012). Triangulation Respondent Validation and Democratic Participation in Mixed Methods Research. Journal of Mixed Methods Research 6: 111-123.

  • [55] Vincent C. (1996). Parents and Teachers: Power and Participation London: Falmer.

  • [56] Vincent C. (2012). Text for Inaugural Lecture: Parenting in the Twenty-First Century: Responsibilities Risks and Respect.: Institute of Education.

  • [57] Vincent C. and Tomlinson S. (1997). Home-School Relationships: ‘The Swarming of Disciplinary Mechanisms’? British Educational Research Journal 23: 361-377.

  • [58] Westergård E. and Galloway D. (2010). Partnership Participation and Parental Disillusionment in Home - School Contacts: A Study in Two Schools in Norway. Pastoral Care in Education 28: 97-107.

  • [59] Wilkins A. (2014). Professionalizing School Governance: The Disciplinary Effects of School Autonomy and Inspection on the Changing Role of School Governors. Journal of Education Policy 30: 182-200.

  • [60] Wilshaw M. (2013). Unseen Children - HMCI Speech. http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20131216154121/https://www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/unseen-children-hmci-speech. (Accessed 15th July 2015)

  • [61] Young I. M. (1996). Communication and the Other: Beyond Deliberative Democracy. In: Benhabib S. (Ed). (1996) . Democracy and Difference; Contesting the Boundaries of the Political (pp.120-135) Chichester UK: Princeton University Press.

Search
Journal information
Metrics
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 510 246 9
PDF Downloads 323 180 11