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Teachers, parents, and whānau working together in early childhood education

Linda Mitchell, with Maggie Haggerty, Viv Hampton, and Ann Pairman

This project in six early childhood education centres combined professional development with action research to support ways in which teachers, and parents and whänau worked together to enhance children’s learning and wellbeing. 

Where partnerships with parents developed, consciously formulated actions and strategies created a welcoming environment. Parents identified affective factors as the most important characteristic of a good early childhood education service.

Centres devised unique ways to integrate action between home and the centre, such as a diary going home with a different child each week, where the parents could record stories, provide photos and drawings of the child’s experiences at home. A value of the project was to identify ways of finding out parent views, and the opportunity for critical discussion of data to surface surprising aspects, such as gender-based assumptions.

Child outcomes were not a focus but the research that makes the link between this “working together” and child outcomes is surveyed in the report. Interviews suggested that including parents in curriculum, planning and assessment discussions had consequences for children: parents became more understanding of their own child’s learning; children seemed to benefit.

Year published: 
Publication type: 
Research report
Full text download: 
not full-text
Ann Pairman
Linda Mitchell
Maggie Haggerty
Viv Hampton