Mutual trust in the collaboration between parents and child care institutions

Publikation: Konferencebidrag uden forlag/tidsskriftKonferenceabstrakt til konferenceForskningpeer review


1. Research topic/aim: The aim of this presentation is to contribute to the understanding of the relational nature and dynamics of trust in the relationship between parents and the child care institutions. During the last decade across the globe there has been a progressive focus on parental involvement in the early childhood education and care (ECEC) as a means of promoting learning, development and wellbeing of children (Ma, Shen, Krenn, Hu & Yuan, 2016). Whilst trust has been identified as the foundational element of parent-teacher collaboration in schools, only few studies have considered it in early education. Although Denmark has a long tradition of close collaboration with parents in ECEC, trust has been a taken for granted aspect. 2. Theoretical framework: Based on a sociocultural understanding of human learning and development which emphasize on the interdependence of individuals and their environment, we are particularly inspired in the work of Marková and Gillespie (2008), and the philosophical ideas of Løgstrup (1997) and Baier (1986) about trust in the exploration of the interactional dimension of collaboration. 3. Methodological design: From an interpretive paradigm, a qualitative study was carried out, where 64 parents, 32 pedagogues and 8 childminders and 8 childcare center leaders from Jutland in Denmark, were interviewed. All participants were informed of the objectives of the research, expectations of participations in terms of time and content, and their rights of anonymity and withdrawal. 4. Expected conclusions/findings: Identifying an interrelated macro, meso and micro level of analysis, it is shown how the parents and pedagogues establish an mutual trust that is initially based on the already existing societal values of trust attributed to the institutions. This initial mutual trust can be “thick” or “thin” depending on how shared are their systems of meanings about their competencies and willingness for caring about the child. Trust is argued to be a double performative aspect where both parts have to show that are trustworthy and that trust the other. On this basis, knowledge, acknowledgement, openness, honesty, kindness and benevolence are identified to play a role in the dynamics of the emergence, sustainability, re-establishment and ending of trust. We argue that a qualitative and cultural sensitive approach to the analysis of trust, enables the improvement of work and collaboration in the childcare centers. 5. Relevance to Nordic educational research: In times where the new public management, accountability and standardized assessment are progressively incorporated in the everyday practices of the nordic ECEC institutions, the relations between parents and the practitioners are also being re-defined. Unrevealing the overseeing trust in this relation opens possibilities for maintaining and establishing authentic parental participation.
StatusUdgivet - 2019
BegivenhedNERA Congress 2019: Education in a globalized world - Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sverige
Varighed: 6 mar. 20198 mar. 2019


KonferenceNERA Congress 2019
LokationUppsala University