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Title: Making connections through the 'other' : an exploration of mutuality between parents and teachers
Author: Buntin, Joanne
ISNI:       0000 0004 5361 134X
Awarding Body: University of Newcastle Upon Tyne
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis problematises home-school ‘partnership’ and comprises three chapters: a systematic literature review, a bridging document and a piece of empirical research. In the systematic review I examine the role of social class in parent-school relationships and provide a synthesis from documented experiences of parents and teachers of both working and middle class backgrounds. The findings suggest that parental social class can impact on interactions with teachers in differing ways. Power was found to be embedded in school cultures and in the boundaries and receptivity between working and middle class parents and teachers. Reciprocal relationships were possible when local knowledge and community practices were rooted in school culture. The bridging document discusses my theoretical underpinnings, epistemological decisions and ethical considerations of the research and brings together the literature review and the research project. The empirical research explored whether mutuality was possible in parent-teacher relationships and if so its nature and role. Through conceptualising mutuality through a relational and dialogic lens I was interested to find out if there was potential to create conversations between parents and teachers which were jointly owned, non-goal directed and on-going and would go some way to creating more equitable participation. A participatory action research (PAR) framework was adopted with five mothers and five members of staff in a local primary school in the North East of England. Joint and separate sessions of parents and teachers took place over a seven month period. Relational approaches, based on narrative therapy and Video Interaction Guidance (VIG), were used and multiple forms of data were co-created. Parents and teachers identified what had been important about the way they were working together. Three processes that may have enabled mutuality to develop are discussed; i) making connections through the ‘other’, ii) outsider’s perspective, and iii) creative tension in dialogue. This paper concludes that despite literature suggesting parent-school relationships almost always develop in the interests of the staff and school rather than parents from areas of socio-economic disadvantage, this research proposes that mutuality created the potential to move beyond existing power imbalances and towards more equitable practices.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available