It is with huge pleasure that I declare the Early Years Research Group at Oxford Brookes University is open for business! Nick Swarbrick is first up with a link to his blog posts from his own site, reflecting on the work he and Mat Tobin did at the Oxford Reading Spree in early April:
What does the professional have to do? Assume or require compliance? Or become the dancer, inviting parent and child to join?
In Come and Join the Dance Nick considers the power relationships around reading at home and school. In Partnership, Obedience and Trust, he reflects on the themes of power and partnership further in the light of legal judgments around school absences:
It comes down to the idea that somehow the parents (“the most important job in the world, and it’s left to amateurs”) can have a right to disagree with a professional. Sometimes they do. Sometimes the school makes a mess of the message the team is trying to convey. Been there, on both “sides,” and am always struck, as I look back at the highs and lows of parent-teacher relationships by the dilemma: Does a school demand obedience, or does it inspire (or work to inspire) trust?