Working with Parents and Families in Early Childhood Education
This book reports initiatives to listen to parents and families, to ascertain what families believe and do as they seek to engage collaboratively with their children’s educators, and what educators and educational systems might do to facilitate and/or establish barriers to such engagement.
Parental engagement in children’s learning and development has many positive benefits. However, in the current environments of accountability and performativity which are pervading early childhood education in many countries, the opportunities for parents and other family members to be part of the development of respectful, collaborative relationships with their children’s early childhood educators are becoming more and more restricted. Many educators feel forced to choose between curriculum outcomes and parental engagement, as both involve their time. There is a danger that the voices of parents and families in their children’s early learning and development will not always be heard, seen, or fully understood. This volume addresses this important issue.
Researchers, educators, and families will all benefit from this book, to the ultimate benefit of the young children who are the future. This book was originally published as a special issue of the European Early Childhood Education Research Journal.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. Parents’ play beliefs and engagement in young children’s play at home 2. ‘She thinks her toys don’t understand Romanian’: family engagement with children’s learning during the transition to school 3. Would it really matter? The democratic and caring deficit in ‘parental involvement’ 4. ‘Remote parenting’: parents’ perspectives on, and experiences of, home and preschool collaboration 5. An observational assessment of parent–teacher cocaring relationships in infant–toddler classrooms
6. Chinese and German teachers’ and parents’ conceptions of learning at play – similarities, differences, and (in)consistencies
7. How educators define their role: building ‘professional’ relationships with children and parents during transition to childcare: a case study 8. Parental involvement in Finnish day care – what do early childhood educators say? 9. How do early childhood practitioners define professionalism in their interactions with parents? 10. Written communication with families during the transition from childcare to school: how documents construct and position children, professionals, and parents
Ute Ward worked in a pre-school, Sure Start local programme, and children's centre before becoming a Senior Lecturer at the University of Hertfordshire, UK. She leads the BA (Hons) Early Childhood Education and teaches on the MA Education. Her research interests focus on parent-practitioner relationships which is reflected in her doctoral research exploring parents' views and expectations of their children's early childhood practitioners.
Bob Perry is recently retired after 45 years in higher education. He is Emeritus Professor in the School of Education at Charles Sturt University, Australia, and Director of Peridot Education Pty Ltd. He has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Mälardalen University, Sweden, in recognition of his body of research.