Research documents the benefits of parental involvement for children's early childhood learning; yet, we know less about how Black mothers navigate their children's early schooling experiences. Further, evidence highlights the uniquely gendered experiences that Black girls and boys have in school, but few studies have considered the extent to which this factors into their mothers’ beliefs about their children as students and the actions they deem necessary to support them in school. The present qualitative study explored the parental involvement expectations of 76 Black mothers of rising 1st grade students. We considered how Black mothers constructed their children as learners across academic, social, and emotional domains, and the extent to which Black mothers’ expectations for parental involvement varied based on their child's gender. Our findings suggest that mothers of boys were more concerned about race and gender bias than mothers of girls, especially in relation to special education placement and the misdiagnosis of developmental disabilities. The authors discuss reasons that parents may need to attend more to the experiences of Black girls, and suggest how teachers can partner with Black parents to help their children thrive in early childhood classrooms.
- Black mothers
- Critical parent involvement
- Parental school involvement
- School choice
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science