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The study is part of a project of cooperation between University West and the elementary schools of the Municipal of Uddevalla. Since the project has an interactive approach the purpose/research questions and the choice of methods have been developed in dialogue between researcher and practitioners. The overall purpose has primarily been to make visible both the good examples as well as the difficult situations in teacher´s relationships with children defined as "having problems", as well as with their parents. Further it is to develop and strengthen the professional competence of the teachers. The specific aim of this part of the project is to explore how teachers perceive their relationships with the parents of children defined as "having problems"? What are the possibilities and which are the obstacles?

The empirical material consist of ten qualitative interviews with female teacher´s teaching in 1-3 grade. The theoretical point of departure is a relational approach and a perspective of power. Relational work, relational competence and relational practices are understood as being entangled with practices of power.

The analysis shows that the informants emphasize the role of the parents in supporting their children and that they see it being of vital importance to create a trusting relationship with the parents. To create and sustain this relationship the informants use a multitude of relational practices; such as giving positive feed- back, making the child responsible, listen, show empathy, be personal as well as setting boundaries. The ideal for cooperation is a partnership in which the teacher and parent/s work together as a team, however with the teacher defining "the problem" and leading the work. The mail obstacle to co-operation is defined by the informants is the lack of insight or understanding of the parents, them not willing to  acknowledge of the "problems" of their child.

Research environment / Institution

  • Barn och unga
  • Institutionen för individ och samhälle

Participants University West

Research Partner

  • Uddevalla kommun

Project time

2014 - 2015