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Parent-Teacher Trust and the Cooperation during the Preschool year The 17th EECERA Annual conference 2007 Marita Kontoniemi Pirjo-Liisa Poikonen, Marja-Kristiina.

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Presentation on theme: "Parent-Teacher Trust and the Cooperation during the Preschool year The 17th EECERA Annual conference 2007 Marita Kontoniemi Pirjo-Liisa Poikonen, Marja-Kristiina."— Presentation transcript:

1 Parent-Teacher Trust and the Cooperation during the Preschool year The 17th EECERA Annual conference 2007 Marita Kontoniemi Pirjo-Liisa Poikonen, Marja-Kristiina Lerkkanen & Anna-Maija Poikkeus University of Jyväskylä, Finland and Airi Niilo & Eve Kikas University of Tartu, Estonia

2 Beliefs, expectations & attributions concerning a child Instructional styles & practices, teacher- student interaction Collaboration between teachers Beliefs, expectations & attributions concerning a child Parenting styles, parental efficacy Parental involvement Development of academic skills: preschool, 1st through 4th grade Learning motivation PARENT TEACHER CHILD FIRST STEPS: Learning Interactions between Children, Parents and Teachers Subproject of the CoE on Learning and Motivation Research

3  Trust relates to organisational processes such as communication, collaboration, climate, organizational citizenship, collective efficacy, achievement and effectiveness (Tschannen-Moran & Hoy, 2000).  Hoy and Tschannen-Moran (1999) demonstrated in their factor-analytic study that all of facets of trust covary together and form a coherent construct of trust.  Trust is one party’s willingness to be vulnerable to another party based on the confidence that the latter party is benevolent, reliable, competent, honest and open (Tschannen-Moran & Hoy 1998, 1999). TRUST - a complex concept

4 (1) To examine the level of trust between parents and teachers at the end of the preschool year in two countries Estonia and Finland. (2) To analyse the level of parents’ trust and co-operation towards the preschool teacher in the beginning and in the end of their child’s preschool year. The Aims of the Study

5 Methods and measures Participants 16 Finnish and 67 Estonian preschool teachers Parents of 139 Finnish and 302 Estonian preschool children (6-year-olds) –115 Finnish and 256 Estonian mothers –97 Finnish and 23 Estonian fathers Design Parents and teachers answered to the questionnaire at the beginning (October) and in the end (April) of the preschool year in Finland, and in March - April in Estonia

6 Methods and measures (2) Parents’ questionnaires 1.Beliefs, expectations & attributions concerning a child 2.Parenting styles and parental efficacy 3.Parental involvement 4.Trust and cooperation with teacher: 13 items concerning trust (Trust Scale by Adams & Christenson, 2000) and 4 open questions about cooperation Teachers’ questionnaires 1.Beliefs, expectations & attributions concerning a child 2.Instructional styles & practices 3.Collaboration between teachers 4.Trust and cooperation with teacher: 13 items concerning trust (Trust Scale by Adams & Christenson, 2000) and 4 open questions about cooperation

7 Methods and measures (3) ANALYSIS -Quantitative analysis: paired samples t-tests, factor analyses, ANOVAs (post-hoc analysis with LSD) -Qualitative analyses: open questions

8 Number of children in the family Number of children Estonia % Finland % 147,0 9,2 238,7 28,6 311,6 32,7 42,0 12,2 50,7 7,1 6- 4, ,0 Mean1,71 3,29

9 Parental employment in the Finnish sample STATUS OF EMPLOYMENT FathersMothers Currently working93,8 %58,8 % Unemployed4,1 %12,3 % Studying1,0 %3,5 % Maternity / parental leave -12,3 % Housewife-13,2 % Retired1,0 %- 100 %

10 Family structure in the Finnish sample Family structure% Married spouses and their biological children68,4 Unmarried spouses and their biological children 18,4 Spouses with children from previous relationships 10,2 Single parent with children1,0 Other, e.g., shared parenthood after divorce2,0

11 Teacher's professional experience in day care (n = 16) Years%Freq , , ,63 More than 1543,87 Group size Number of children Freq >201 Finnish teachers and preschools

12 FACTOR ANALYSIS: 2 factors 1. The first factor was named parent-teacher relationship: kindness, respect and positive attitude and the atmosphere of communication.  it explained most of the total variance in trust in all groups: mothers 45%, fathers 63%, and teachers 64%. 2. The second factor was named competence of guidance: teaching skills and the support for the child.  explanation of variance in trust: mothers 9%, fathers 8% and teachers 11%.

13 TRUST IN ESTONIAN AND FINNISH SAMPLES: means Fathers Mothers Teachers Estonia Finland

14 THE BIRTH ORDER OF THE CHILD AND THE PARENTS’ TRUST TOWARDS THE TEACHER only child youngest child firstborn with siblings child with older and younger siblings

15 The level of trust declined during the preschool year Paired Samples Test Means Agree or strongly agree % t Sig. 2- tailed Item 13. The preschool teacher is worthy of my respect FallSpringFallSpring Fathers Mothers 3,  Especially mothers’ trust in teachers differentiated and became more multifaceted.  Mothers became also more critical about the competence of the teacher.  Scores on item 13 “The preschool teacher is worth of my respect.” declined for both mothers and fathers.

16 Paired Samples Test MeansAgree or strongly agree % t Sig. 2- tailed Fathers FallSpringFallSpring Item 5. The teacher is easy to reach when I have a problem or a question. 3,623,4891,889, Item 12. The teacher cares about my child 3,543,3296,991, Item 3. The teacher keeps me well- informed about my child’s progress. 3,233,1082,382,11.37.ns Paired Samples Test MeansAgree or strongly agree % t Sig. 2- tailed Mothers FallSpringFallSpring Item 5. The teacher is easy to reach when I have a problem or a question. 3,803,6596,593, Item 6. The teacher encourages my child’s sense of self-esteem. 3,673,4598,392, Item. 3 The teacher keeps me well- informed about my child’s progress. 3,383,1988,780,

17 Cooperation with the teacher (open questions for Finnish parents) Could you please mention one thing which the preschool teacher could do to promote your trust?  Most of the parents were very satisfied and expressed trust: “I trust wholly on her”, “Everything is OK”, “We have a wonderful teacher”  Only some parents wished to gain more information about their child’s progress and the preschool program or just to have a chance to communicate more often with the teacher: “I would like the teacher to tell more about the daily activities”, “More information of the child's improvement”

18 Cooperation with the teacher 2 (open questions for Finnish parents) If you could change one thing in your child's preschool, what would it be?  25 % of parents answered “nothing” or commented that “everything is perfectly”  Some wished that group sizes would be smaller or they wished changes in the length of the preschool day or the beginning time

19 Cooperation with the teacher 3 (open questions for Finnish parents) What is especially good in cooperation with the preschool teacher(s)?  Openness, trust and respect: “They understand us”, “I can tell them everything”, “Warm and open atmosphere of communication”  Cooperation: “Daily contacts”, “Information on the child's improvement and problems”, “Natural interaction”

20 Cooperation with the teacher 4 (open questions for Finnish parents) What kind of problems or worries have you had concerning your child’s preschool teacher(s)?  The majority of the parents have no problems or worries at all  The worries were most often linked to the big group sizes: parent were concerned whether the teacher has enough time for each child and whether she / he has a chance to pay attention to things happening in the child’s group.

21 Cooperation with the parents (open questions for Finnish preschool teachers) Could you please mention one thing which parents could do to promote your trust to them in relation to the child?  To get more information of the child from the parents.  More openness in the discussions with the parents.

22 Cooperation with the parents 2 (open questions for preschool teachers) What kind of problems and worries have you had with parents in this particular preschool group?  Parents’ lack of time for their children.

23 Cooperation with the parents 3 (open questions for preschool teachers) What is especially good in cooperation with parents in this preschool group?  Trust  Daily contacts and collaboration  Open interaction

24 Cooperation with the parents 4 (open questions for preschool teachers) What kind of wishes and expectations of cooperation with parents have you had?  Openness in communication and interaction  Mutual trust and partnership in education and rearing

25 Conclusions Open communication and information enhance trust Cooperation (daily contacts and discussions) promotes trust Trust is a prerequisite for cooperation It is important to pay attention to the climate of communication and interaction between parents and preschool teachers throughout the school year

26 Trust Scale (Adams & Christenson, 2000) Parent form I am confident that the teacher 1. is doing a good job teaching my child academic subjects. 2. is doing a good job helping my child resolve conflicts with peers. 3. is doing a good job keeping me well-informed of my child’s progress. 4. is doing a good job disciplining my child. 5. is easy to reach when I have a problem or question. 6. is doing a good job encouraging my child’s sense of self-esteem. 7. is doing a good job encouraging my child to have a positive attitude toward learning. 8. is friendly and approachable. 9. is receptive to my input and suggestions. 10. is sensitive to cultural differences. 11. respects me as a competent parent. 12. cares about my child. 13. is worthy of my respect.

27 Trust Scale (Adams & Christenson, 2000) Teacher form I am confident that parents / guardians: 1. are doing a good job teaching their child academic subjects at home. 2. are doing a good job helping their child resolve conflicts with peers. 3. are doing a good job disciplining their child. 4. are easy to reach when I have a question or problem. 5. make me aware of all information I need about their child. 6. are doing a good job encouraging their child’s sense of self-esteem. 7. are doing a good job encouraging their child to have a positive attitude toward learning. 8. are friendly and approachable. 9. are receptive to my input and suggestions. 10. are sensitive to cultural differences. 11. respect me as a competent teacher. 12. are clearly committed to their child’s education. 13. are worthy of my respect.


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