Monash University
04. Hedges, Fleer, Fleer-Stout, Hanh (49-68).pdf (246.02 kB)

04. Aspiring to quality teacher–parent partnerships in Vietnam: Building localised funds of knowledge

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journal contribution
posted on 2019-05-15, 00:55 authored by Helen Hedges, Marilyn Fleer, Freya Fleer-Stout, Le Thi Bich Hanh
Collaborative and reciprocal teacher–parent partnerships have been established in prior research as vital in empowering ethnic-minority children to be competent learners who value their home background, culture, and language and also learn the language used by teachers as the medium of education. Such collaborative relationships may be challenging to imagine and achieve in countries that have complex political, cultural, social, and economic histories. This paper demonstrates, through a case study in Vietnam, how partnership relationships might be reconceptualised. The research team, comprising both international and local researchers, sought to collectively identify teacher–parent partnership practices that foregrounded local funds of knowledge, and generated a zone of potential development for dialogue about quality practices for teacher–parent partnerships. Through a transformative collaborative workshop process, a tool for aspiring towards quality teacher–parent partnerships was developed. Drawing upon cultural-historical theory, the paper argues that the tool captured the dialectical relations between everyday concepts from practice and academic concepts of quality from the literature (Vygotsky, 1987). These concepts challenged teachers’ beliefs and assumptions about families’ backgrounds and knowledges, thus enabling teachers to consider more reciprocal relationships and build greater insights into the existing funds of knowledge held by families and communities than previously.

International Research in Early Childhood Education, vol. 7, no. 3, p. 49–68 (incl. Appendix)