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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM ON PHONE OR TABLET 16 Chapter 2 members. Two-way communication might occur in an interactive journal (hard copy or electronic format) shared by teacher and family, or it might be accomplished with e-mail or on the floor of the classroom while children are playing nearby. Family-centered care programs can look very different from each other. The defining charac- teristic in a family-centered care program is that all five principles will be in place. Remember those from the first chapter? In family-centered care, families and teachers build partnerships by • recognizing and respecting one another’s knowledge and expertise • sharing information through two-way communication • sharing power and decision making • acknowledging and respecting diversity • creating networks of support Looking in depth at the five principles of family- centered care, you will discover the many ways each principle is integrally related to all of the others. Acknowledging diversity is crucial for respecting the knowledge and expertise of fami lies and for building true mutual partnerships. Two-way communication is essential for sharing power and decision making, and it is a primary step in building networks. The more familiar you become with the principles, the clearer the interrelationships will be. In this chapter, we’ll look at the five principles of family-centered care in depth. Recognizing and Respecting One Another’s Knowledge and Expertise Families and teachers each bring unique exper- tise and experience to the partnership. Recog- nizing and respecting the knowledge of each person is essential to building an effective part- nership. Parents have funds of knowledge about their individual children and family over time and in many different circumstances that can provide a wealth of information to educators about their children (Moll et al. 1992; González et al. 1995). Parents teach children language, skills, values, and ideas. Parents advocate for their children’s safety, rights, and education. Families choose educational settings for their children. Some families are aware of the im- portance of their role in their children’s growth and development, while others are not. Teach- ers have education and training in child devel- opment, as well as experience in working with children in groups. A teacher-family partnership is only effective when parents as well as teach- ers feel competent, confident, and respected. In this kind of relationship, families experience empowerment, a sense of self-confidence, and clarity about the validity of their role. Empow- erment here does not mean that parents have power over others; instead, it refers to their own growing sense of confidence and effectiveness in their job as parents. Parent Expertise What do families know about their children? Make a list of all the information that a family might know about their child. How much of this information do your families share with you? Are there other systems you could imple- ment to invite families to share this important information with you? Look at the list in the section on “Parent Knowledge and Expertise,” and compare it with your list. COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL