14 SES 03, Teachers' Perspectives on Home-school Relationships
Previous research has shown that home-school cooperation is beneficial for children’s learning and development as well as children’s social functioning and it assists in addressing problem behaviours (e.g. Cox 2005; Pomerantz, Moorman, & Litwack 2007; Wilder 2014; Rimm-Kaufman, Pianta, Cox, & Bradley, 2003). Although researchers note the benefits of the cooperation, there are barriers to cooperation (e.g. Hornby & Rafaele 2011). For example, teachers, parents and children can have different views of what is included in the cooperation. In this presentation, we will focus on teachers’ views.
Home-school cooperation in Europe is facing new challenges. In 2015 Europe experienced a record influx of immigrants and asylum seekers. Children of the immigrant families will start schooling and their homes will become participants in the home-school cooperation. However, it can be anticipated that cooperation with people from different cultural backgrounds is not without challenges. Even in the USA with a long history of integrating people with different backgrounds immigrant parents face barriers in home-school cooperation (Turney & Kao,2009). When focussing immigrant/refugee parents the previous research often explains barriers to cooperation as due to deficits in parents, such as parents’ lack of competencies, motivation, knowledge of the educational system, language problems to name just a few. Interpreting the home culture different from the home culture of the teachers as “wrong” or “inadequate” does not offer a good starting point for parental involvement (Linde Matthiesen 2016) Moreover, as some researchers point out, a challenge for the good relationship is the fact that schools offer one model of good parenting and are not sensitive to the ideas of those parents who do not fit this model (Huijbregts, Leseman, & Tavecchio, 2008). In addition, as noted in a study by Baeck (2010), teachers can experience parental involvement, especially by well-educated and resourceful parents, as a threat to their position and professional authority. Yet teachers are powerful actors in parental involvement with a power and position to either enhance involvement or discourage it (Baeck 2010
In defining what is included in parental involvement, the most influential model used both in research and practice has been the Epstein model (e.g. Epstein, Sanders, Simon, Salinas, Jansorn, & Van Voorhis, 2009). Included in the features of the model are positive home conditions, communication, involvement at school, home learning activities, shared decision making within the school, and community partnerships (Epstein, 1995; Epstein et al., 2009). In this study, Epstein’s model was used as a starting point in interviews where teachers were asked to tell what home-school cooperation is from their point of view.
One of the identified factors hindering cooperation are different beliefs of what is included in parental involvement or cooperation. Teachers’ beliefs play an important role in either enhancing or discouraging parental involvement (e.g. Hoover-Dempsey, Walker, Jones, & Reed, 2002).
This small-scale pilot study seeks to answer the question: How home-school cooperation is defined by the teachers participating in the study?
As sub-questions included are questions such as the following: How much and what kind of cooperation in needed for the beneficial effects, initiated by whom, should parents help with homework, is there a gap between the rhetoric and reality, what is the purpose and aim of home-school cooperation, can there be too much involvement, what is the role of children in home-school cooperation.
Baeck, U.- D. K. (2010). ‘We are the professionals’: a study of teachers’ views on parental involvement in school. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 31(3) DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01425691003700565 Braun, V. and Clarke, V. 2006. Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology 3, 77 -101. Creswell, J., Plano Clark, V. L. and Garrett, A. L. (2008). Methodological issues in conducting mixed methods research designs. In M. M. Bergman (Ed.). Advances in Mixed Methods Research, London: Sage, 66-83. El Nokali, N.E., Bachman, H.J., and Votruba-Drzal, E. (2010) Parent Involvement and Children’s Academic and Social Development in Elementary School. Child Development, May/June 2010, 81 3, 988–1005. Epstein, J. L., Sanders, M. G., Simon, B. S., Salinas, K. C., Jansorn, N. R., & Van Voorhis, F. L. (2009). School, family, and community partnerships: Your handbook for action. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. Gubrium, J.F. and Holstein, J.A. (1990). What is family? Mayfield: Houston, Texas. Hornby, G. and Lafaele, R. (2011) Barriers to parental involvement in education: an explanatory model, Educational Review, 63:1, 37-52, DOI: 10.1080/00131911.2010.488049 Hoover-Dempsey, K.V., Walker,J.M.T., Jones,K.P., and Reed. R. P. (2002) Teachers Involving Parents (TIP): results of an in-service teacher education program for enhancing parental involvement. Teaching and Teacher Education,18(7), 843-867.DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0742-051X(02)00047-1 Huijbregts, S.K., Leseman, P.P.M., Tavecchio, L.W.C. (2008). Cultural diversity in center-based childcare: Childrearing beliefs of professional caregivers from different cultural communities in the Netherlands. Early Childhood Research Quarterly 23(2), 233-244. doi:10.1016/j.ecresq.2007.10.001 Kvale, S. (1996). InterViews. An introduction to qualitative research interviewing. London:Sage. Linde Matthiesen, N. C. (2016): Working together in a deficit logic: home–school partnerships with Somali diaspora parents. Race Ethnicity and Education. DOI: 10.1080/13613324.2015.1134469 Pomerantz, E.M., E.A. Moorman, and S.D. Litwack. (2007). The how, whom and why of parents’ involvement in children’s academic lives: More is not always better. Review of Educational Research 77, 3, 373–410. POPS, Perusopetuksen uudet opetussuunnitelman perusteet. [Core curriculum for basic education] (2014). Finnish National Board of Education, Helsinki. Punch, K. F. (2005). Introduction to social research. Quantitative and qualitative approaches. 2nd ed. London: Sage. Sandelowski, M. and Barroso, J. (2003). Classifying the findings in qualitative studies. Qualitative Health Research 13(7), 905–923. Turney, K., and Kao, G. (2009) Barriers to School Involvement: Are Immigrant Parents Disadvantaged? The Journal of Educational Research, 102:4, 257-271, DOI: 10.3200/JOER.102.4.257-271 Wilder, S. (2014). Effects of parental involvement on academic achievement: a meta-synthesis. Educational Review 66(3), 377–397. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00131911.2013.780009
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