Establishing Family-Educator Partnerships as Children Living in Complex Circumstances Make the Transition to School

Susanne Rogers

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Abstract

Family'educator partnerships feature in policy documents and research across the world. The importance of families and educators establishing effective relationships as children make the transition to school also features in national and international research and policy documents. Transition to school is a period of adjustment for the entire family and is also a time of establishing new and significant relationships (Dockett, Perry, & Kearney, 2012; Griebel & Niesel, 2009; Langford, 2010; Pianta, Rimm-Kaufman, & Cox, 1999). The transition to school affords a range of opportunities to develop positive family'educator partnerships (Christenson, 1999).This study uses bioecological theory, particularly the Person'Process'Context'Time model (Bronfenbrenner & Morris, 2006), to analyse the perspectives of adult family members and educators in relation to family-educator partnerships, established as children living in complex circumstances make the transition to school. A key premise of the research was that 'Understanding the family point of view about school transition is critical to designing and implementing more effective strategies that will help families and schools together guide children towards success from the beginning of their school years' (Langford, 2010, p. 185). The qualitative study used a constructivist grounded theory approach to identify the predominant issues for the adult family members (all mothers). The perspectives of the educators were compared with these and both have contributed to the discussion. Points of congruence and disparity are identified and discussed. The nexus of family member and educator perspectives are:' Relationships of trust and respect' Information sharing' CommunicationThe transition to school affords opportunities for the establishment of new relationships which have the potential to act as a foundation for family'educator partnerships. However, this study identifies many of the challenges involved in the establishment of such partnerships. One such challenge is the divergent understandings of the term partnership between family members and educators. The differing perspectives of family members and educators, along with varying perspectives amongst educators mean that family'educator partnerships are not fixed in form or purpose, are contextually based and are dependent on the perspectives of the people involved.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Charles Sturt University
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Perry, Bob, Co-Supervisor
  • Dockett, Sue, Co-Supervisor
Award date07 Aug 2015
Place of PublicationAustralia
Publisher
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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