An Examination of the Parent-teacher Relationship as Universal Protection against Preschool Expulsion
thesisposted on 01.08.2020, 00:00 by Courtney Zulauf
Across the United States, rates of preschool expulsion exceed those in K-12 and relatively little is known of how to prevent such disciplinary decisions. Adding to the concerning rate in which children are being expelled, is that preschool expulsion disproportionately affects children of color, especially boys. The present study explores a potential protective strategy existent in all early childhood centers, the relationship formed between parents and teachers. Surveys and interviews with early childhood teachers and parents outline the association between the parent-teacher relationship and a child’s risk for expulsion. Quantitative findings indicate that high-quality parent-teacher relationships are related to a lower risk for expulsion for children who have not been expelled, with the strongest association found for Black children. Interviews with teachers and parents of children who have been expelled provide rich detail about protective practices and styles of interactions between parents and teachers that can be used in future training programs and interventions.