Preparing (pre-service) teachers for family-school partnerships: a challenge for teacher education

Over the last decades research has shown the significant contribution of the collaboration between parents and teachers towards students’ academic achievement, social development and/or sense of wellbeing in all levels of education.

However, teachers have been emphasizing that collaborating with parents is often a challenge and they considered themselves not always sufficiently prepared. The call for more attention to Family-school partnerships (FSP) in teacher education programs is therefore not new. Most research on pre-service teachers preparation has been conducted in North America or Australasia.

Hardly any research has been conducted about the state of the art of pre-service teachers’ preparation for FSP in Initial teacher education in European countries. At the same time responding to global and societal developments such as the increase of technology and social media, globalization and growing diversity, the rise of global citizenship, migration, or the changing issues concerning equality also involves education and the ways in which  parents and teachers collaborate.
These challenges  raise the question whether existing pedagogies are sufficient or whether more developed  pedagogies to prepare pre-service teachers for FSP are needed.

In a recent published special issue in the Journal of Education for Teaching attention is paid to research on the state of the art of preparing pre-service teachers for FSP in initial teacher education programs in England, Switzerland, the Netherlands/Belgium, Spain, and Finland; and on research on new approaches or pedagogies to improve teacher preparation regarding family engagement.

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Dr. Martijn Willemse
EAPRIL Chair Elect