Partnerships between parents with immigrant backgrounds and professionals in early childhood education and care
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This thesis investigates barriers and facilitators for partnerships between parents with immigrant backgrounds and professionals in early childhood education and care (ECEC). It is article based and comprises three articles and an extended abstract. The extended abstract presents the overarching aim of the thesis, clarifies relevant concepts, and provides an update on the literature within the field. It further presents the theoretical framework, methodological approach, and results before, lastly, discussing the overall contribution of the thesis to the field. Paper I synthesizes previous empirical research on partnerships between parents with immigrant backgrounds and professionals in ECEC in an overview review. The review included 25 articles published between 2000 and 2018. This study identified barriers and facilitators for partnerships between parents with immigrant backgrounds and professionals in ECEC related to language, asymmetrical power relations, and cultural differences and disagreements. Regarding the facilitators, the paper suggests that partnerships can be promoted through hiring bilingual staff, using translators, translating materials into the home languages of the families, translanguaging, allotting enough time for communication, and showing respect and patience. Paper II investigates the views of ECEC professionals from four European countries regarding their partnerships with parents in multicultural classrooms, and reveals whether their partnership views can be predicted by the professionals’ characteristics and practices. The paper draws on survey data from the European research project Inclusive education and social support to tackle inequalities in society (ISOTIS). The findings indicate that the professionals have quite positive views on several aspects of their partnerships with the parents, with high levels of reciprocal relations and low levels of problem-oriented contact and hierarchical relations. However, they also reveal a potential for more shared beliefs with the parents. Lastly, several aspects of partnerships were predicted by professionals’ multicultural practices, by their diversity-related self-efficacy, and by their own cultural backgrounds. Paper III investigates views on partnerships among parents with immigrant backgrounds and professionals in ECEC and their beliefs about multicultural and multilingual education. The paper draws on survey data from Norway from the ISOTIS project. The findings indicate that both parents and professionals have positive partnership views, although parents report significantly more positive views than the professionals do. For multicultural practices, the findings suggest that both parents and professionals value practices promoting cultural diversity. However, when it comes to multilingual beliefs, parents and professionals reveal large variations in beliefs, with significant differences between the groups. Overall, this thesis identifies that barriers and facilitators for partnerships between parents with immigrant backgrounds and professionals in ECEC are mainly found within the content areas of language, power dynamics, and multiculturalism. It further shows how barriers and facilitators for partnerships are largely interconnected and highly context-sensitive as they, for example, may differ between immigrant groups and countries. Lastly, several of the identified facilitators are found among professionals’ practices, which emphasizes the significance of their role and their opportunities to facilitate partnerships with parents with immigrant backgrounds.
Has partsPaper I: Norheim, H., & Moser, T. (2020). Barriers and facilitators for partnerships between parents with immigrant backgrounds and professionals in ECEC: A review based on empirical research. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 28(6), 1–17. https://doi.org/10.1080/1350293X.2020.1836582
Paper II: Norheim, H., Broekhuizen, M., Moser, T., & Pastori, G. (under review). ECEC professionals’ views on partnerships with parents in multicultural classrooms in four European countries. Submitted to International Journal of Child Care and Education Policy. (Omitted from online edition)
Paper III: Norheim, H., Moser, T., & Broekhuizen, M. (resubmitted with minor revisions). Partnerships in multicultural ECEC settings in Norway – Perspectives from parents and professionals. Submitted to Nordic Early Childhood Educational Research. (Omitted from online edition)