Parents and teachers in early childhood special education
Luke, Sara Elizabeth
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The terms parent-teacher relationship and partnership are used frequently throughout the literature in early childhood education and special education, and their prevalence may imply that we know more than we really do about what takes place between parents and teachers, and how these parties should cultivate and sustain relationships with one another. This study focused on the research questions: (1) What are parents’ expectations of the role of the teacher in their children’s education and how do they characterize their relationship? (2) What are the parents’ lived experiences of relating to each of their children’s special education preschool teachers? (3) How do parents perceive and interpret teachers’ interactions with them, and how do these perceptions shape their responses and involvement in their children’s education? Data collection methods for this study included semi-structured interviews and document analysis. Findings from the study might inform educators in ways that help them begin and build more positive relationships with the parents of their students. Furthermore, this study raises additional questions that we as researchers might continue to investigate in order to gain a more comprehensive understanding of this important relationship.