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ERIC Number: ED441617
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Apr
Pages: 15
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Building Equitable Staff-Parent Communication in Early Childhood Settings: An Australian Case Study.
Hughes, Patrick; MacNaughton, Glenda
International research has consistently found that early childhood staff are anxious about their relationships with parents. This qualitative study examined the perceptions of early childhood staff from a variety of early childhood settings in Australia regarding their experiences with the federal government's Quality Improvement and Accreditation Scheme (QIAS). The study focused on their perceptions of the requirement for centers to involve parents in their programs. Participating in this ongoing study thus far have been 15 staff from 3 centers from diverse areas in Australia. Most participants had formal training in early childhood education and were Anglo-Australian. Data were collected by means of a structured questionnaire, semi-structured focus group discussions, and telephone interviews with individuals. Four interpretive case studies were generated, each highlighting key communication strategies that staff associated with "good" parent involvement practices: (1) disclosing personal information about family life; (2) parents understanding and respecting the professional's knowledge about the child; (3) parents revealing ignorance as much as their expertise; and (4) parents offering resources to the center. The findings revealed that participants were consistently ambivalent about involving parents in their program because developing a shared understanding with parents about what was in the best interests of their child was neither easy nor guaranteed. Staff often dismissed QIAS requirements for formal written communication, preferring informal verbal communication because it allowed them to negotiate shared meanings with parents. Findings pose implications for the knowledge-power relation between parents and staff. (Contains 16 references.) (KB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia