Role of the researcher and Data Collection:
Researchers conducted interviews that consisted of the same 13 open ended questions as their primary method of gathering data.
10 teachers, 5 school personnel
14 females, 1 male
Methods of analysis:
Interviews converted into verbatim transcripts
Analyzed with NVivio 7.0 (qualitative research software)
Patterns found in responses were categorized into 6 themes
- Effective FSC required experience of its benefits and a 'shared vision' with parents.
- Effective FSC should build communication and trust (quickly).
- Effective FSC happens when personnel schedules in availability specifically to relay messages to families.
- Progress updates
- Twice a year, at 15 minutes each
- Conference (face-to-face)
- Personnel unanimously acknowledged the importance of a knowledgable and supportive administration for successful FSC.
- Conversely, non-teaching personnel emphasized the importance of supporting teachers, as they are the primary liaison to families.
- Good climate consists of an important working relationship between teacher and parent.
- Participants unanimously stated they lacked formal education, training, and support for FSC.
- Communication must be expanded beyond traditional methods.
- Most experience with parent-teacher communication was gained through their own parenthood and/or coming from a military family as well.
- Personnel must harness the ability to address the diverse communication needs of military families.
- The relationship between educators and families should constitute a mutual partnership.
- All personnel should be able to approach families with sensitivity and make knowing them a priority.
- Parents are young.
- Common stressors that they must be accustomed to recognizing was mostly deployment, transfer, and many children living in temporary one-parent households.
- Personnel lack the validation of their teaching strategies because student turnover is so quick that results are hard to calculate.
- Personnel must make fleeting time with students of some value to their lives and education.