10 SES 01 D, Preparing Pre-School Teachers for Family School Partnerships: International perspectives
The importance of pre-service teacher preparation for family-school partnerships (FSP) has been highlighted in the literature (cf. Epstein & Sanders, 2006; Epstein, 2013; Evans, 2013). The few studies conducted in Europe to date suggest that little attention is paid to pre-service teacher preparation for family-school partnerships (FSP) and that many teachers feel unprepared for such work (De Bruïne et al., 2014; Willemse et al., 2016). In England there has been little research in this area but a government review of best practice in parental involvement with schools concluded that ‘(t)eachers often lack the confidence and knowledge to work with parents ...’ (Goodhall & Vorhaus, 2011: p6). Such a conclusion has implications for the content of teacher education programmes. Evidence suggests that recently qualified teachers in England do not feel well prepared, even in terms of reporting pupil progress to parents, and that this ‘this remains one of the least positively rated aspects of teacher training’ (NCTL, 2015: p82, paragraph 6.7.2). Furthermore the opportunity to develop this aspect of beginning teachers’ preparation is not given any prominence in the recently published ‘Framework of core content for initial teacher training’ (Department for Education (DfE), 2016) and reference to parents is made only in relation to parents’ meetings and to providing feedback to parents and carers on pupil progress. Given the apparent discrepancy between the need for teachers to be more knowledgeable about FSP and the lack of opportunity within initial teacher education (ITE) programmes to address the issues, we carried out a national survey of ITE providers in England in order to ascertain what provision is currently on offer. Our findings indicate that while there is overall recognition of the value of preparing trainee teachers to become confident and knowledgeable about home-school partnerships, ITE providers feel constrained by the lack of time available to them to explore this area in greater detail. The article concludes by discussing some of the challenges of both planning and delivering effective FSP provision within the ITE curriculum and how this might relate to future professional learning.
de Bruïne, E. J., Willemse, T. M. D’heam, J., Griswold, P., loeberghs, L. and Van Eynde, S. 2014. Preparing teacher candidates for family–school partnerships. European Journal of Teacher Education 37: 409–425. Department for Education (DfE). 2016. Framework of core content for initial teacher training. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/536890/Framework_Report_11_July_2016_Final.pdf Epstein, J. L. 2013. Ready or not? Preparing future educators for school, family, and community partnerships. Teaching Education 24: 115–118. Epstein, J. L., and Sanders, M. 2006. Prospects for change: Preparing educators for school, family, and community partnerships. Peabody Journal of Education 81: 81–120. Evans, M. P. 2013. Educating pre-service teachers for family, school and community engagement. Teaching Education 24: 123–133. Goodall, J., and Vorhaus, J. 2011. Review of best practice in parental engagement: Practitioner Summary. London: Department of Education. National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL). 2015. Newly Qualified Teachers : Annual Survey https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/477461/Newly_Qualified_Teachers_Annual_Survey_2015.pdf Willemse, T.M., Vloeberghs, L., de Bruïne, E.J., and Van Eynde, S. 2016. “Preparing teachers for family-school partnerships: A Dutch and Belgium perspective.” Teaching Education 27 (2): 212-228.
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