Along with colleagues from the Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools at New York University (PI Dr. Joanna Geller), Dr. Matthew Diemer will conduct a study of power inequality in educational systems. This research is funded by the William T. Grant Foundation’s Reducing Inequality Major Research Grant competition.
Young people and families of color, particularly immigrant families of color, typically have less power to influence schools and educational systems, compared to white families. (These researchers define power as the capacity to take action individually, collectively, or in partnership with educators.) This inequality in the power to influence educational institutions and systems is the result of institutional barriers, rather than individual deficits. The project team will examine the process and multi-level outcomes of family civics as a lever for reducing inequality in the power to influence educational institutions and systems through investigating the Children’s Leadership Training Institute (CLTI) and the Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI).
The team will employ a 3-year exploratory mixed-methods study, including qualitative research in three CLTI/PLTI sites and a survey of CLTI and PLTI participants and alumni. Through survey research, we will examine whether CLTI/PLTI fosters children’s and parents’ long-term (12 months post-completion) civic engagement and families’ civic practices and to what extent family civics moderates (i.e., augments) the relationship between CLTI/PLTI participation and children’s and parents’ civic engagement. Parents and children will be studied via a quasi-experimental design, to elucidate whether CLTI and PLTI foster civic engagement and key civic processes. These questions will be tested via a “difference-in-difference” approach and longitudinal growth modeling.