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Parent Education, Cultural Pluralism, and Public Policy: The Uncertain Connection

Laosa, Luis M.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Adult Education, Cultural Pluralism, Educational Policy, Minority Groups, Public Policy, Socialization


Longstanding concerns about the academic underachievement of poor and ethnic minority children are being translated today into a movement that seeks solutions to this serious and refractory problem by means of direct interventions into families. The purpose of these interventions is to modify child-rearing practices and thus indirectly influence the level of academic achievement of children who traditionally have performed poorly in scho ols. The ultimate goal is to enable the children of low-income and ethnic minority families to move, upon reaching adulthood, into middle-class social and economic status. Parent education has thus emerged as a major social policy issue for the 1970s and 1980s. My intent in this paper is to raise some questions and review some research findings that bear on what I think is a critical, although too frequently neglected issue in parent education today: the connection between, on the one hand, the policy-making process and, on the other, the families or individuals who ultimately are affected by the policy. (24pp.)

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