As a former Chilean public school teacher, the whole purpose of my independent inquiry here at Berkeley has been advocating through research for those who were my students, their families, and my coworkers. The purpose of my trip was to conduct fieldwork for my master thesis and to connect with different scholars who researched the topic of family-school relationships. I worked in Peñalolén, an urban district right on the foothill of the Andes in Santiago, Chile. I accomplished 19 two-hour interviews with low-income mothers and 3 others to administrators at the public schools that were my research sites. I’m also currently writing a theoretical paper with Verónica Gubbins, a Chilean scholar expert on the subject who I hope can join me as a visiting scholar this spring. Hopefully, the results will provide valuable input about why mothers decide to get involved, the shared meanings they have about school and educational opportunity, and what schools can do to empower disadvantaged families in the joined struggle for educational justice.
August 27, 2016