"Whose job is it anyway?" : a phenomenological exploration of the roles that parents and teachers ascribe to themselves and each other in the overall education of children

  • Alan Robert Ebbens

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)


This study explores the roles that parents and teachers ascribe to themselves and each other regarding the education and all-round development of children. Previous research has focused predominantly on the factors behind parents' decisions to become involved in their child's education. This study seeks to illuminate and compare the thoughts and beliefs which underlie the role constructions of both parents and teachers and may impact directly upon the extent and nature of their working relationship. Findings derived from an interpretative phenomenological analysis of in-depth semi-structured interviews suggest that both groups are hugely dedicated and committed to their roles and to improving outcomes for children. They also suggest a number of areas where the perceptions of parents and teachers diverge, leading to different emphases on the expectations each has of the other. These differences include perceptions of self-efficacy, parental voice, the vulnerability of children, the most effective balance between support and challenge for children, and the extent of the parents' role in academic education. The implications of the findings are considered in terms of the working relationship between parents and teachers, outcomes for children and the practice of professional Educational Psychology.
Date of Award2011
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorAnne Knight-Elliott (Supervisor)

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