Parent-school engagement is widely embraced as a policy and educational ideal, yet to date there are few studies of how teacher education prepares students for this important aspect of their professional lives. In this paper, we consider findings from a recent Australian study that explored how the issue of parent-school relations is currently addressed in Australian initial teacher education programmes. The study is situated within the broader policy context of teaching standards. Our findings challenge suggestions that parent-school engagement is largely absent from pre-service programmes, and although the study recognizes gaps and discontinuities, it also identifies four key domains in which initial teacher education currently prepares students for parent engagement. We argue that students are being prepared for parentschool engagement in a variety of ways, but that there is insufficient continuity to ensure that all beginning teachers have a thorough understanding of how to work effectively with parents.
- teacher education
- parental engagement