Exploring intercultural understanding through home-school communication in an international school

  • Michelle Brinn

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Education (EdD)


This inquiry was prompted by a desire to understand ‘partnership working’ (DfE, 2012, p.3) with the diverse parental body of a British International School Pre-Nursery based in Bangkok. It was hypothesised that this necessitated the co-construction of a shared understanding between home and school about a child’s learning. Nonetheless, the manner in which this could be achieved was unclear. Consequently, an explorative case study was instigated to gain a greater understanding of home-school interactions within this context. Influenced by Early Years policy and literature, as well as concepts of dialogue and interculturalism, it was hypothesised that involving parents within the redevelopment of a reporting and assessment tool may support the co-construction of a shared understanding about the child as a learner. Accordingly, a series of parental meetings were organised to elicit parental views. The parental meetings were illuminating and prompted the adaptation of a range of tools and artefacts to scaffold parents into a greater understanding of Pre-Nursery pedagogy and to engage them in a learning dialogue with school. At the completion of the study, evidence indicated that the development of a shared understanding between home and school had been achieved. This suggested that integrating conceptions of scaffolding and co-construction within home-school communication enhanced the potential for partnership working. Nonetheless, the complexities of engaging with the diverse parental body found within international education were also highlighted. In addition, the inquiry highlighted the difficulties of sustaining and extending practice innovations. It was concluded that further research may be necessary to fully understand partnership working within this context and to develop the consistent whole school approach deemed necessary to support its implementation.
Date of Award20 May 2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorDavid Skidmore (Supervisor) & Rita Chawla-Duggan (Supervisor)


  • parental partnerships
  • Early Years
  • international education
  • interculturalism
  • dialogue

Cite this