Cohen, Michael

Committee Member

Vogel, Linda

Committee Member

Larkins, Randy

Committee Member

Lahman, Maria


School of Education: Educational Leadership and Policy Studies


University of Northern Colorado

Type of Resources


Place of Publication

Greeley (Colo.)


University of Northern Colorado

Date Created



272 pages

Digital Origin

Born digital


To meaningfully capture the experiences of parent engagement of Iraqi refugee mothers in the United States, this study embraced qualitative tradition and employed narrative case study methodology to explore the primary research question: How do Iraqi refugee mothers perceive their role in their children's education in the United States? Through a critical race feminist theoretical lens, this study offers an examination of intersectionality and the way race, gender, and culture shaped Iraqi refugee mother’s experiences of parent engagement in the U.S. The participants within this study included five Iraqi refugee mothers, two who were living in the Western U.S. and three who were living in the Eastern U.S. Data were collected over four months and included 10 individual interviews, one focus group interview, 97 hours of observations, and artifact collection. Thematic and structural narrative analysis revealed three interconnected themes: Identity, Efficacy, and Advocacy. The findings were presented through individual and collective narratives within three scenes that were connected to each primary theme. Identity was explored at the intersection of ethnicity, gender, education, and religion. Efficacy was looked at through the lenses of self-efficacy and collective efficacy. Advocacy was presented from the vantage points of Iraqi refugee mothers as advocates and of educators as advocates. The discussion connected the research findings surrounding the perspectives of parent engagement of Iraqi refugee mothers to the need for a widespread educational emphasis on culturally responsive and sustaining pedagogy. Furthermore, organizational and leadership implications were shared that implored policy makers and educational leaders to shift the conversations about student achievement and family culpability towards issues of social responsibility, justice, and equity.


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Copyright is held by the author.