Building Parent/Professional Partnerships: an Innovative Approach for Teacher Education

Apr. 25, 2008

Source: The Teacher Educator, Volume 43, Issue 2 April 2008 , pages 87 - 108


The value of cooperation between parents and educators is well-recognized. However, many preservice educators feel they lack the skills and confidence needed to establish and maintain effective partnerships with parents.
This qualitative study was designed to explore one approach to improving teacher preparation with respect to parent/professional partnerships. An undergraduate course for preservice special education teachers was modified to provide students with multiple opportunities for meaningful interaction with parents of children with disabilities.
One parent served as co-instructor of the course while six additional parents were embedded in the course for the entire semester. Pre- and post-intervention focus groups were conducted to describe the impact of this course innovation on the preservice students' dispositions and competencies regarding parent/professional partnerships.
Results indicate that student dispositions changed from viewing parents as uncaring, uninvolved, and unknowledgeable to valuing them as experts on the child and partners in the decision-making process .


Updated: Oct. 02, 2008