Diverse perspectives of parents, diverse concepts of parent involvement and participation: What can they suggest to researchers?

Carolyn Pope Edwards, Traci Shizu Kutaka

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

11 Scopus citations


Diversity of experiences and perspectives, it is widely agreed, should be a source of strength in home-school partnerships, as in other aspects of educational endeavor. Yet often, in the literature, diversity is presented as a complication to be overcome. A limiting mindset often prevails, both in theory and practice, where diversity is regarded as an issue or barrier, even amidst the best of intentions to be inclusive. In this chapter, we argue that this limiting mindset on diversity may in fact derive in part from the conceptual frameworks with which we in the USA contemplate and conduct research on diversity issues in home-school relationships. We make this point by taking the discussion outside the framework of the American literature. First, we offer our summary and interpretation of several general principles that describe the purpose, nature, and value attached to parental involvement in the USA. Next, we turn to the field of Italian education, in particular, to conceptualizations about partecipazione, or participation, a term for the idealized way in which parents, teachers, and community members should take an active part in the life, culture, and decisions concerning children and the educational services created for them. We draw mainly from the writings of a network of early educational leaders from cities of northern and central Italy (e.g., Bologna, Milan, Modena, Pistoia, Reggio Emilia, and others)-places which have carried out the strongest experiments in creating and sustaining systems of home-school community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationResearch on Family-School Partnerships
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9783319138381
ISBN (Print)9783319138374
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Family engagement
  • Family involvement
  • Home-school partnerships
  • Italian education
  • Italian preschools
  • Italy
  • Parent participation
  • Partecipazione
  • Pistoia
  • Reggio emilia, italy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


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