Enhancing Interactions: Understanding Family Pedagogy and Funds of Knowledge “on Their Turf”
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Establishing partnerships with families that go beyond casual social interactions is an important goal for early childhood teachers. International evidence highlights the positive link between strong teacher-family partnerships and children’s learning (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development [OECD] 2012). However, developing and sustaining strong partnerships with families can be challenging. This chapter is guided by a view of families as people with expertise. We discuss the value of home visits to gain insights into families’ pedagogy and funds of knowledge. Visiting families “on their turf” (Allen and Tracy 2004, p. 198) is a powerful method for understanding family pedagogy through the interactions that occur within families. We argue that understanding family pedagogy enhances teachers’ pedagogy, deepening learning interactions that occur within early childhood settings. We illustrate in this chapter the transformative power of visiting families to gain enhanced insights into family interactions for subsequent improved pedagogical interactions in an early childhood setting.
We wish to thank Zoe and her family for their generous participation in our study. Thanks to Auckland Kindergarten Association for funding release time for Daniel to write this chapter. We would like to thank the teachers and centre owner of Small Kauri ECE Centre and the New Zealand Council for Educational Research for TLRI funding. The University of Auckland Human Participants Ethics Committee approved the home visit postgraduate study (reference number 2012/8222) and the TLRI project (reference number 2012/7896).
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