We examined the perceptions of teachers and parents about family involvement in urban schools. The study generated from several others that we have been conducting about teaching in high poverty, urban schools. Using focus groups, our purpose was to learn how we could better prepare teachers for urban schools. The data revealed that teachers are frustrated with a lack of parental involvement in literacy activities at home and at school. Parents, however, expressed distrust toward the local elementary school because they felt the faculty has been biased against African American and Latino children and their families. Consequently, the parents said they deliberately decided not to participate in school activities. Parents explained they would only work with teachers who respected and valued their children. Results of our study point to the importance of helping new teachers learn strategies for developing strong trusting relationships and effective communication strategies when working with urban families.


qualitative research

Publication Date


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.




Submission Location


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.