Similarities and differences in discourses on practitioner-parent partnerships in early childhood provision in England, Hungary and Kazakhstan

  • Murray, J. (Speaker)
  • Teszenyi, E. (Speaker)
  • Marzhan Tajiyeva (Speaker)
  • Aigul Iskakova (Speaker)
  • Anikό Vargáné Nagy (Speaker)
  • Pálfi Sándor (Speaker)

Activity: Academic Talks or PresentationsOral presentationResearch


This paper reports on a study concerned with the question ‘What do academics and the literature reveal about the similarities and differences concerning practitioner-parent partnerships in early childhood provision in Kazakhstan, Hungary and England?’ In an international context where policy and investment have increasingly become focused on early childhood provision, the rationale for early childhood provision lacks consensus and within this diverse landscape, parents are positioned variably, for example, sometimes they are seen as less powerful than early childhood practitioners in their children’s lives, yet at other times as more powerful, sometimes as empowered consumers and busy employees, yet at other times as potential supporters of their children’s premature schoolification. Against this eclectic backdrop, inconsistencies are apparent in the nature of relationships between parents and early childhood providers, both within countries and between countries. The present study results from academic scholarships between universities in Kazakhstan, Hungary and England and draws on initial perceptions of disjuncture and connections that were scientifically established during a critical review of the three countries’ policy, literature and research regarding practitioner-parent partnerships in early childhood provision. The volume and quality of literature across the three countries was found to be variable but five key themes emerged from the literature. These five themes are then used to inform the second phase of the study: the capture of authentic narratives from Kazakh, Hungarian and English early childhood academics concerning parent-practitioner partnership in their home countries. The study is located in the interpretive paradigm and adopts narrative research in spoken and written forms. Adopted methods include critical review of the literature and semi-structured focus group interviews with experienced academics in the field of early childhood who have also worked as practitioners (n=18). Thematic analysis was utilised for both methods as it offered a valuable inductive model that fit the qualitative research design, allowing participants’ authentic voices to emerge. Due consideration was given to ethics, appropriate to each country’s protocols. In addition to the emergence of an overarching theme - ‘Parent partnership in early childhood provision in Hungary, Kazakhstan and England’ - other themes include, inter alia, parental choice in early childhood provision and power imbalances in parent-practitioner partnership in early childhood provision. The study process has allowed for new cross-cultural understandings between Hungary, Kazakhstan and England regarding parent-practitioner partnerships in the field of early childhood provision. It is expected that its final outcomes will enrich that understanding further in relation to extant themes and potentially new themes.
Period8 Sept 2015
Event titleEuropean Conference on Educational Research (ECER) Conference 2015
Event typeConference
Degree of RecognitionRegional