Parent engagement in early childhood education: Pandemic period
Parent engagement contributes greatly to the teachers and parents as well as the child. Within the scope of this study, it was aimed to examine the opinions and practices of preschool teachers about parent engagement studies during pandemic period in depth. For this purpose, phenomenology, which is one of the qualitative research methods, was used. 53 preschool teachers who were determined with the maximum diversity sampling method participated in the study. The study employed a semi-structured interview form. The researchers gathered the study's data through online interviews and one-on-one phone calls with preschool teachers. The audio recordings from the participants' interviews were transcribed, and then inductive and comparative analysis were conducted. As a result of the research, the theme of parent engagement in the pandemic includes the parent as the teacher, activities, engagement problems and strategies to increase engagement. Research findings have shown that parent engagement has become necessary, even mandatory, especially during the pandemic period. Even, in this period, the concept of the parent as a proxy teacher draws attention. This research results showed that the importance of parents' engagement in education and parents' becoming better equipped in the education of their children. At the microsystem level, it is clear that the Ministry of Education should encourage parent engagement. At this time, it appears to be beneficial in terms of both addressing gaps in this area and following up-to-date studies by offering in-service training to teachers on Ministry of Education parent engagement studies. Furthermore, rather than relying on teachers' initiative, the Ministry should make parent engagement works mandatory.
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