Parents’ and teachers’ well-functioning communication supports their partnership and also benefits pupils’ well-being. Today, communication largely takes place using electronic tools. In the current study, Finnish parents’ (N = 1123) and teachers’ (N = 118) opinions on digital communication in urban and rural areas were studied by applying a new 14-item Digital Communication Scale (DCS) created for the purpose. The three-factor structured DCS was used to elucidate parents’ and teachers’ views on their partnership, feedback, and clarity of messaging. In contrast to some negative headlines and myths, the main finding of our study was overall satisfaction with digital communication, which was seen as supporting the parent-teacher partnership and providing valuable information on pupils’ development and their everyday issues. In particular, rural parents seemed satisfied with digital communication as a partnership-building tool. However, the view of parents was that they received less encouraging feedback about their children than teachers believed they had given. On the other hand, teachers experienced more ambiguity in digital communication than parents. This was more salient among urban teachers than among rural teachers. To summarize, rural parents and rural teachers saw digital communication as serving their collaboration better than did their urban peers. The results of the current study can be used for further development of parent-teacher communication in digital environments.
Fields of Science
- 516 Educational sciences