By: Oxana Kirichok
The topic of teacher-parent collaboration has been interesting for me for many years as the research can reveal primary school teachers and primary school parents different perceptions of school-family partnership. I think that although the teachers and parents both claim that collaboration between them is essential for children’s learning, they still occupy competing positions and overcome the barriers. On the basis of revealed discrepancies a number of practical suggestions for early childhood educators and parents are provided to help the stakeholders to establish and maintain productive relationships.
I would like to analyze the primary school teachers and primary school parents perceptions of their relationships and make suggestions for early childhood educators and parents that will help them establish and maintain productive relationships.
The importance of establishing rapport with families and encouraging involvement in the daily operations of schooling has become common knowledge among early childhood professionals (Knop and Swick, 2007).Strong school-parent relationships causes better children’s academic achievement (Ryan, Adams,Gullotta, Weissberg, & Hampton, 2005).
Unfortunately, most literature describing parent involvement strategies take a schoolcentric view of parent involvement, which ignores the needs and perceptions of the parents we are encouraging to become involved (Lawson, 2008). It is indicated that parents are rarely consulted on important issues regarding their child’s schooling and school-family partnership (Lawson, 2008). Mann (2006) found that parents do indeed have different understandings of involvement in their children’s education suggesting that teachers acknowledge the need to communicate with parents regarding their perceptions of involvement so that teachers can use this knowledge when constructing avenues for parents to be involved and recognizing and valuing the ways that the parents are involved. Moreover, while teachers are more ‘‘school-based’’ in their thinking, parents have a broader view of their involvement. These divergent views of the nature of parent involvement and the role parents should play in the process of education can lead to conflict and continued misunderstanding (Knop and Swick, 2007).
I am positive to say thay early childhood educators need more practical and specific guidance for developing positive relationships and ideas for involving families in the community of the classroom.
Knop,H and Swick, K. How Parents Feel About Their Child’s Teacher/School:Implications for Early Childhood Professionals. Early Childhood Education Journal, Vol. 34, No. 4, February 2007 ( 2006). DOI: 10.1007/s10643-006-0119-6.
Lawson, M. A. (2003). School-family relations in context parent and teacher perceptions of parent involvement. Urban education, 38(1), 77-133.
Ryan, B., Adams, G., Gullotta, T., Weissberg, R. and Hampton,R., (Eds.) (2005). The family-school connection: Theory, research, and practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage