In order to study the nature of the relationships between early childhood educators and minority families, we interviewed child care teachers (N = 199) and supervisors (N = 77) in three Canadian cities of major immigrant influx. Views of minority families were elicited through 14 focus groups (total attendance, N = 108) in these cities. A coordinated analysis of data revealed four main findings as follows: 1) Although both minority parents and teachers agreed that minority parents were not involved enough in the child care setting, they disagreed about the reasons for the lack of involvement. 2) Minority parents and teachers tended to be unaware of their basic differences in ECE goals, particularly with respect to cognition, social skills, and respect for authority; they gave conflicting accounts of difficulties related to these goals. 3) Schools and minority parents appeared to have substantial differences over what constitutes proper child-rearing methods in the home. The practices of minority parents were often viewed by teachers as lax. 4) Based on teachers' and parents' reports, racial and discriminatory incidents, according to the various definitions of those involved, were not uncommon in child care centers; sometimes teachers were unaware of them. Subtle and unintended effects of racism were much more noticed by some parents than by many teachers. Some of these difficulties may be linked to an “expert model” of early childhood education; hence it is proposed that a collaborative approach is one avenue to better relations between teachers and minority parents.
Bernhard, Judith K.; Lefebvre, Marie Louise; Kilbride, Kenise Murphy; Chud, Gyda; and Lange, Rika, "Troubled Relationships in Early Childhood Education: Parent-Teacher Interactions in Ethnoculturally Diverse Child Care Settings" (1988). Early Childhood Education Publications and Research. Paper 15.