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The family-teacher partnership: What is the nature of this relationship when children are schooled in hospital?
journal contributionposted on 2020-01-01, 00:00 authored by Liz RouseLiz Rouse
Partnerships are one of the key practice principles guiding the practice of early years teachers in Australia, and are explicitly noted in the policy frameworks. However, teachers working with children in hospital face many complexities in establishing and maintaining partnerships with families when facing serious, and at times, life-threatening illnesses. This paper will present the findings of a project undertaken with teachers working in large paediatric hospital in Australia. The study explored the nature of the relationships teachers develop with families as they reflect notions of partnership. Drawing on Bronfenbrenner’s process-person-context-time model the study found that the context of the child, the family and the environment are all interwoven factors influencing the connections made with families. Empathy and care are two pedagogical approaches enacted by the teachers in transforming relationships into effective partnerships. The study found that parents are also enabled as key decision makers in the learning process.