ing quality, effective practices in early childhood settings requires not only understanding of what these practices consist, but also the ability to recognize and assess their presence or absence. In this Application Assignment, you will utilize the assessment instrument provided in your Required Resources, adding at least two factors to the instrument that you feel are integral to assessing the quality of family partnerships. You will also interview a teacher or program director at the site to give you a more complete understanding of the program and practices. The last part of this assignment requires you to reflect on the quality of practices in this setting relative to these targeted factors and what you have been learning throughout these past two weeks.
- Print out and review the Cultivating Relationships and Family Partnerships Environmental Assessment and Interview Form.
- Add two factors that you believe will help you better assess the program and practices.
- Review the interview portion of the assignment, making sure you fully understand each question prior to making your observation/interview appointment.
- Make sure that you have all materials that you need to conduct the observation and interview prior to arriving at the scheduled observation/interview time.
- Arrive on time.
- Choose a place to observe where you can see and hear but are unobtrusive.
- Conduct the interview in an area that is convenient for the professional, being respectful of his or her schedule.
- Keep the following observation guidelines in mind:
Try to not make assumptions; objectivity is essential.
Record what you observe.
Note any questions you would like to ask in the interview.
Remember that you are observing one moment in time and so are not privy to specific circumstances and/or situations that may be affecting individual children or staff.
Try to keep to the time span that you agreed upon for the observation and be sure to thank the teacher(s) in the room and the person you interview.
Reflect on your observation and interview. Review your notes and consider the knowledge and insights you gained from this experience. Include the following:
- Summarize your observation and interview experience.
- Describe the ways in which what you learned from your observation and interview reflected and/or contradicted what you have learned about effective programs and practice designed to cultivate relationships and form partnerships with families.
- Based on your assessment of the program’s effectiveness, what practices do you feel should be continued? What additional suggestions would you make? What is your rationale for these suggestions?
Cultivating Relationships and Family Partnerships
Environmental Assessment and Interview Form
Name and Type of Program:
Ages of Children Served:
Before you begin, thank the professional and provide a brief overview of your assignment.
Part 1: Observation
For each of the following factors, indicate supporting evidence in the right-hand column. If absent, please indicate. Add the two factors you have chosen at the bottom of the chart.
Note: It may be difficult to observe family involvement and partnership in the short amount of time you are observing in this setting. If you do not see any of the factors below, make a note to ask the teacher in your interview about whether they are a part of the program. Your interview should provide you with much more information to round out your view of the ways in which this program builds relationships and cultivates family partnerships.
Children’s families are reflected in the classroom
Effective strategies for communication with families are utilized
There is collaboration between families and professionals
There is meaningful dialogue between families and professionals
Family diversity is respected/reflected in the environment
[The additional factor that you have chosen to observe]
Part 2: Interview
Professional’s Role in Program:
1. How do you learn about individual families?
2. How is dialogue between staff and families encouraged?
3. What opportunities exist for family involvement? How are these opportunities tailored to family interests, strengths, needs, cultural backgrounds, and areas of expertise?
4. In what ways do you work to understand different families’ cultural expectations?
5. What policies specifically reflect a commitment to developing relationships and effective partnerships?
6. What strategies are used to communicate with families on an ongoing basis?
7. How are home-school relationships cultivated?
8. What partnerships exist between the program and community to support families?
9. Is there anything else you would like to share that would help me better understand the ways in which you build and value relationships and family partnerships?
© Laureate Education, Inc