Parental involvement in disadvantaged districts of Santiago: Intergenerational consequences for equity of an education system organized as a market

Ramos, Marcela (2016). 'Parental involvement in disadvantaged districts of Santiago: Intergenerational consequences for equity of an education system organized as a market' Paper presented at the annual conference of the HDCA, Tokyo 2016.


abstract
This paper reports the main features and findings of my Doctoral research designed to critically explore and understand how and why Chilean urban low middle class parents become involved in their children’s education using the capability approach as its main theoretical framework. Within a country worldwide known as a Neoliberal laboratory (Ball, 2016), a qualitative design was used to engage with parents’ beliefs, reflections, aspirations and values in relation to their children’s education. Two rounds of semi-structured interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of 14 parents living in disadvantaged districts of Santiago, the Chilean capital city. A key finding addresses how within one of the most testing-oriented and market educational systems parents tend to position themselves as managers of their children’s educational trajectories, as if there were no margin for errors and as if education were primarily a means of social mobility. In line with an area of parental involvement that proposes to rethink the concept and expand its boundaries, this study concludes by discussing why a purely instrumental view of the value of education undermines parents’ capability to become involved in their children’s learning and ultimately diminishes the power of education to disrupt intergenerational cycles of disadvantage within Chilean families.
Keywords: parental involvement/education/intergenerational equity/capability/intrinsic value

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