Perspectives of early childhood teachers on parent-teacher partnerships in five European countries

Eeva Hujala*, Leena Turja, Maria Filomena Gaspar, Marika Veisson, Manjula Waniganayake

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Societal conditions impacting on parenting have radically changed during the past two decades. There is variation between and within societies depending on social, cultural, political and economic factors. Today, Early Childhood and Care (ECEC) services play an increasingly important role in supporting families with young children during birth to the age of compulsory education. Accordingly, the collaboration between families and early childhood professionals has emerged as an essential topic of educational research and professional development. The International Parent-Professional Partnerships (IPP) research study focuses on the contemporary challenges of the parent-teacher partnerships in early childhood education from a cross-cultural perspective. The purpose of the research is to examine parent-teacher partnerships in ECEC services in Estonia, Finland, Lithuania, Norway and Portugal by looking into the national contexts and comparing these findings with each other. The research utilises both quantitative and qualitative analysis of survey data collected in the participating countries. The survey questionnaire focuses on teachers' views of parents' involvement in ECEC centres. The results show that there are differences in teachers' approaches to parent-teacher partnerships between societies as well as within each country. Parents also differ in their capacity to develop and maintain partnerships with teachers. It seems that there are differences in the professional status of the teachers in each country, which are, in turn, connected to the parents' role in the parent-teacher partnerships in ECEC services. This study aims to deepen the understanding of the nature of parent-teacher partnerships in contemporary contexts of early childhood education through cross-cultural research, and to enhance the training and professional development of early childhood professionals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-76
Number of pages20
JournalEuropean Early Childhood Education Research Journal
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009

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