SA Journal of Education, Vol 41, No 3 (2021)

“I’m not a teacher”: A case of (dys)functional parent-teacher partnerships in a South African township

Rockie Sibanda

Abstract


Teachers collaborating with parents is an axiom of successful school programmes. The parents’ role should be supportive and complementary to the teachers’ pedagogical function. A functional or dysfunctional parent-teacher partnership is a predictor of children’s success or failure in school. The functionality of parent-teacher partnerships is often measured through student achievement. The aim of this article was to illuminate how a coordinated parent-teacher partnership can be supportive to children’s schooling. Focus is on teachers’ teaching role complimented with the supportive and monitoring role of parents. Data were collected through interviews with parents and teachers at a township primary school. I engage the concern that a lack of parental involvement affects parent-teacher partnerships in township schools. Findings of this study demonstrate teachers’ lack of understanding of the sociocultural and economic circumstances constraining parental involvement, resulting in a chasm of understanding between teachers and parents on how to collaboratively support children’s learning positions at school and at home.

https://doi.org/10.15700/saje.v41n3a1812

ORCiD iD of author:
Rockie Sibanda - https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9578-6031

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