The Contribution of School-Family Cooperation on Effective Classroom Management in Early Childhood Education*

Article excerpt

Abstract

This study aims to determine the level of the contribution of school-family cooperation on effective classroom management in early childhood education, and what should be desired contribution according to views of parents and teachers. The data was collected qualitatively through semi-structured interview forms in downtown Gaziantep during the during the spring semester of 2011/2012 academic year. The participants of this study are; 28 preschool teachers, and 23 parents of the students of the selected 5 schools with convenience sampling method. Descriptive analysis and content analyses were performed for analyzing the interview results. As the findings of this study showed; most of the teachers think that the parents give them support in all the questioned dimensions except when coping with students' misbehaviors. However, some of the teachers and parents think that there are still problematic areas in the school-family cooperation and various improvements should be made for developing this cooperation.

Key Words

School-Family Cooperation, Classroom Management, Early Childhood Education.

Parents play a key role in their children's academic progress and school achievement. Parental support of the child in the home (e.g., emotional support, helping with homework, assistance with encouragement, and educational decisions) influence school success (Peterson et al., 2011). Involvement and participation of parents in schooling has consistently been shown to impact children's improvement and achievement (Epstein, 1983; Fehrmann, Keith, & Reimers, 1987; Stevenson & Baker, 1987; Lee & Green, 2008). Effective collaboration between schools and families is a significant factor for improving the children success and the effectiveness of schools (Mortimore, Sammons, Stoll, Lewis, & Ecob, 1988; Sammons, Hillman, & Mortimore, 1995). In addition, the literature argues that good collaboration between teachers and parents can bring, not only effectiveness, but also improvement in other areas of the school, for example, the way a classroom is managed (Angelides, Theophanous, & Leigh, 2006).

Classroom management is one of the most important factors in providing education to students (Evertson & Weinstein, 2006; Wang, Haertel, & Walberg, 1993). Research and common sense clearly demonstrated that effective teacher classroom management strategies diminish and avert classroom- disruptive behavior (Hawkins, Catalano, Kosterman, Abbott, & Hill, 1999; Kellam, Ling, Merisca, Brown, & Ialongo, 1998; Walker, Colvin, & Ramsey, 1995) support student interest in learning (Kunter, Baumert, & Koller, 2007) and improve academic achievement and school willingness (Webster-Stratton & Reid, 2004). On the other hand, ineffective classroom management practices cause to decrease in students' motivation and increase the students' misbehaviors in the classroom (Jones & Jones, 2004). These schools should take immediate action, because effective classroom management form the basis of effective teaching and learning. Administrators, teachers, and parents should be employed in a cooperative effort for effective classroom management. Teachers and parents have major roles to play in effectively managing students' behaviors in classroom (Marzano, 2011).

In this sense, to design an effective teaching and learning environment, a successful classroom management and organization comprised of motivating students for achievement, helping students for enhancing their performance, preventing misbehaviors, and solving students' social and psychological problems (Çelik, 2009; Erdogan et al., 2010). The teacher and parents' communication (e.g., Parents' meetings, private conversations, home visits) is very important to motivate students for success and to solve the child's poor behavior (Morgan, 2010). In order to increase the existing rate of school-parent cooperation for effective classroom management, the schools should initiate more social activities with parents, employing guidance service to increase communication and address expectations and respective needs (Mahasneh et al. …