The purpose of this study was to explore how connections between families, communities and educators can be facilitated in teacher education courses through the use of playgroups. Barriers to building relationships, as well as the perceived benefits of these relationships to families and pre-service teachers, were also explored. Participants were involved in weekly university-based community playgroups. Focus group interviews were conducted and the constant comparative method was used to analyse interview transcripts. Themes of 'Constraints' and 'Enablers' emerged from pre-service teachers' transcripts, indicating that they were initially uncomfortable with community and family involvement but eventually made connections as to why this was important. The theme of 'positive relationship building' emerged from parents' transcripts, indicating that they saw building relationships with families and communities as an important role of early childhood educators. Implications for the importance of authentic learning situations for fostering these relationsh ps in teacher education courses are discussed.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Australian Journal of Early Childhood|
|Publication status||Published - 2012|