Teacher Parents Partnership

2479 Words Dec 21st, 2012 10 Pages
INTRODUCTION
Parents are undeniably a child's first teachers as babies utter their first words and take their first steps. As socialisation and education continues in schools, parents and teachers become the ''significant others''. The modelling in their complementary roles is absorbed by children. Sociologist Emile Durkheim maintains ''there is not a moment in the day when the generations are not in contact with their elders - when they are not receiving from them some educational influence''.
The parent-teacher-student relationship can deliver a collaborative partnership, linking home and school in a climate of trust and respect. When parents and teachers are united in their aims and expectations, children enjoy coming to school and
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Briggs and Potter (1999) suggested that parents are more likely to become involved if encouraged and they are given opportunities to make worthwhile contributions, and where issues such as employment commitments and care for younger children are considered.
While parents’ involvement is not a partnership, it can lead to partnership (Stonehouse & Gonzelez-Mena, 2008). It is important that any parent involvement is viewed as an opportunity for firming connections that support the child (Stonehouse & Gonzelez-Mena, 2008), not as way of getting tasks done. Asking family members to engage in meaningless tasks such as cutting fruits or covering books, often in isolation from the children, does not encourage parents to return and does not build partnerships between teachers, parents and children. This type of parent involvement is ‘shadow, ineffectual, unrewarding and even frustrating to those involved’ (Briggs & Potter, 1999, p.433).
Inviting parents to suggest meaningful ways in which they might be genuinely involved in their child’s education can help to break down the power differential between teachers and parents and build meaningful partnerships. These partnerships transform relationships (Mac Naughton & Hughes, 2003) as they challenge the traditional knowledge-power links between teachers and parents by acknowledging that there is not a fixed body of knowledge about children that educators possess and parents lack. This enables teachers to