Policy Documents

Parent Empowerment and Teacher Professionalism : Teachers' Perspective

Audrey Addi-Raccah and Rinate Arviv-Elyashiv –
March 4, 2008

School decentralization, which has reshaped power relations in the educational system, has empowered teachers and parents. Taking Abbott’s approach to professions, the authors examine teachers’ perceptions of the implications of parents’ empowerment for teacher–parent relations. In-depth interviews with homeroom teachers in affluent urban elementary schools revealed that teachers favored parents’ involvement but also felt vulnerable to the increasing influence of parents, who scrutinized their work and encroached on their professional domain. To counter this, teachers employed political means: open communication and transparency to boost parents’ confidence and trust in their teaching skills or diplomacy to avoid conflicts. This study suggests that, at times of school reform, teachers should develop political tasks to preserve their control over their profession.