Thursday, September 07, 2017

CPEP PhD Candidate Aixa Marchand awarded dissertation grant by Corporation for National & Community Service


Doctoral candidate Aixa Marchand was awarded a National Service and Civic Engagement Research grant from the Corporation for National & Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency that oversees AmeriCorps and the nation’s volunteer initiatives. Marchand is a PhD candidate in the Combined Program in Education and Psychology (CPEP), and is advised by Professors Matthew Diemer and Stephanie Rowley.

Using Critical Race Theory (CRT) to understand the ways in which race influences Black parents’ experiences and participation within the public educational system and infrastructure, this mixed-methods study will explore Black parents’ critical consciousness (CC). Parental CC is hypothesized to relate to the ways Black parents critically engage with their children’s schools. Critical parent engagement can be conceptualized as an extension of civic engagement in that it encompasses the efforts and activities performed to benefit the academic success of their children and other children within their community (Flanagan, 2013). To explore these open questions, qualitative interviews will be conducted with approximately 20 Black parents in Southeastern Michigan. The research questions motivating this study include: 1) How do Black parents’ personal experiences with schools and with the larger society influence how they view and interact with their children’s school? 2) How do Black parents conceptualize their role in their children’s education? What are Black parents’ motivations for engaging with their children’s schools? 3) How do Black parents’ critical analysis of social and educational inequities influence their knowledge, skills, and motivations to interact with their children’s school? The results of these interviews will be used as the foundation of a new instrument to measure parental CC.

Including the University of Michigan, CNCS awarded 14 grants to higher education institutions across the country, totaling more than $1.3 million. These higher education institutions awarded will address gaps in knowledge, and provide new ideas for the volunteer and civic engagement infrastructure.

Aixa Daphne Marchand is Doctor of Philosophy in Education and Psychology

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