What Parents and Teachers Say About Their Relationships in ECEC: A Study in Rural China


A growing body of literature refers to the potential of parental involvement (PI) as a critical educational remedy and solution for a diversity of issues in ECEC. However, the reflection of mainstream values and assumptions and the lack of attention to cultural differences in this existing body of literature has been criticized. In this article, we, therefore, conducted 15 focus groups to explore parents and teachers’ perspectives on what they perceive as ‘good’ for children in ECEC and on the relationship between families and schools in rural China. The findings indicate that parents and teachers’ consider ECEC as a long-term investment in terms of social and intellectual capital. Furthermore, the conflicts between teachers and parents in our study on learning ideas were downplayed by ‘pushed-down’ reforming policy, and PI was featured by including parents into the life of youeryuan, as well as the pedagogicalization of parents. This article concludes with a discussion about the findings and the potential of building relationships of mutual exchange, connectedness and solidarity.

Author Information
Yan Li, Independent Scholar, Belgium
Jiacheng Li, East China Normal University, China
Jochen Devlieghere, Ghent University, Belgium
Michel Vandenbroeck, Ghent University, Belgium

Paper Information
Conference: ACE2020
Stream: Educational Research

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon