This chapter will explore the concept of home school partnerships within British early years education. The advantages of effective relationships between home and school will be briefly outlined before the historical development of the concept discussed. It will be argued that home school interactions are historically situated within a deficit paradigm, wherein a desire to overcome social inequality is paramount. Consequently, enhancing learning through continuity and cohesion between home and school learning practices dominate professional perspectives on school-home relationships. Due to the growing influence of social constructivism, the relative position of parents within this exchange has changed over time and led to the inception of partnership working. Nonetheless, partnership working between home and school remains fraught with practical and conceptual complexities and may necessitate the mutual renegotiation of the constructs of ‘parent’ and ‘professional’. In turn, any renegotiation may require an understanding of the habits of thought underlying these constructs, as well as the time and space for renegotiation. Finally, overcoming inequality, the driving force behind current patterns of partnership working, may depend on systemic change, beyond enhancing the home learning environment, which the emphasis on partnership working may disguise.
Part of the book: Parenting