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Managing Parent Capital: Parent-Teacher Digital Communication Among Early Childhood Educators

TitleManaging Parent Capital: Parent-Teacher Digital Communication Among Early Childhood Educators
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsErdreich L
Secondary TitleItalian Journal of Sociology of Education
Date Published02/2021
PublisherPadova University Press
Place PublishedPadova, IT
ISSN Number2035-4983
Keywordscultural capital, digital communication, parent-teacher communication, parental involvement, social capital

This study deals with the perceptions of ‘proper parental involvement’ disseminated through digital parent-teacher communication in early childhood education, and its required uses of cultural and social capital. The article bridges between sociological literature on the implications of the digitalization of educational practices and on parenting and family-school relations from a cultural capital perspective. Qualitative data was collected through an online discussion of early childhood educators on their own uses of digital communications with parents. Analysis revealed that digital communication is unidirectional, preserving teachers’ professional status and harnessing parents’ cultural capital to complementary educational work. Teachers set up a culture of use that manages and limits parents’ use of social capital and the expansion of parental social networks. The research points to discrepancies between the discourse of parental involvement and the profession of educating, the unutilized potential of digital media in parent-teacher communication, and the need for further attention to differences in parents’ digital competencies and access.