Listening to Student Concerns: An Instructional Strategy to Expand Student Perspectives

May. 18, 2012

Source: Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, Volume 33, Issue 2, 2012, pages 190-201

It is essential that young children's caregivers and teachers build professional relationships with children's parents, because these relationships influence the children's present and later learning environments both at home and in school.

While listening to parents is a well-established value in the field of Early Childhood Care and Education, details about what “listening to parents” means seem less clear in the literature, research, and our own pedagogy as early childhood educators.

Incidentally, teacher candidates and advanced teacher students sometimes voice concerns related specifically to listening to parents.
Therefore, the purpose of this reflective position paper is threefold:
to provide teacher educators with three literature-based reasons to share with their students about why it is important to listen to parents;
to identify familiar comments, concerns, and feelings that the students have voiced about listening to parents;
and to provide five practical cooperative-learning activities that will potentially influence their students' practices.

Updated: Jun. 19, 2013