‘I had some additional angel wings’: Parents positioned as experts in their children’s education

Evelyn Tett, Gale Macleod

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This article provides evidence of the ways in which Family Learning (FL) has offered opportunities for the negotiation of a culturally responsive pedagogy that positions parents as experts. Although our study is small (ten parents and six FL practitioners) its significance lies in its longitudinal perspective and in-depth analysis, which demonstrate that the benefits of learning are dynamic and can transfer across domains (education, family, community) and lead to change in parents’ sense of self and their practices. We find that the approach taken by the FL workers enabled parents to raise their horizons of possibility so that they considered new careers and ways of being. Our symbolic interactionist approach focuses on the opportunity for the negotiation of new identities afforded by these programmes and provides an explanation for their long-term positive consequences. The implications for adult learning for all professionals engaging with parents are the benefits of: forming collaborative relationships between participants and staff; using a ‘funds of knowledge’ pedagogical approach; and developing artifacts that can be shared publically.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-183
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Lifelong Education
Issue number2
Early online date5 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2019


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