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Title: Parents and teachers talking : a 'community of practice'? : relationships between parents and teachers of children with special educational needs
Author: Laluvein, Jacqueline
ISNI:       0000 0004 2700 014X
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2007
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Viewing parents as partners within education is enshrined in legislation. Using dyadic case studies of parents and teachers, jointly involved with children "giving cause for concern", this thesis shows that relationships between parents and teachers, when involved in a collective social practice of a potentially conflictual and contradictory nature, are characterised by diverse agendas, expectations and priorities. In these cases, the parent-teacher interface functions as a critical meeting ground for dialogue and as a lens through which to view the dynamics of mutuality and reciprocity. Wenger's concept of the 'community of practice', deployed as an 'ideal model', functions as a template for examining parent-teacher relationships within a social theory of learning which sees learning as an expression of social participation. Membership of a 'community of practice' implies collaborative mutual engagement in a joint project where meaning and strategies are constructed through negotiation and where participation increases whilst exclusionary processes decrease. The research reveals a spectrum of non-linear relationships subject to differences in socio-economic status, gender, personality, situation, motivation and context. Given the non-linear nature of relationships, and the need for liaison and negotiation of meanings, can this theory, with its social rather than didactic approach to problem-solving, contribute to the improvement of school and teacher-parent focused educational decision-making situations which affect children's life chances? Schools are potential sites for shared practice. However despite the legislation and the rhetoric, many schools lack effective mechanisms and resources for facilitating the active participation of parents and children. This thesis explores themes in relation to linking special educational needs, parent-teacher relationships and the 'duty of care' to the 'community of practice' theory. It draws attention to implications for the construction of effective parent-teacher partnerships grounded in a broad conceptualisation of inclusion and democratic decision-making processes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available