1.2.3 Why work together?
It seems important to ask this question. There are many reasons why parents and practitioners should work together. Researchers and practitioners often stress the benefits for children's learning when practitioners, parents and children work as an effective team. Parent-practitioner collaboration can be important to children's identity, self-esteem and psychological wellbeing. The close cooperation of parents and practitioners in providing support to children is especially important during times of change and transition. This alone is a compelling reason for a close partnership.
It is certainly desirable that the key adults in children's lives relate to them and encourage them in similar ways. To get a sense of the extent to which parents can be involved in children's education, it is helpful to distinguish three distinct roles:
- parents are educators;
- parents give 'background' support to practitioners;
- many parents work alongside practitioners.