Ambivalent partners: Relationships between mothers and teachers in a full-time child care center

Wendy Hobbins McGrath, University of Pennsylvania

Abstract

This one-year-long ethnographic case study of mother-teacher relationships in a Toddler Room of a child care center asked: What is the nature of mother-teacher relationships in the child care center and what is the work mothers and teachers do to construct those relationships? The setting for the study was an ethnically and economically diverse child care center in a large East-coast city serving children from the ages of 2 to 5. Within the child care center, the research focused on the daily interactions and relationships among mothers and teachers. Embedded within this case study was a microethnographic video analysis of mother-teacher interactions in the classroom during morning drop-off and evening pick-up times. This study's findings show that mothers and teachers often had mixed feelings about their “unique and yet overlapping roles” which created ambivalence in their relationships with one another.

Subject Area

Educational sociology|Preschool education

Recommended Citation

McGrath, Wendy Hobbins, "Ambivalent partners: Relationships between mothers and teachers in a full-time child care center" (2003). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI3087432.
https://repository.upenn.edu/dissertations/AAI3087432

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