Capturing the Complexities of Collaborative Partnerships in Early Childhood Through Metaphor

Article


Mason, Kathy, Brown, Alice and Carter, Susan. 2023. "Capturing the Complexities of Collaborative Partnerships in Early Childhood Through Metaphor." Early Childhood Education Journal. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10643-023-01580-x
Article Title

Capturing the Complexities of Collaborative Partnerships in Early Childhood Through Metaphor

ERA Journal ID20179
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsMason, Kathy, Brown, Alice and Carter, Susan
Journal TitleEarly Childhood Education Journal
Number of Pages11
Year2023
PublisherSpringer
Place of PublicationNetherlands
ISSN0092-4199
1082-3301
1573-1707
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1007/s10643-023-01580-x
Web Address (URL)https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10643-023-01580-x
Abstract

Within an early childhood setting strong collaborative partnerships between the service and the family are critical to the success of a child’s development and learning. Collaborative interactions with families are considered indicators of quality within early childhood services. Whilst the value and importance of collaborative partnerships are widely agreed upon, the plethora of terms utilised to describe collaborative partnerships, and the multitude of models for its enactment have muddied the waters for successful interpretation and application in practice. This paper employs metaphor as a way of creating conceptual clarity of the complex issues surfaced in the literature related to collaborative partnerships and their intended implementation in curriculum and policy, and what practices occur in services globally. Findings highlight a mismatch between discourse and practice and elucidate the missed opportunities for collaborative partnerships towards improving service quality. Insights identified in this paper are relevant to the early childhood sector, highlighting a call for further clarity and interpretation of the term and mechanisms of quality collaborative partnership to inform practices in the field. This paper suggests new ways of thinking that rupture taken for granted viewpoints, offering the metaphor of a tandem bicycle to reflect the collaborative partnership between educators and families. This article provides a powerful provocation for the early childhood field to encourage reflection and refinement to existing conceptualisations of family-educator relationships.

Keywordscollaborative partnerships; Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC); Family-education relationships; Metaphor
Contains Sensitive ContentDoes not contain sensitive content
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390302. Early childhood education
Byline AffiliationsUniversity of Southern Queensland
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