The process of parental advocacy for their struggling reader: A grounded theory
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This study examines and describes (1) why parents of struggling readers decide they must become active advocates for changes in their child's education and (2) how such parents learn to negotiate school organization in this advocacy. Advocacy is defined as any activity parents go about to access appropriate reading instruction for their child, that instruction being beyond the child's current reading program. There were four primary goals to this study: (1) To determine, describe, and analyze when and why parents (a) ascertain that their child is struggling in reading, (b) come to believe that the child's reading difficulties are not being met in the current educational environment, and (c) decide they must seek changes in their child's instruction. (2) To describe and analyze the processes parents engage in to gain the knowledge necessary to advocate for better reading services for their struggling readers. (3) To formulate a theory of the parental advocacy process grounded in description and analysis of parents engaged in the parent advocacy process. (4) To lend voice to parents, who are often voiceless when it comes to educational decisions, policies, and research. Findings suggest there is a process parents undergo as they advocate for their struggling reader. This process includes (a) becoming aware of their child's reading problem, (b) understanding the reading problem (c) acknowledging the need for advocacy, and (d) accessing reading services.