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In Rethinking Family-School Relations: A Critique of Parental Involvement in Schooling, Maria Eulina Pessoa de Carvalho (2001) addresses the many complexities and implications involved when policy makers attempt to engage parents in their child’s education. By offering a critique of parental involvement policies, this book provokes thought and challenges current rhetoric among educators. In the first pages, the author places herself in direct opposition to current educational research and policy that presents parental involvement as a remedy to educational problems (Swap, 1993). Even though de Carvalho (2001) can see parental involvement as a “sensible idea” (p. 4), she opposes a policy that disregards differentiation across families, adds to parental stress, and possibly reinforces social inequity.


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Smith, J. A. (2004). Deconstructing parental involvement in education: A review of de Carvalho’s work. School Community Journal, 14(1), 151-154. Retrieved from


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