Parents and teachers in education, can social exchange theory explain the nature of the relationship?
Mahon, Maureen F.
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The overall purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy of the social exchange theory model, and in particular the norm of reciprocity, with respect to the relationship between parents and teachers within early years classrooms (kindergarten through grade four). Specifically, the study investigated parents and teachers perceptions of influence and level of satisfaction on issues related to sharing of information and decision making within schools. In order to achieve the objective, data were collected from a non-probability sample of 41 parents and 17 teachers within the Catholic school system in Winnipeg, Manitoba. A three part, self-completed questionnaire was used to collect the data. The results of the analysis of covariance suggested that there were no significant differences between parents and teachers mean scores on influence or satisfaction. Further analyses on individual items revealed statistically significant differences between parents and teachers discrepancy scores on the following items: assessment of academic performance, issues related to school budget, staffing, and placement issues. The social exchange model was an effective tool with which to examine the elationship between parents and teachers. The results of this study have shown that there would appear to be a level of reciprocity between the two groups. Early years educators and parents should continue to strive towards building positive, reciprocal relationships that can then be maintained as the years progress.