Fostering reciprocal home and school relationships using e-portfolios Bateman, Wendy
Grounded in Bronfenbrenner’s (1977, 1994, 2005) bioecological model of human development and Dewey’s (1916/2009) philosophy of democratic education, in this capstone project I examine how the inclusion of students’ voice and family engagement with electronic portfolios in a kindergarten classrooms encourages democratic practices and supports the sharing of power by way of fostering three-way, ongoing communication between educators, kindergarten students and families in a rural Ontario classroom. Relationships are of crucial importance for creating democratic education where power is shared among all parties. However, there can be many factors that hinder the growth of these reciprocal relationships. Electronic portfolios offer a means of surmounting these obstacles to foster the three-way communication that is essential for families to engage in their children’s academic life. A family information night slideshow presentation and a list of recommendations for educators are included as a means of connecting theory to practice and for offering educators a resource for using electronic portfolios. I conclude with recommendations for research and school board level professional development on reciprocal relationships, student’s exposure to digital worlds, and electronic portfolios in the early years.
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