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Dyrness, Andrea
Mothers united : an immigrant struggle for socially just education / Andrea Dyrness
Alternate Title Immigrant struggle for socially just education
Minneapolis : University of Minnesota Press, c2011
book jacket
Location Call Number Status
 4th Floor  LC3746.5.C2 D97 2011    AVAILABLE
Subject(s) Children of immigrants -- Education -- California -- Oakland -- Case studies
Children of minorities -- Education -- California -- Oakland -- Case studies
Education -- Parent participation -- California -- Oakland -- Case studies
Community and school -- California -- Oakland -- Case studies
School improvement programs -- California -- Oakland -- Case studies
Physical Description xiii, 254 p. ; 23 cm
Note Includes bibliographical references (p. 225-236) and index
Contents A fragile partnership -- Separate journeys: the road to new small schools -- Baudelia's leadership: claiming space for parents in school design -- Contested community: negotiating admissions in the new small school -- The good parent, the angry parent, and other controlling images -- Ofelia's kitchen: a counterspace for resistance -- En confianza: lessons for educators on working for change with immigrant parents -- Participatory research and the politics of social change -- Questions for reflection by Madres Unidas
Summary In urban American school systems, the children of recent immigrants and low-income parents of color disproportionately suffer from overcrowded classrooms, lack of access to educational resources, and underqualified teachers. The challenges posed by these problems demand creative solutions that must often begin with parental intervention. But how can parents without college educations, American citizenship, English literacy skills, or economic stability organize to initiate change on behalf of their children and their community? In this book the author chronicles the experiences of five Latina immigrant mothers in Oakland, California, one of the most troubled urban school districts in the country as they become informed and engaged advocates for their children's education. These women, who called themselves "Madres Unidas" ("Mothers United"), joined a neighborhood group of teachers and parents to plan a new, small, and autonomous neighborhood-based school to replace the overcrowded Whitman School. Collaborating with the author, among others, to conduct interviews and focus groups with teachers, parents, and students, these mothers moved from isolation and marginality to take on unfamiliar roles as researchers and community activists while facing resistance from within the local school district. This work illuminates the mothers' journey to create their own space centered around the kitchen table that enhanced their capacity to improve their children's lives. At the same time, the author critiques how community organizers, teachers, and educational policy makers, despite their democratic rhetoric, repeatedly asserted their right as "experts," reproducing the injustice they hoped to overcome. A story about self-learning, consciousness-raising, and empowerment, this book offers lessons for school reform movements everywhere

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