3.6 Parents and practitioners supporting each other
At the beginning of Section 1 of this course we gave a definition of partnership, which included the idea that it is ‘a joint business’. We next consider a partnership initiative in which parents and practitioners act both jointly and interdependently.
Article on parents and children under three at Tate Britain, London
Activity 6 Combining expertise
Now read Article 2 (above). As you read, consider the ways in which parents and practitioners work together to enable very young children to be in a public gallery and learn from the experience.
Although public galleries nowadays are open to a range of audiences, including children, it is still not common to find programmes specifically aimed at under threes. Meeting the needs of very young children in a prominent public gallery could be seen as a ‘risky’ thing to do.
However, as you read in the chapter, the inclusion of parents as partners can greatly reduce such risks, and actually increase the impact of the workshops for the children. The workshop leaders were well qualified to provide learning experiences, both for children and parents. This combination of practitioners' professional knowledge and parents' understanding of the needs of their children was a very powerful mix of expertise.
Maybe you create opportunities in your own setting for parents to make such a contribution to your work with the children. Or perhaps you can envisage how you might encourage this form of ‘interdependent’ partnership.