• Parent-Teacher Partnership: Diagnosing the Divide: A Meta-Synthesis

      Martin, Jennifer (University of Alaska Southeast, 2014)
      Relationships between educators and parents are a requirement of IDEA 2004. Often these interactions have been characterized by misunderstanding, tension, and parents’ contentions that teachers do not have the best interests of their child as a focus. This causes a divide in the parent-school relationship. As times have changed, this divide has as well…it has grown. So what are the reasons that the divide continues to grow? What causes parents to distrust teachers and schools or become un-involved in their child’s education? What causes teachers to distance themselves from parents? What can we do about it? This meta-synthesis delves into these questions of the parent/teacher divide, and the implications of what schools need to do to fix the ever-widening gulf. The research suggests that there are many ways that we can bridge this divide. However, to make this happen, schools need to be proactive, family-centered, and be willing to work with parents outside of regular school hours. Both school and parents need to be able and willing to look at their own feelings and preconceived notions about school and parent involvement.