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FROM COOPERATION TO PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN PARENTS AND PRESCHOOL TEACHERS The 17th EECERA Annual conference Pirjo-Liisa Poikonen University of Jyväskylä,

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Presentation on theme: "FROM COOPERATION TO PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN PARENTS AND PRESCHOOL TEACHERS The 17th EECERA Annual conference Pirjo-Liisa Poikonen University of Jyväskylä,"— Presentation transcript:

1 FROM COOPERATION TO PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN PARENTS AND PRESCHOOL TEACHERS The 17th EECERA Annual conference Pirjo-Liisa Poikonen University of Jyväskylä, Finland (M. Kontoniemi, H. Rasku-Puttonen, M-K. Lerkkanen, A-M. Poikkeus) (M. Kontoniemi, H. Rasku-Puttonen, M-K. Lerkkanen, A-M. Poikkeus)

2 Background  International research has consistantly found that good staff-parent relationships in early day care centers and schools benefit children, staff, and parents ( e.g.Fantuzzo, McWayne, Perry & Childs 2004; Christenson 2004)  Finnish national guidelines (2000, 2003) emphasize parents involvement in early childhood education and partnership between parents and teachers

3  The transition to school is a period in which social supports are particularly important: successful transition plays an important role in later school success (e.g. Dunlop & Fabian 2002; Dockett & Perry 2003; Johansson 2002)  Finnish national quidelines (2000) emphasize smooth transition from preschool to school and cooperation between teachers

4 Partnership  consious commitment  combines the knowledge and experience  create a common strategy for supporting the child  cooperation between parents  staff have the primary responsibility for employing the partnership approach

5 The aims of the pilot study  What kind of experiences parents have about cooperation between preschool teachers and other parents?  What kind of cooperation do preschool teachers and parents emphasize in the transition from preschool to school?

6 Design and Methods  First Steps pilot study: 139 preschool children and their parents and teachers (mothers N=107, fathers N= 94, teachers N=16)  Participants were voluntarily selected from one municipality  Data were collected by questionnaires (structured/open questions) first time at October and second time at April  The analysis combines both quantitative and qualitative approaches

7 Results 1/2 Parents’ experiences about cooperation  The three-factor solution (using principal Axis factoring) defined following constructs: – Experience of partnership – Child centered cooperation – Parents’ competence (perceptions of cooperation skills and attitudes)

8 Item content by factor (parents’ data)  Experience of partnership (Cronbach alfa: Mothers.63, Fathers.77) – ’I feel that I can influence the goals and objectives of my child’s classroom’ – ’I participate in decision-making of the whole preschool’ –’I feel that my child’s teacher supports my parenthood’ – ’I feel that parents in my child’s classroom support me in childrearing’

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10  Child centered cooperation (Cronbach alfa: Mothers.81, Fathers.75) – ’I draw up the individual preschool education plan for my child in collaboration with my child’s teacher’ – ’I talk with my child’s teacher about my child’s accomplishments’ –’I regularly participate in acitivities of my child’s classroom’

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13  Parents’ competence (Cronbach alfa: Mothers.62, Fathers.72) – ’I feel childrearing very stressful’ –’I feel incompetent when I talk with my child’s teacher ’ – ’I hesitate to be in contact with my child’s teacher’ – ’I am not interested in cooperation with my child’s teacher’

14 Differences in perceptions and experiences between mothers and fathers  A statistically significant difference was found between mothers and fathers on all the items of child centered cooperation (p<.001). Mothers cooperated with teachers in most cases.  A statistically significant difference was found between mothers and fathers on one of the items of experience of partnership ’I feel that my child’s teacher supports my parenthood’ (p<.001).

15  Both mothers and fathers had positive views about their competence in parenthood and cooperation. A statistically significant difference between mothers and fathers was found: mothers were more interested in cooperation than fathers (p<.001).

16 Results 2/2 Cooperation in transitionprocess  The two-factor solution (using principal Axis factoring) defined following constructs: – preschool-school cooperation (between teachers) – child-parent-school cooperation

17  ’School teacher visits the preschool to talk to the preschool children about school’  ’Written records (portfolio) about individual child’s experiences follow to the school’  ’Before school starts preschool and school teachers held shared meetings with parents’ The most important issues were (parents and teachers):

18 Implications and challenges  How to use the diversity of attitudes and views between parents and professionals as resource?  How to identify the partnership readiness of the parents?  How to confirm parent’s empowerment?  How to support collaboration between parents?

19  How to take care of practical organization and arrangements in ways that meet the wishes of both parties  Equal partnership demands teachers to change from professional focused culture to family-focused culture?

20  The joint aggreement about cooperation and activities between parents and teachers is needed in the transition to school

21 THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION!!


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