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Advocacy Skills Differ In Middle And Working Class Families

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By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Jessica McCreary, a sociologist at Indiana University in Pennsylvania, observed and interviewed 56 white third grade students and their middle and working class families, studying how each group has navigated the school system with follow-up in 7th grade.

Findings showed that middle class parents often role-played with their children to practice asking for help, equipping their kids with skills on getting help but not rushing to save them from problems at school.

Working class parents stressed kids respecting the teacher, not asking for help or discussing questions but solving problems on their own. An example cites a father telling his daughters to ask classmates, but not their teacher, when they don’t understand an assignment.

The national PTA is training parents in its Urban Family Engagement Network in nine cities, including Philadelphia, teaching them skills to feel comfortable going into a school and advocating for their kids.

Read more in Education Week.

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