Skip to main content
Login | Suomeksi | På svenska | In English

Browsing by Author "Hytönen, Laura"

Sort by: Order: Results:

  • Hytönen, Laura (2022)
    The purpose of this thesis was to understand early childhood education teachers' perceptions of their roles as parenting supporters, as well as the factors influencing the formation of these roles. Previous studies show that cooperation with parents is important, but supporting parenting as part of the early childhood education teacher's work has received little attention. However, in light of the statistics, there is a need for parenting support, but especially the function of early childhood education as a provider of support would need a more precise definition. The background theory of the research was the role theory used in the social sciences, according to which human social behavior is guided by models adopted based on expectations, roles. The research material was gathered through an electric survey, which was answered by 42 teachers. The data was analyzed using research methods of qualitative research content analysis. The analysis showed that the early childhood education teachers' views on the amount and quality of parenting support vary notably between individual teachers. The expectations placed on teachers and thus also their roles as parenting supporters are diverse. Through analysis and classification, eight parenting supporter roles were found in the material; (1) educational partner, (2) delimiter, (3) listener, (4) speaker, (5) guide, (6) expert, (7) reinforcer and (8) problem solver. Each of these is built on role expectations, that were percieved by the teachers to be set either by the children's parents or by colleagues working in the early childhood education context with the teacher. The roles also represent the teachers' own role experiences, which combines personal views, experiences and individual personality. The experiential factor that most affects the role of parenting supporter was the teachers' possible personal experience of parenthood. Based on the results of the study, it can be stated that early childhood education teachers fulfill their task of parenting support through a variety of roles. Based on the teachers' answers, the combined effect of an inadequate definition of parenting support and conflicting role expectations creates a high risk of role conflict and role ambiguity. The effects of these on performance at work and well-being at work should be considered. In the light of the results, the creation of parenting supporting structures and operating models, as well as bringing them into the everyday life of early childhood education, can be seen as essential in terms of clarifying the role of the parenting supporter.