The Impact of Psychological Empowerment and Organizational Culture on the Early Childhood Teacher–Parent Partnerships in South Korea

The Impact of Psychological Empowerment and Organizational Culture on the Early Childhood... Abstract The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of psychological empowerment and organizational culture on the cooperation between teachers and parents of young children. The participants were 438 teachers working in early childhood education institutions in South Korea. Likert questionnaires were used to examine the teachers’ perceptions on their psychological empowerment, organizational culture of their institutions, and their partnerships with parents. The study found that the older the teachers were, the longer their careers were, the longer they worked at their current institutions, and the younger the children they took care of were, the better partnerships with parents the teachers perceived to have. When teachers reported high levels of psychological empowerment or were more likely to see their organizational culture as a group, developmental, and hierarchical culture, they tended to perceive their partnerships with parents positively. Last, psychological empowerment and organizational culture predicted teacher–parent partnerships uniquely after controlling for teachers’ demographic backgrounds. As a child belongs to a family and an education system, these two environmental systems affect children not only independently but interacting in various complex ways, making an impact on the development and learning of the child (Bronfenbrenner, 1979). Parents and educational institutions differ in values and norms and function in different physical environments. In addition to the conflicting views on desirable behavior of children, inconsistencies in how parents and teachers interact with and discipline children may confuse children and have a negative effect on learning. Because parents and educational institutions have a common goal, striving for the holistic development of children, the two groups can increase the effectiveness of education if they work together and communicate with each other (see Ware, Barfoot, Rusher, & Owen, 1995). According to ecological theory, strong linkage between home and child care enhances developmental potential (Bronfenbrenner, 1979; Owen, Ware, & Barfoot, 2000). That is, when teachers and parents are in a complementary and cooperative relationship, children come to have consistent and continuous experiences across both environments, which can stimulate the balanced development of children, as a lack on one side can be complemented in another environment (Galindo & Sheldon, 2012). Teachers and parents may be able to maintain more appropriate or sensitive interactions by relying on information about the child shared with each other. A teacher understands better by being aware of what kind of experience a child has at home through a relationship with the child’s parent. Sensitive, supportive, and stimulating interactions are indicators of quality care and education and require the understanding of experiences and needs of the individual child. Through the continuous cooperation and interaction with parents, the teacher may be provided with information about the personal needs, interests, and learning style of the child from the person who knows the developmental process and the personal characteristics of the child the best (Gelfer, 1991). Thus, the teacher will be able to expand the understanding of the child and to plan teaching methods to meet that child’s individual characteristics and needs (Lopez, Scribner, & Mahitivanichcha, 2001). Communication and cooperation between teachers and parents not only provide a means of linking homes and institutions for young children, but also help teachers interact with children properly and positively enable children to deal with the problem behavior immediately (El Nokali, Bachman, & Votruba-Drzal, 2010). In fact, teachers who communicate with parents often were more sensitive to the young children and gave more support and stimulation (Owen et al., 2000). In addition, teachers can feel more self-confident in teaching children and experience a more positive sentiment about their role when teachers and parents have formed a positive relationship (Gestwicki, 2007). It is difficult for teachers to achieve the goal of education without the proper cooperation from the parents, whether the parents are from a traditional family or not. In this study, parents are either biological or nonbiological fathers or mothers who are predominantly involved in child rearing and live together with the child; grandparents or other kinship care situations would be considered parents for the purpose of this study, but none of the participants fit this category. Despite the importance of the school–family linkage, excessive competition, hierarchical ranking structures, indifference, and alienation among members in today’s society are intensifying and threatening trust and partnership among teachers and parents. In addition, it has become more difficult to form a partnership as teachers report feeling increasingly powerless and exhausted (H. H. Lee & Hwang, 2015), as a result of an increase of parents’ mistrust of teachers following reported abuse of young children. To regain parents’ trust in education, various researchers and practitioners have suggested the establishment of a cooperation system between teachers and parents. However, it is insufficient to find out what factors affect teacher–parent partnership system because these studies have focused on identifying the effects of partnerships. Studies on partnership between early childhood teachers and parents can be largely divided into individual variables and organizational variables of teachers. Empowerment is becoming a necessity for coping with developments and changes compelling all kinds of organizations (Baird & Wang, 2010) to implement different managerial practices to deal with the challenges more rapidly. Psychological empowerment is a process that promotes the inherent psychological motives by perceiving meaning, competence, influence, and self-determination on task (Thomas & Velthouse, 1990). Psychological empowerment seems to be a relevant individual factor affecting the challenged partnerships between teachers and parents in the field of education by bringing teachers into the decision-making processes and providing future-oriented management as a goal (Darling, 1996). Empowerment in teachers consists of six dimensions: participation in decision-making processes, professional development, status, self-efficacy, autonomy, and impact on others and educational issues at school (Short & Rinehart, 1992). Psychological empowerment of teachers who perceive themselves competent appears to be a prominent contributor to effective home–school partnerships. Teachers who see themselves as competent initiate efforts to involve parents in school matters and report higher levels of parent involvement (Hoover-Dempsey, Bassler, & Brissie, 1992). Individuals with a high degree of psychological empowerment believe that job results could affect the organization to which they belong, and thus they take ownership of their tasks, value their jobs, and have faith and confidence in their skills (Spreitzer, 1996). Studies carried out in South Korea on psychological empowerment in teachers have observed that it helps in professional development. Psychological empowerment makes a positive impact on attitudes, especially when it comes to organizational commitment, innovative behavior, and job satisfaction. Teachers with high empowerment report being satisfied with their jobs, whereas teachers with low empowerment are more likely to experience job burnout (Amoli & Youran, 2014; H. E. Lee, Kim, Woo, Kim, & Moon, 2012; Wu, 1995). Psychological empowerment of early childhood teachers affects their satisfaction with relationships with other members of their institutions (Chung, Yoon, Park, & Cha, 2016). Competence, influence, and self-determination were found to be necessary for carrying out the roles and responsibilities of organization members, for sharing and achieving educational goals, and participatory decision making and conflict management (Heo, 2006). This suggests that psychological empowerment of early childhood teachers as a factor influencing job satisfaction can affect partnerships with parents in terms of the degree of overall satisfaction felt by relationships and working conditions or welfare-related duties. Another variable affecting teacher–parent partnerships is the teachers’ recognition of the organizational culture of their institution. This study explores the influence of organizational culture in early childhood education institutions on teacher–parent partnerships. Recently, organizational culture has emerged as a key theme in the field of education. Because an educational institution forms a unique culture of its own and the cultural traits that teachers take on affect their professional life and behavior, organizational culture directly or indirectly affects the education of children (Mok & Flynn, 1997) and influences the effectiveness and efficiency of the organization (Deal, 1985; Owens, 2001). A unique corporate culture of early childhood education facilities affects the organization and the behaviors and interactions of the members of the organization and the selection of educational content, teaching, and learning behavior (Deal, 1985). Organizational culture affects the day-to-day behavior and attitudes and serves to motivate its members to improve their work, or it may cause a reduction or decline in their job performance by negatively affecting morale (Deal & Kennedy, 1982). Teachers report that cultural characteristics of school organization influence their commitment to the organization and the organization’s stability (Zhu, Devos, & Li, 2011). Especially noteworthy is the coexistence of intimate relational culture like that of a family, innovative culture with the commitment to grow and to challenge, hierarchical culture with the director as the leader, and rational culture of efficiency and practice among early childhood education institutions in South Korea (J. A. Kim & Lee, 2008). In institutions with cooperative, collective, and relational culture, teachers report a high level of job satisfaction and empowerment (M. J. Kim & Park, 2014); in those with innovation-oriented culture, teachers are committed to and satisfied with their jobs more (Ahn & Yoo, 2009). The more hierarchy-oriented culture the institution has, the higher job-related stress teachers report experiencing (Cho, Choi, & Kang, 2012). When an organization supports autonomy and promotes transformation and development, teachers report being happier (Y. E. Kim, 2014). In other words, the impact of the organizational culture of early childhood education institutions on the job satisfaction, job involvement, and stress makes a difference, and this suggests that the organizational culture may have an influence on partnerships between teachers and parents. The associations between organizational culture of early childhood education institutions, psychological empowerment of teachers, and teachers’ partnerships with parents have seldom been studied. This study, therefore, aimed to examine the impact of psychological empowerment and organizational culture on the cooperation between teachers and parents of young children. We formulated our study as a series of three research questions: Are there differences in teacher–parent partnerships depending on the demographic characteristics and organizational variables of the early childhood education institution? What are the relationships between psychological empowerment of teachers, the organizational culture of their institutions, and teacher–parent partnerships? Do psychological empowerment and organizational culture in the early childhood education institutions uniquely predict teacher–parent partnerships? Method Procedures and Participants The survey questionnaires were distributed to 460 teachers working at early childhood education facilities located in five metropolitan areas of South Korea. Personnel in administration were not included in the survey. We used snowball sampling method, starting with 28 teachers attending a graduate school and had a 95 percent response rate (438 out of 460). We and the first 28 teachers provided explanations about the purposes and contents of the study to colleagues and acquaintances in the early childhood education field and asked the participants to complete consents if they were willing to join the study. Teachers were 20 to 54 years old (M = 30). Work experience varied from less than one year to 28 years (M = 5.77). Years working at current institution ranged from less than one year to 10 years (M = 1.61). Regarding the type of institution, 75 percent of teachers worked at private or corporative institutions and a little more than half the teachers worked at kindergartens. Participants cared for young children ranging from one year old to five years old (age at the beginning of the study). More than half the teachers had a bachelor or a master’s degree (for a complete summary of descriptive statistics, see Table 1). Table 1: Descriptive Statistics of Teachers (N = 438) Variable  n  %  Age   20s  246  56.6   30s  112  25.7   40s and older  54  12.4  Years at current job   0–4  213  49.0   5–9  148  34.0   10 or longer  68  15.7  Years at current institution   0–2  254  58.4   3–4  112  25.7   5 or more  64  14.7  Type of institution 1   National or public  96  22.1   Private or corporative  326  74.9  Type of institution 2   Kindergarten  200  46.0   Day care  222  51.0  Age of children in classroom (years)   1  50  11.5   2  69  15.9   3  95  21.8   4  95  21.8   5  102  23.4  Education level   College graduate or less  185  42.5   University graduate or more  250  57.5  Variable  n  %  Age   20s  246  56.6   30s  112  25.7   40s and older  54  12.4  Years at current job   0–4  213  49.0   5–9  148  34.0   10 or longer  68  15.7  Years at current institution   0–2  254  58.4   3–4  112  25.7   5 or more  64  14.7  Type of institution 1   National or public  96  22.1   Private or corporative  326  74.9  Type of institution 2   Kindergarten  200  46.0   Day care  222  51.0  Age of children in classroom (years)   1  50  11.5   2  69  15.9   3  95  21.8   4  95  21.8   5  102  23.4  Education level   College graduate or less  185  42.5   University graduate or more  250  57.5  Table 1: Descriptive Statistics of Teachers (N = 438) Variable  n  %  Age   20s  246  56.6   30s  112  25.7   40s and older  54  12.4  Years at current job   0–4  213  49.0   5–9  148  34.0   10 or longer  68  15.7  Years at current institution   0–2  254  58.4   3–4  112  25.7   5 or more  64  14.7  Type of institution 1   National or public  96  22.1   Private or corporative  326  74.9  Type of institution 2   Kindergarten  200  46.0   Day care  222  51.0  Age of children in classroom (years)   1  50  11.5   2  69  15.9   3  95  21.8   4  95  21.8   5  102  23.4  Education level   College graduate or less  185  42.5   University graduate or more  250  57.5  Variable  n  %  Age   20s  246  56.6   30s  112  25.7   40s and older  54  12.4  Years at current job   0–4  213  49.0   5–9  148  34.0   10 or longer  68  15.7  Years at current institution   0–2  254  58.4   3–4  112  25.7   5 or more  64  14.7  Type of institution 1   National or public  96  22.1   Private or corporative  326  74.9  Type of institution 2   Kindergarten  200  46.0   Day care  222  51.0  Age of children in classroom (years)   1  50  11.5   2  69  15.9   3  95  21.8   4  95  21.8   5  102  23.4  Education level   College graduate or less  185  42.5   University graduate or more  250  57.5  Measures Psychological Empowerment Psychological empowerment was assessed using the Korean adaptation (D. J. Lee & Kim, 2011) of the scale that was originally developed and validated by Spreitzer (1995). The five-point Likert scale consists of 12 items grouped into four dimensions. Sample items include “The work I do is meaningful” (meaning), “I am confident about my ability to do my job” (competence), “I have autonomy in determining how I do my job” (self-determination), and “My impact on what happens in the institution is large” (impact), and the four dimensions contribute to an overall construct of empowerment. A higher score reflects the higher extent of internal task motivation, reflecting psychological orientation in which the individual wishes to shape her or his work role. Cronbach’s alphas for meaning, competence, self-determination, and impact in the Korean version of the scale were .87, .93, .86, and .94 (D. J. Lee & Kim, 2011) and the alphas in this study were .80, .77, .75, and .87, respectively, suggesting good reliability. Organizational Culture Organizational culture was assessed using the Korean version of the Organizational Culture Scale, which was developed by Quinn and McGrath (1985) and was adapted for the early childhood education field (Park, 2012). The five-point Likert scale consists of four dimensions: developmental culture (five items), group culture (five items), hierarchical culture (five items), and rational culture (five items). Sample items include “The organization where I work regards creativity, innovation, and other changing values as important” (developmental); “Staff are cooperative and reliable” (group); “The organization emphasizes stability and constancy” (hierarchical); and “Task performance and accomplishment are the essential evaluation criteria for staff” (rational). The reliability of the scale in this study was fairly good at .84, .84, .73, and .85 for developmental, group, hierarchical, and rational components, respectively, compared with the Cronbach’s alphas of .89, .90, .89, and.89 in Park (2012). Teacher–Parent Partnerships Teachers’ perceptions of teacher–parent partnerships were measured using the Korean version (Yim, 2010) of the Caregiver-Parent Partnership Scale, which was developed by Owen et al. (2000). The scale measures the extent to which early childhood teachers communicate with and incorporate parents in educating and guiding the children. The 14 items of the scale were classified as the three composites: sharing information (six items; for example, “How often do you tell a parent about feelings shown by child during the day?”); seeking information (three items; for example, “How often do you ask a parent about child’s behavior at home?”); and Adult relations (five items; for example, “How often do you ask a parent to share talents or skills at center?”). Teachers rated the frequency of various partnership behaviors with the parent on a five-point Likert scale, with higher scores indicating more frequent partnership behavior. The reliability of the subscales in Owen et al. (2000) were well established with alphas of .88, .73, and .80 for sharing information, seeking information, and adult relations, and the alphas in this sample were fairly good, with .86, .76, and .78, respectively. Statistical Analyses To test the first research question, independent sample t test and analysis of variance were implemented to look for differences in partnership with parents perceived by teachers depending on demographic factors. For the second research question, Pearson correlation analysis was conducted to test the magnitude and direction of relationships between the explanatory variables and the outcome variable. To establish a genuine correlation between variables, partial correlations controlled by demographic variables and by psychological empowerment were performed. The third research question was tested with hierarchical regression analyses to examine the unique predictability of psychological empowerment and organizational culture on teacher–parent partnerships after controlling for demographic variables of teachers. Results Teacher–Parent Partnerships by Demographics of Teachers Teachers perceived a high level of partnership with parents, and there was significant difference between age groups (F = 4.06, p < .05), as shown in Table 2. Post-hoc test results showed that teachers in their 40s or older perceived their partnerships with parents to be better than teachers in their 20s did. The perception of partnerships with parents differed by teachers’ work history (F = 8.15, p < .001). Teachers with more than five years of working history reported a higher level of partnerships with parents than teachers with fewer than five years of working history. Teachers who had been working at their current institution for more than five years perceived to have significantly better partnerships with parents than teachers with fewer than five years at their current institution (F = 7.71, p < .01). Whether teachers worked at an (a) national or public institution or (b) a private institution or corporation did not make any significant difference in their perception of their partnerships with parents (F = .00, p > .05). Teaching at a kindergarten or day care made significant difference in teachers’ perception of their partnerships with parents (F = 15.58, p < .001). Day care teachers perceive a higher level of partnerships with parents than kindergarten teachers. Age group of children made a significant difference in teachers’ perception of their partnerships with parents: One-year-old classroom teachers reported a higher level of partnerships with parents than those teaching four- or five-year-olds (F = 3.46, p < .01). Teachers’ perception of their partnerships with parents differed by their education level (F = 6.06, p < .05). Teachers with four-year university degree or graduate degree reported a higher level of partnerships with parents than teachers with three-year college or teacher training course completion. Because there was no significant difference in teachers’ perception of their partnerships with parents between national or public and private institutions or corporations, type of institution 1 was excluded in further analyses. Table 2: Differences in Teacher–Parent Partnership by Teachers’ Demographics (N = 438) Variable  M  SD  t/F  Post-Hoc  Age      4.06*  DunnettT3   20s (a)  56.72  7.44    c > a   30s (b)  57.94  6.77       40s and older (c)  59.67  6.88      Work history (years)      8.15***  DunnettT3   0–4 (a)  56.06  7.29    b > a   5–9 (b)  58.76  6.85    c > a   10 years or longer (c)  58.94  6.72      Years at current institution      7.71**  DunnettT3   0–2 (a)  56.43  7.43    c > a   3–4 (b)  57.86  7.10    c > b   5 or more (c)  60.32  5.98      Type of institution 1      .00     National or public  57.49  6.78       Private or corporative  57.45  7.40      Type of institution 2      15.58***     Kindergarten  56.02  8.00       Daycare  58.77  6.24      Age of children in classroom (years)      3.46**  DunnettT3   1  60.50  6.59    d < a   2  57.64  6.87    e < a   3  57.62  7.13       4  55.94  7.94       5  56.73  7.42      Education level      6.06*     College graduate or less  56.42  7.58       University graduate or more  58.15  6.93      Variable  M  SD  t/F  Post-Hoc  Age      4.06*  DunnettT3   20s (a)  56.72  7.44    c > a   30s (b)  57.94  6.77       40s and older (c)  59.67  6.88      Work history (years)      8.15***  DunnettT3   0–4 (a)  56.06  7.29    b > a   5–9 (b)  58.76  6.85    c > a   10 years or longer (c)  58.94  6.72      Years at current institution      7.71**  DunnettT3   0–2 (a)  56.43  7.43    c > a   3–4 (b)  57.86  7.10    c > b   5 or more (c)  60.32  5.98      Type of institution 1      .00     National or public  57.49  6.78       Private or corporative  57.45  7.40      Type of institution 2      15.58***     Kindergarten  56.02  8.00       Daycare  58.77  6.24      Age of children in classroom (years)      3.46**  DunnettT3   1  60.50  6.59    d < a   2  57.64  6.87    e < a   3  57.62  7.13       4  55.94  7.94       5  56.73  7.42      Education level      6.06*     College graduate or less  56.42  7.58       University graduate or more  58.15  6.93      Notes: a = one-year-old classroom; b = two-year-old classroom; c = three-year-old classroom; d = four-year-old classroom; e = five-year-old classroom. *p < .05. **p < .01. ***p < .001. Table 2: Differences in Teacher–Parent Partnership by Teachers’ Demographics (N = 438) Variable  M  SD  t/F  Post-Hoc  Age      4.06*  DunnettT3   20s (a)  56.72  7.44    c > a   30s (b)  57.94  6.77       40s and older (c)  59.67  6.88      Work history (years)      8.15***  DunnettT3   0–4 (a)  56.06  7.29    b > a   5–9 (b)  58.76  6.85    c > a   10 years or longer (c)  58.94  6.72      Years at current institution      7.71**  DunnettT3   0–2 (a)  56.43  7.43    c > a   3–4 (b)  57.86  7.10    c > b   5 or more (c)  60.32  5.98      Type of institution 1      .00     National or public  57.49  6.78       Private or corporative  57.45  7.40      Type of institution 2      15.58***     Kindergarten  56.02  8.00       Daycare  58.77  6.24      Age of children in classroom (years)      3.46**  DunnettT3   1  60.50  6.59    d < a   2  57.64  6.87    e < a   3  57.62  7.13       4  55.94  7.94       5  56.73  7.42      Education level      6.06*     College graduate or less  56.42  7.58       University graduate or more  58.15  6.93      Variable  M  SD  t/F  Post-Hoc  Age      4.06*  DunnettT3   20s (a)  56.72  7.44    c > a   30s (b)  57.94  6.77       40s and older (c)  59.67  6.88      Work history (years)      8.15***  DunnettT3   0–4 (a)  56.06  7.29    b > a   5–9 (b)  58.76  6.85    c > a   10 years or longer (c)  58.94  6.72      Years at current institution      7.71**  DunnettT3   0–2 (a)  56.43  7.43    c > a   3–4 (b)  57.86  7.10    c > b   5 or more (c)  60.32  5.98      Type of institution 1      .00     National or public  57.49  6.78       Private or corporative  57.45  7.40      Type of institution 2      15.58***     Kindergarten  56.02  8.00       Daycare  58.77  6.24      Age of children in classroom (years)      3.46**  DunnettT3   1  60.50  6.59    d < a   2  57.64  6.87    e < a   3  57.62  7.13       4  55.94  7.94       5  56.73  7.42      Education level      6.06*     College graduate or less  56.42  7.58       University graduate or more  58.15  6.93      Notes: a = one-year-old classroom; b = two-year-old classroom; c = three-year-old classroom; d = four-year-old classroom; e = five-year-old classroom. *p < .05. **p < .01. ***p < .001. Relationships among Teacher–Parent Partnerships, Psychological Empowerment, and Organizational Culture Subscales Teacher–parent partnerships were correlated with psychological empowerment and organizational culture subscales except rational culture (that is, significantly correlated with developmental, group, and hierarchical cultures) as shown in Table 3. Psychological empowerment correlated with all four organizational cultures. High level of teachers’ psychological empowerment related to high level of teacher–parent partnerships. Teachers who reported better partnerships with parents perceived their organization as having highly developmental, group, and hierarchical culture. The higher level of psychological empowerment the teachers reported, the higher level of developmental, group, hierarchical, and rational culture they perceived their organizational culture to be. Partial correlations controlled by demographic variables of teachers and by psychological empowerment were conducted and correlation coefficients between three organizational cultures (that is, developmental, group, and hierarchical) in partial correlations were lower than zero-order correlations. Therefore, it was necessary to set psychological empowerment as a control variable in hierarchical regression. Table 3: Means, Standard Deviations, and Zero-Order and Partial Correlations among Psychological Empowerment, Organizational Culture, and Teacher–Parent Partnerships (N = 438) Item  M  SD  1  2  3  4  5  Zero-order   1. Teacher–parent partnerships  57.40  7.26             2. Psychological empowerment  45.63  6.73  .49***           3. Developmental culture  19.63  2.92  .37***  .46***         4. Group culture  19.66  3.11  .38***  .52***  .72***       5. Hierarchical culture  18.55  2.96  .23***  .29***  .29***  .26***     6. Rational culture  16.30  3.58  .06  .16**  .07  .09  .54***  Controlled by psychological empowerment   3. Developmental culture                 4. Group culture          .63***       5. Hierarchical culture          .20***  .14***     6. Rational culture          .01  .03  .53***  Item  M  SD  1  2  3  4  5  Zero-order   1. Teacher–parent partnerships  57.40  7.26             2. Psychological empowerment  45.63  6.73  .49***           3. Developmental culture  19.63  2.92  .37***  .46***         4. Group culture  19.66  3.11  .38***  .52***  .72***       5. Hierarchical culture  18.55  2.96  .23***  .29***  .29***  .26***     6. Rational culture  16.30  3.58  .06  .16**  .07  .09  .54***  Controlled by psychological empowerment   3. Developmental culture                 4. Group culture          .63***       5. Hierarchical culture          .20***  .14***     6. Rational culture          .01  .03  .53***  **p < .01. ***p < .001. Table 3: Means, Standard Deviations, and Zero-Order and Partial Correlations among Psychological Empowerment, Organizational Culture, and Teacher–Parent Partnerships (N = 438) Item  M  SD  1  2  3  4  5  Zero-order   1. Teacher–parent partnerships  57.40  7.26             2. Psychological empowerment  45.63  6.73  .49***           3. Developmental culture  19.63  2.92  .37***  .46***         4. Group culture  19.66  3.11  .38***  .52***  .72***       5. Hierarchical culture  18.55  2.96  .23***  .29***  .29***  .26***     6. Rational culture  16.30  3.58  .06  .16**  .07  .09  .54***  Controlled by psychological empowerment   3. Developmental culture                 4. Group culture          .63***       5. Hierarchical culture          .20***  .14***     6. Rational culture          .01  .03  .53***  Item  M  SD  1  2  3  4  5  Zero-order   1. Teacher–parent partnerships  57.40  7.26             2. Psychological empowerment  45.63  6.73  .49***           3. Developmental culture  19.63  2.92  .37***  .46***         4. Group culture  19.66  3.11  .38***  .52***  .72***       5. Hierarchical culture  18.55  2.96  .23***  .29***  .29***  .26***     6. Rational culture  16.30  3.58  .06  .16**  .07  .09  .54***  Controlled by psychological empowerment   3. Developmental culture                 4. Group culture          .63***       5. Hierarchical culture          .20***  .14***     6. Rational culture          .01  .03  .53***  **p < .01. ***p < .001. Prediction of Teacher–Parent Partnerships by Psychological Empowerment and Organizational Culture, Controlling for Demographic Background Hierarchical regression analysis using psychological empowerment and organizational culture as predictors of teacher–parent partnerships reported that psychological empowerment significantly predicted teacher–parent partnerships (see Table 4). Among demographic variables, classroom grade level predicted teacher–parent partnerships significantly in a negative way at the initial step. However, the correlation disappeared after main variables were added in the regression. The younger the children the teachers oversaw, the higher level of psychological empowerment the teachers perceived they had. Educational level was a significant predictor of teacher–parent partnerships and remained significant even after adding main variables at the final step. The joint predictability of demographic variables was 10 percent. Three out of four organizational cultures were significant predictors of teacher–parent partnerships in step 2, and the organizational culture variables improved the predictability up to 26 percent. However, they did not remain as significant predictors after psychological empowerment was entered at the final step. Psychological empowerment was a significant predictor of teacher–parent partnerships and all the demographic, individual, and organizational variables explained 33 percent of the variance in teacher–parent partnerships. Psychological empowerment explained teacher–parent partnerships above and beyond demographic and organizational variables (ΔR2 = .07). Teachers with high psychological empowerment tended to perceive themselves more engaged in partnership with parents of young children. Table 4: Hierarchical Regression on Teacher–Parent Partnerships by Psychological Empowerment and Organizational Culture, Controlling for Teacher Demographics (N = 438) Variable  Step 1  Step 2  Step 3  B  SE  β  B  SE  β  B  SE  β  Age  .10  .08  .10  .09  .07  .09  .07  .07  .07  Working history  .20  .13  .11  .17  .12  .10  .07  .12  .04  Years at current institution  .83  .51  .09  .79  .47  .09  .34  .45  .04  Age of children in classroom  –.70  .29  –.13*  –.38  .27  –.07  –.28  .26  –.05  Educational level  1.70  .61  .15**  2.15  .56  .18***  1.81  .54  .15**  Developmental culture        .44  .17  .18*  .28  .17  .11  Group culture        .51  .16  .22**  .25  .16  .11  Hierarchical culture        .29  .15  .12*  .21  .14  .08  Rational culture        –.07  .11  –.04  –.11  .11  –.06  Psychological empowerment              .36  .06  .34***    R2(ΔR2) = .10 F(df) = 7.58*** (5, 361)  R2(ΔR2) = .26 (.16) F(df) = 13.60*** (9, 361)  R2(ΔR2) = .33 (.07) F(df) = 17.02*** (10, 361)  Variable  Step 1  Step 2  Step 3  B  SE  β  B  SE  β  B  SE  β  Age  .10  .08  .10  .09  .07  .09  .07  .07  .07  Working history  .20  .13  .11  .17  .12  .10  .07  .12  .04  Years at current institution  .83  .51  .09  .79  .47  .09  .34  .45  .04  Age of children in classroom  –.70  .29  –.13*  –.38  .27  –.07  –.28  .26  –.05  Educational level  1.70  .61  .15**  2.15  .56  .18***  1.81  .54  .15**  Developmental culture        .44  .17  .18*  .28  .17  .11  Group culture        .51  .16  .22**  .25  .16  .11  Hierarchical culture        .29  .15  .12*  .21  .14  .08  Rational culture        –.07  .11  –.04  –.11  .11  –.06  Psychological empowerment              .36  .06  .34***    R2(ΔR2) = .10 F(df) = 7.58*** (5, 361)  R2(ΔR2) = .26 (.16) F(df) = 13.60*** (9, 361)  R2(ΔR2) = .33 (.07) F(df) = 17.02*** (10, 361)  *p < .05. **p < .01. ***p < .001. Table 4: Hierarchical Regression on Teacher–Parent Partnerships by Psychological Empowerment and Organizational Culture, Controlling for Teacher Demographics (N = 438) Variable  Step 1  Step 2  Step 3  B  SE  β  B  SE  β  B  SE  β  Age  .10  .08  .10  .09  .07  .09  .07  .07  .07  Working history  .20  .13  .11  .17  .12  .10  .07  .12  .04  Years at current institution  .83  .51  .09  .79  .47  .09  .34  .45  .04  Age of children in classroom  –.70  .29  –.13*  –.38  .27  –.07  –.28  .26  –.05  Educational level  1.70  .61  .15**  2.15  .56  .18***  1.81  .54  .15**  Developmental culture        .44  .17  .18*  .28  .17  .11  Group culture        .51  .16  .22**  .25  .16  .11  Hierarchical culture        .29  .15  .12*  .21  .14  .08  Rational culture        –.07  .11  –.04  –.11  .11  –.06  Psychological empowerment              .36  .06  .34***    R2(ΔR2) = .10 F(df) = 7.58*** (5, 361)  R2(ΔR2) = .26 (.16) F(df) = 13.60*** (9, 361)  R2(ΔR2) = .33 (.07) F(df) = 17.02*** (10, 361)  Variable  Step 1  Step 2  Step 3  B  SE  β  B  SE  β  B  SE  β  Age  .10  .08  .10  .09  .07  .09  .07  .07  .07  Working history  .20  .13  .11  .17  .12  .10  .07  .12  .04  Years at current institution  .83  .51  .09  .79  .47  .09  .34  .45  .04  Age of children in classroom  –.70  .29  –.13*  –.38  .27  –.07  –.28  .26  –.05  Educational level  1.70  .61  .15**  2.15  .56  .18***  1.81  .54  .15**  Developmental culture        .44  .17  .18*  .28  .17  .11  Group culture        .51  .16  .22**  .25  .16  .11  Hierarchical culture        .29  .15  .12*  .21  .14  .08  Rational culture        –.07  .11  –.04  –.11  .11  –.06  Psychological empowerment              .36  .06  .34***    R2(ΔR2) = .10 F(df) = 7.58*** (5, 361)  R2(ΔR2) = .26 (.16) F(df) = 13.60*** (9, 361)  R2(ΔR2) = .33 (.07) F(df) = 17.02*** (10, 361)  *p < .05. **p < .01. ***p < .001. Discussion The rapidly changing child care environment requires quality partnership between institutions and homes to keep up with the changes. How institutions and teachers adapt and respond to internal and external environment changes and trends will depend on the individual characteristics of teachers and the institutional differences. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that we set and maintain a desired level of teacher–parent partnership to promote the growth and development of children, so we hypothesized that teachers perceive their partnerships with parents as better when they feel themselves psychologically empowered, and our hypothesis was supported in the present study. When teachers reported they were powerful in terms of deriving meaning from their jobs, feeling competent, being able to self-determine, and being influential on their institutions, teachers perceived that they are more engaged in seeking and sharing information from parents and were in more cooperative relationships with parents. Teachers’ perceptions of the degree that they are engaged in partnership with parents differed by age, teaching experience, years at current institution, type of institution, children’s age, and education level of teachers. Our findings are consistent with the study of Yim and Ahn (2011) in which higher education level, longer teaching experience, and the lower ratio of teacher-to-child were related to higher level of cooperation with parents. The higher the age, experience, years at current institution; the lower the age of children taught; and working in child care rather than kindergarten correlated with a higher perception of teacher–parent partnerships. It may be that teachers’ higher education levels give them more confidence in their performance as they form and maintain quality relationships with parents, thus promoting positive partnerships. Furthermore, it is possible to assume that teachers of younger children perceive themselves more engaged in partnerships with parents because of the lower teacher-to-child ratios or the smaller class size for younger children compared with classes for older children. This finding may need further investigation but seems to support previous research by Kwon and Lee (2001) and NICHD Early Child Care Research Network (1996), who found that the lower the teacher-to-child ratio and the smaller the size of the class or the group, the more positive the teacher is. Better teacher–parent partnerships correlated with psychological empowerment and organizational cultures. High levels of teachers’ psychological empowerment were related to higher levels of teacher–parent partnerships. This supports the previous finding of Hoover-Dempsey et al. (1992) that teachers’ positive perception of their own empowerment launches their efforts to engage parents in school and encourages parents to be more actively involved. As teachers believe they are psychologically empowered, they tend to consider the organizational culture of the institution as developmental, group, and hierarchical. This finding supports the work of Y. H. Kim (2006), who found the positive association between organizational culture of institutions and empowerment among teachers; Chang (2005) also found that teachers perceive a higher degree of empowerment when they perceive the organizational culture of their institutions as more developmental, group, and rational. Otherwise, organizational culture may function as an antecedent, with job satisfaction as antecedent for empowerment (Johnson, 2001). In addition, the predictability of organizational culture variables became not significant when they were entered with the psychological empowerment to the regression analysis together, meaning that the correlation was overestimated. Thus, the search for potential parameters between the organizational culture and teacher–parent partnership is needed for further studies. In other words, there is a possibility that psychological empowerment can act as a mediator between the organizational culture and teacher–parent partnership. Psychological empowerment significantly explained teacher–parent partnership, and its predictability remained meaningful after controlling the background demographics of teachers. According to Spreitzer (1996), individuals with a high degree of psychological empowerment believe that the work they perform could affect the organization to which they belong, thus they can lead and control the process, value their jobs, and have faith and confidence in their job competence. In this regard, innovative behavior, job satisfaction, and organizational culture—including the shared values affecting the attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs of members—may be at an intermediate stage toward improving education through teacher–parent partnerships. On the other hand, organizational culture may be in a complementary relationship with empowerment. In this aspect, organizational culture motivates teachers to demonstrate their expertise and capabilities to strengthen their cooperation with parents for effective education. Future research should clarify the role of organizational culture in relation with the psychological empowerment of teachers and teacher–parent partnerships. The present study attempted to use individual and organizational factors simultaneously in examining teacher–parent relationships in early childhood education. The findings enhance our understanding of the mechanisms of psychological empowerment and organizational culture in early childhood teacher–parent partnerships in South Korea. The current study is useful because it used a unique sample of teachers in an Asian country, as there is still a scarcity of data from Asian cultures in this area of research. It may be true that Asians are more likely to pursue happiness and support from more close relationships compared with people in Western cultures. The study supports developing an empowerment program for core competency of early childhood teachers in terms of teacher empowerment as a professional development process (Short, 1994) and other ideas to improve the organizational culture of early childhood education institutions in South Korea. To empower teachers, institutions should hire school social workers. Compared with the relatively short 20-year history of school welfare, the Korean government has been carrying out various projects relevant to school welfare for elementary through senior high schools, which have been led by local governments and the private sector at the beginning (Noh & Kim, 2006). However, early childhood education has been an exception. Recently, a school social work project was established as part of measures to report child abuse because of the surge in reporting of child abuse in early childhood education institutions. However, social workers are not as involved in helping teachers. Especially as communication with parents is reported to be one of the main factors inducing job stress among child care providers (Reedy & McGrath, 2010) and because of the surge of child abuse reported in child care facilities, it is important to focus on the psychological well-being of teachers. The role of the shelter provider for children, a unique and important role found among Korean school social workers, can be applied to teachers (Noh & Kim, 2006). In other words, if school social workers share the load or make the task of communicating with parents more efficient for teachers, that would allow teachers to exert their competence and to escape from the uniform and hierarchical culture of institutions that may arise in relatively small size organizations in a Confucian society where age hierarchy is important, to rest in the psychological shelter. This study had several limitations. First, the study variables were measured by self-reported questionnaires. Multiple methods including observation and interviews for assessing psychological empowerment and multiple personnel for assessing organizational culture reflecting diverse perspectives of colleagues and additional measurements of demographic variables (for example, marital status, stress from work, stress from other relationships, and satisfaction with the job) would enhance the interpretation of hypotheses. Second, participating teachers were from metropolitan cities, so the sample was not representative. Future studies should include teachers who have a wide range of socioeconomic backgrounds. Researchers need to continue to reveal processes that lead to the well-being of teachers and quality partnerships between teachers and parents using longitudinal studies of this process, minimizing the limitations from the cross-sectional data in the present study. References Ahn, J. H., & Yoo, H. J. ( 2009). 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Dissertation International,  55, 2679. Yim, W. Y. ( 2010). Teacher-child interaction on early childhood teacher-parent partnership (Unpublished master thesis). Kyunghee University, Seoul, South Korea. Yim, W. Y., & Ahn, S. H. ( 2011). Relationships between teacher-parent partnerships and teacher-child interactions. Journal of Future Early Childhood Education,  18, 323– 350. Zhu, C., Devos, G., & Li, Y. ( 2011). Teacher perceptions of school culture and their organizational commitment and well-being in a Chinese school. Pacific Education Review,  12, 319– 329. Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS   © 2018 National Association of Social Workers This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/about_us/legal/notices) http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Children & Schools Oxford University Press

The Impact of Psychological Empowerment and Organizational Culture on the Early Childhood Teacher–Parent Partnerships in South Korea

Children & Schools , Volume Advance Article – May 16, 2018

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Oxford University Press
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© 2018 National Association of Social Workers
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1532-8759
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10.1093/cs/cdy013
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Abstract

Abstract The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of psychological empowerment and organizational culture on the cooperation between teachers and parents of young children. The participants were 438 teachers working in early childhood education institutions in South Korea. Likert questionnaires were used to examine the teachers’ perceptions on their psychological empowerment, organizational culture of their institutions, and their partnerships with parents. The study found that the older the teachers were, the longer their careers were, the longer they worked at their current institutions, and the younger the children they took care of were, the better partnerships with parents the teachers perceived to have. When teachers reported high levels of psychological empowerment or were more likely to see their organizational culture as a group, developmental, and hierarchical culture, they tended to perceive their partnerships with parents positively. Last, psychological empowerment and organizational culture predicted teacher–parent partnerships uniquely after controlling for teachers’ demographic backgrounds. As a child belongs to a family and an education system, these two environmental systems affect children not only independently but interacting in various complex ways, making an impact on the development and learning of the child (Bronfenbrenner, 1979). Parents and educational institutions differ in values and norms and function in different physical environments. In addition to the conflicting views on desirable behavior of children, inconsistencies in how parents and teachers interact with and discipline children may confuse children and have a negative effect on learning. Because parents and educational institutions have a common goal, striving for the holistic development of children, the two groups can increase the effectiveness of education if they work together and communicate with each other (see Ware, Barfoot, Rusher, & Owen, 1995). According to ecological theory, strong linkage between home and child care enhances developmental potential (Bronfenbrenner, 1979; Owen, Ware, & Barfoot, 2000). That is, when teachers and parents are in a complementary and cooperative relationship, children come to have consistent and continuous experiences across both environments, which can stimulate the balanced development of children, as a lack on one side can be complemented in another environment (Galindo & Sheldon, 2012). Teachers and parents may be able to maintain more appropriate or sensitive interactions by relying on information about the child shared with each other. A teacher understands better by being aware of what kind of experience a child has at home through a relationship with the child’s parent. Sensitive, supportive, and stimulating interactions are indicators of quality care and education and require the understanding of experiences and needs of the individual child. Through the continuous cooperation and interaction with parents, the teacher may be provided with information about the personal needs, interests, and learning style of the child from the person who knows the developmental process and the personal characteristics of the child the best (Gelfer, 1991). Thus, the teacher will be able to expand the understanding of the child and to plan teaching methods to meet that child’s individual characteristics and needs (Lopez, Scribner, & Mahitivanichcha, 2001). Communication and cooperation between teachers and parents not only provide a means of linking homes and institutions for young children, but also help teachers interact with children properly and positively enable children to deal with the problem behavior immediately (El Nokali, Bachman, & Votruba-Drzal, 2010). In fact, teachers who communicate with parents often were more sensitive to the young children and gave more support and stimulation (Owen et al., 2000). In addition, teachers can feel more self-confident in teaching children and experience a more positive sentiment about their role when teachers and parents have formed a positive relationship (Gestwicki, 2007). It is difficult for teachers to achieve the goal of education without the proper cooperation from the parents, whether the parents are from a traditional family or not. In this study, parents are either biological or nonbiological fathers or mothers who are predominantly involved in child rearing and live together with the child; grandparents or other kinship care situations would be considered parents for the purpose of this study, but none of the participants fit this category. Despite the importance of the school–family linkage, excessive competition, hierarchical ranking structures, indifference, and alienation among members in today’s society are intensifying and threatening trust and partnership among teachers and parents. In addition, it has become more difficult to form a partnership as teachers report feeling increasingly powerless and exhausted (H. H. Lee & Hwang, 2015), as a result of an increase of parents’ mistrust of teachers following reported abuse of young children. To regain parents’ trust in education, various researchers and practitioners have suggested the establishment of a cooperation system between teachers and parents. However, it is insufficient to find out what factors affect teacher–parent partnership system because these studies have focused on identifying the effects of partnerships. Studies on partnership between early childhood teachers and parents can be largely divided into individual variables and organizational variables of teachers. Empowerment is becoming a necessity for coping with developments and changes compelling all kinds of organizations (Baird & Wang, 2010) to implement different managerial practices to deal with the challenges more rapidly. Psychological empowerment is a process that promotes the inherent psychological motives by perceiving meaning, competence, influence, and self-determination on task (Thomas & Velthouse, 1990). Psychological empowerment seems to be a relevant individual factor affecting the challenged partnerships between teachers and parents in the field of education by bringing teachers into the decision-making processes and providing future-oriented management as a goal (Darling, 1996). Empowerment in teachers consists of six dimensions: participation in decision-making processes, professional development, status, self-efficacy, autonomy, and impact on others and educational issues at school (Short & Rinehart, 1992). Psychological empowerment of teachers who perceive themselves competent appears to be a prominent contributor to effective home–school partnerships. Teachers who see themselves as competent initiate efforts to involve parents in school matters and report higher levels of parent involvement (Hoover-Dempsey, Bassler, & Brissie, 1992). Individuals with a high degree of psychological empowerment believe that job results could affect the organization to which they belong, and thus they take ownership of their tasks, value their jobs, and have faith and confidence in their skills (Spreitzer, 1996). Studies carried out in South Korea on psychological empowerment in teachers have observed that it helps in professional development. Psychological empowerment makes a positive impact on attitudes, especially when it comes to organizational commitment, innovative behavior, and job satisfaction. Teachers with high empowerment report being satisfied with their jobs, whereas teachers with low empowerment are more likely to experience job burnout (Amoli & Youran, 2014; H. E. Lee, Kim, Woo, Kim, & Moon, 2012; Wu, 1995). Psychological empowerment of early childhood teachers affects their satisfaction with relationships with other members of their institutions (Chung, Yoon, Park, & Cha, 2016). Competence, influence, and self-determination were found to be necessary for carrying out the roles and responsibilities of organization members, for sharing and achieving educational goals, and participatory decision making and conflict management (Heo, 2006). This suggests that psychological empowerment of early childhood teachers as a factor influencing job satisfaction can affect partnerships with parents in terms of the degree of overall satisfaction felt by relationships and working conditions or welfare-related duties. Another variable affecting teacher–parent partnerships is the teachers’ recognition of the organizational culture of their institution. This study explores the influence of organizational culture in early childhood education institutions on teacher–parent partnerships. Recently, organizational culture has emerged as a key theme in the field of education. Because an educational institution forms a unique culture of its own and the cultural traits that teachers take on affect their professional life and behavior, organizational culture directly or indirectly affects the education of children (Mok & Flynn, 1997) and influences the effectiveness and efficiency of the organization (Deal, 1985; Owens, 2001). A unique corporate culture of early childhood education facilities affects the organization and the behaviors and interactions of the members of the organization and the selection of educational content, teaching, and learning behavior (Deal, 1985). Organizational culture affects the day-to-day behavior and attitudes and serves to motivate its members to improve their work, or it may cause a reduction or decline in their job performance by negatively affecting morale (Deal & Kennedy, 1982). Teachers report that cultural characteristics of school organization influence their commitment to the organization and the organization’s stability (Zhu, Devos, & Li, 2011). Especially noteworthy is the coexistence of intimate relational culture like that of a family, innovative culture with the commitment to grow and to challenge, hierarchical culture with the director as the leader, and rational culture of efficiency and practice among early childhood education institutions in South Korea (J. A. Kim & Lee, 2008). In institutions with cooperative, collective, and relational culture, teachers report a high level of job satisfaction and empowerment (M. J. Kim & Park, 2014); in those with innovation-oriented culture, teachers are committed to and satisfied with their jobs more (Ahn & Yoo, 2009). The more hierarchy-oriented culture the institution has, the higher job-related stress teachers report experiencing (Cho, Choi, & Kang, 2012). When an organization supports autonomy and promotes transformation and development, teachers report being happier (Y. E. Kim, 2014). In other words, the impact of the organizational culture of early childhood education institutions on the job satisfaction, job involvement, and stress makes a difference, and this suggests that the organizational culture may have an influence on partnerships between teachers and parents. The associations between organizational culture of early childhood education institutions, psychological empowerment of teachers, and teachers’ partnerships with parents have seldom been studied. This study, therefore, aimed to examine the impact of psychological empowerment and organizational culture on the cooperation between teachers and parents of young children. We formulated our study as a series of three research questions: Are there differences in teacher–parent partnerships depending on the demographic characteristics and organizational variables of the early childhood education institution? What are the relationships between psychological empowerment of teachers, the organizational culture of their institutions, and teacher–parent partnerships? Do psychological empowerment and organizational culture in the early childhood education institutions uniquely predict teacher–parent partnerships? Method Procedures and Participants The survey questionnaires were distributed to 460 teachers working at early childhood education facilities located in five metropolitan areas of South Korea. Personnel in administration were not included in the survey. We used snowball sampling method, starting with 28 teachers attending a graduate school and had a 95 percent response rate (438 out of 460). We and the first 28 teachers provided explanations about the purposes and contents of the study to colleagues and acquaintances in the early childhood education field and asked the participants to complete consents if they were willing to join the study. Teachers were 20 to 54 years old (M = 30). Work experience varied from less than one year to 28 years (M = 5.77). Years working at current institution ranged from less than one year to 10 years (M = 1.61). Regarding the type of institution, 75 percent of teachers worked at private or corporative institutions and a little more than half the teachers worked at kindergartens. Participants cared for young children ranging from one year old to five years old (age at the beginning of the study). More than half the teachers had a bachelor or a master’s degree (for a complete summary of descriptive statistics, see Table 1). Table 1: Descriptive Statistics of Teachers (N = 438) Variable  n  %  Age   20s  246  56.6   30s  112  25.7   40s and older  54  12.4  Years at current job   0–4  213  49.0   5–9  148  34.0   10 or longer  68  15.7  Years at current institution   0–2  254  58.4   3–4  112  25.7   5 or more  64  14.7  Type of institution 1   National or public  96  22.1   Private or corporative  326  74.9  Type of institution 2   Kindergarten  200  46.0   Day care  222  51.0  Age of children in classroom (years)   1  50  11.5   2  69  15.9   3  95  21.8   4  95  21.8   5  102  23.4  Education level   College graduate or less  185  42.5   University graduate or more  250  57.5  Variable  n  %  Age   20s  246  56.6   30s  112  25.7   40s and older  54  12.4  Years at current job   0–4  213  49.0   5–9  148  34.0   10 or longer  68  15.7  Years at current institution   0–2  254  58.4   3–4  112  25.7   5 or more  64  14.7  Type of institution 1   National or public  96  22.1   Private or corporative  326  74.9  Type of institution 2   Kindergarten  200  46.0   Day care  222  51.0  Age of children in classroom (years)   1  50  11.5   2  69  15.9   3  95  21.8   4  95  21.8   5  102  23.4  Education level   College graduate or less  185  42.5   University graduate or more  250  57.5  Table 1: Descriptive Statistics of Teachers (N = 438) Variable  n  %  Age   20s  246  56.6   30s  112  25.7   40s and older  54  12.4  Years at current job   0–4  213  49.0   5–9  148  34.0   10 or longer  68  15.7  Years at current institution   0–2  254  58.4   3–4  112  25.7   5 or more  64  14.7  Type of institution 1   National or public  96  22.1   Private or corporative  326  74.9  Type of institution 2   Kindergarten  200  46.0   Day care  222  51.0  Age of children in classroom (years)   1  50  11.5   2  69  15.9   3  95  21.8   4  95  21.8   5  102  23.4  Education level   College graduate or less  185  42.5   University graduate or more  250  57.5  Variable  n  %  Age   20s  246  56.6   30s  112  25.7   40s and older  54  12.4  Years at current job   0–4  213  49.0   5–9  148  34.0   10 or longer  68  15.7  Years at current institution   0–2  254  58.4   3–4  112  25.7   5 or more  64  14.7  Type of institution 1   National or public  96  22.1   Private or corporative  326  74.9  Type of institution 2   Kindergarten  200  46.0   Day care  222  51.0  Age of children in classroom (years)   1  50  11.5   2  69  15.9   3  95  21.8   4  95  21.8   5  102  23.4  Education level   College graduate or less  185  42.5   University graduate or more  250  57.5  Measures Psychological Empowerment Psychological empowerment was assessed using the Korean adaptation (D. J. Lee & Kim, 2011) of the scale that was originally developed and validated by Spreitzer (1995). The five-point Likert scale consists of 12 items grouped into four dimensions. Sample items include “The work I do is meaningful” (meaning), “I am confident about my ability to do my job” (competence), “I have autonomy in determining how I do my job” (self-determination), and “My impact on what happens in the institution is large” (impact), and the four dimensions contribute to an overall construct of empowerment. A higher score reflects the higher extent of internal task motivation, reflecting psychological orientation in which the individual wishes to shape her or his work role. Cronbach’s alphas for meaning, competence, self-determination, and impact in the Korean version of the scale were .87, .93, .86, and .94 (D. J. Lee & Kim, 2011) and the alphas in this study were .80, .77, .75, and .87, respectively, suggesting good reliability. Organizational Culture Organizational culture was assessed using the Korean version of the Organizational Culture Scale, which was developed by Quinn and McGrath (1985) and was adapted for the early childhood education field (Park, 2012). The five-point Likert scale consists of four dimensions: developmental culture (five items), group culture (five items), hierarchical culture (five items), and rational culture (five items). Sample items include “The organization where I work regards creativity, innovation, and other changing values as important” (developmental); “Staff are cooperative and reliable” (group); “The organization emphasizes stability and constancy” (hierarchical); and “Task performance and accomplishment are the essential evaluation criteria for staff” (rational). The reliability of the scale in this study was fairly good at .84, .84, .73, and .85 for developmental, group, hierarchical, and rational components, respectively, compared with the Cronbach’s alphas of .89, .90, .89, and.89 in Park (2012). Teacher–Parent Partnerships Teachers’ perceptions of teacher–parent partnerships were measured using the Korean version (Yim, 2010) of the Caregiver-Parent Partnership Scale, which was developed by Owen et al. (2000). The scale measures the extent to which early childhood teachers communicate with and incorporate parents in educating and guiding the children. The 14 items of the scale were classified as the three composites: sharing information (six items; for example, “How often do you tell a parent about feelings shown by child during the day?”); seeking information (three items; for example, “How often do you ask a parent about child’s behavior at home?”); and Adult relations (five items; for example, “How often do you ask a parent to share talents or skills at center?”). Teachers rated the frequency of various partnership behaviors with the parent on a five-point Likert scale, with higher scores indicating more frequent partnership behavior. The reliability of the subscales in Owen et al. (2000) were well established with alphas of .88, .73, and .80 for sharing information, seeking information, and adult relations, and the alphas in this sample were fairly good, with .86, .76, and .78, respectively. Statistical Analyses To test the first research question, independent sample t test and analysis of variance were implemented to look for differences in partnership with parents perceived by teachers depending on demographic factors. For the second research question, Pearson correlation analysis was conducted to test the magnitude and direction of relationships between the explanatory variables and the outcome variable. To establish a genuine correlation between variables, partial correlations controlled by demographic variables and by psychological empowerment were performed. The third research question was tested with hierarchical regression analyses to examine the unique predictability of psychological empowerment and organizational culture on teacher–parent partnerships after controlling for demographic variables of teachers. Results Teacher–Parent Partnerships by Demographics of Teachers Teachers perceived a high level of partnership with parents, and there was significant difference between age groups (F = 4.06, p < .05), as shown in Table 2. Post-hoc test results showed that teachers in their 40s or older perceived their partnerships with parents to be better than teachers in their 20s did. The perception of partnerships with parents differed by teachers’ work history (F = 8.15, p < .001). Teachers with more than five years of working history reported a higher level of partnerships with parents than teachers with fewer than five years of working history. Teachers who had been working at their current institution for more than five years perceived to have significantly better partnerships with parents than teachers with fewer than five years at their current institution (F = 7.71, p < .01). Whether teachers worked at an (a) national or public institution or (b) a private institution or corporation did not make any significant difference in their perception of their partnerships with parents (F = .00, p > .05). Teaching at a kindergarten or day care made significant difference in teachers’ perception of their partnerships with parents (F = 15.58, p < .001). Day care teachers perceive a higher level of partnerships with parents than kindergarten teachers. Age group of children made a significant difference in teachers’ perception of their partnerships with parents: One-year-old classroom teachers reported a higher level of partnerships with parents than those teaching four- or five-year-olds (F = 3.46, p < .01). Teachers’ perception of their partnerships with parents differed by their education level (F = 6.06, p < .05). Teachers with four-year university degree or graduate degree reported a higher level of partnerships with parents than teachers with three-year college or teacher training course completion. Because there was no significant difference in teachers’ perception of their partnerships with parents between national or public and private institutions or corporations, type of institution 1 was excluded in further analyses. Table 2: Differences in Teacher–Parent Partnership by Teachers’ Demographics (N = 438) Variable  M  SD  t/F  Post-Hoc  Age      4.06*  DunnettT3   20s (a)  56.72  7.44    c > a   30s (b)  57.94  6.77       40s and older (c)  59.67  6.88      Work history (years)      8.15***  DunnettT3   0–4 (a)  56.06  7.29    b > a   5–9 (b)  58.76  6.85    c > a   10 years or longer (c)  58.94  6.72      Years at current institution      7.71**  DunnettT3   0–2 (a)  56.43  7.43    c > a   3–4 (b)  57.86  7.10    c > b   5 or more (c)  60.32  5.98      Type of institution 1      .00     National or public  57.49  6.78       Private or corporative  57.45  7.40      Type of institution 2      15.58***     Kindergarten  56.02  8.00       Daycare  58.77  6.24      Age of children in classroom (years)      3.46**  DunnettT3   1  60.50  6.59    d < a   2  57.64  6.87    e < a   3  57.62  7.13       4  55.94  7.94       5  56.73  7.42      Education level      6.06*     College graduate or less  56.42  7.58       University graduate or more  58.15  6.93      Variable  M  SD  t/F  Post-Hoc  Age      4.06*  DunnettT3   20s (a)  56.72  7.44    c > a   30s (b)  57.94  6.77       40s and older (c)  59.67  6.88      Work history (years)      8.15***  DunnettT3   0–4 (a)  56.06  7.29    b > a   5–9 (b)  58.76  6.85    c > a   10 years or longer (c)  58.94  6.72      Years at current institution      7.71**  DunnettT3   0–2 (a)  56.43  7.43    c > a   3–4 (b)  57.86  7.10    c > b   5 or more (c)  60.32  5.98      Type of institution 1      .00     National or public  57.49  6.78       Private or corporative  57.45  7.40      Type of institution 2      15.58***     Kindergarten  56.02  8.00       Daycare  58.77  6.24      Age of children in classroom (years)      3.46**  DunnettT3   1  60.50  6.59    d < a   2  57.64  6.87    e < a   3  57.62  7.13       4  55.94  7.94       5  56.73  7.42      Education level      6.06*     College graduate or less  56.42  7.58       University graduate or more  58.15  6.93      Notes: a = one-year-old classroom; b = two-year-old classroom; c = three-year-old classroom; d = four-year-old classroom; e = five-year-old classroom. *p < .05. **p < .01. ***p < .001. Table 2: Differences in Teacher–Parent Partnership by Teachers’ Demographics (N = 438) Variable  M  SD  t/F  Post-Hoc  Age      4.06*  DunnettT3   20s (a)  56.72  7.44    c > a   30s (b)  57.94  6.77       40s and older (c)  59.67  6.88      Work history (years)      8.15***  DunnettT3   0–4 (a)  56.06  7.29    b > a   5–9 (b)  58.76  6.85    c > a   10 years or longer (c)  58.94  6.72      Years at current institution      7.71**  DunnettT3   0–2 (a)  56.43  7.43    c > a   3–4 (b)  57.86  7.10    c > b   5 or more (c)  60.32  5.98      Type of institution 1      .00     National or public  57.49  6.78       Private or corporative  57.45  7.40      Type of institution 2      15.58***     Kindergarten  56.02  8.00       Daycare  58.77  6.24      Age of children in classroom (years)      3.46**  DunnettT3   1  60.50  6.59    d < a   2  57.64  6.87    e < a   3  57.62  7.13       4  55.94  7.94       5  56.73  7.42      Education level      6.06*     College graduate or less  56.42  7.58       University graduate or more  58.15  6.93      Variable  M  SD  t/F  Post-Hoc  Age      4.06*  DunnettT3   20s (a)  56.72  7.44    c > a   30s (b)  57.94  6.77       40s and older (c)  59.67  6.88      Work history (years)      8.15***  DunnettT3   0–4 (a)  56.06  7.29    b > a   5–9 (b)  58.76  6.85    c > a   10 years or longer (c)  58.94  6.72      Years at current institution      7.71**  DunnettT3   0–2 (a)  56.43  7.43    c > a   3–4 (b)  57.86  7.10    c > b   5 or more (c)  60.32  5.98      Type of institution 1      .00     National or public  57.49  6.78       Private or corporative  57.45  7.40      Type of institution 2      15.58***     Kindergarten  56.02  8.00       Daycare  58.77  6.24      Age of children in classroom (years)      3.46**  DunnettT3   1  60.50  6.59    d < a   2  57.64  6.87    e < a   3  57.62  7.13       4  55.94  7.94       5  56.73  7.42      Education level      6.06*     College graduate or less  56.42  7.58       University graduate or more  58.15  6.93      Notes: a = one-year-old classroom; b = two-year-old classroom; c = three-year-old classroom; d = four-year-old classroom; e = five-year-old classroom. *p < .05. **p < .01. ***p < .001. Relationships among Teacher–Parent Partnerships, Psychological Empowerment, and Organizational Culture Subscales Teacher–parent partnerships were correlated with psychological empowerment and organizational culture subscales except rational culture (that is, significantly correlated with developmental, group, and hierarchical cultures) as shown in Table 3. Psychological empowerment correlated with all four organizational cultures. High level of teachers’ psychological empowerment related to high level of teacher–parent partnerships. Teachers who reported better partnerships with parents perceived their organization as having highly developmental, group, and hierarchical culture. The higher level of psychological empowerment the teachers reported, the higher level of developmental, group, hierarchical, and rational culture they perceived their organizational culture to be. Partial correlations controlled by demographic variables of teachers and by psychological empowerment were conducted and correlation coefficients between three organizational cultures (that is, developmental, group, and hierarchical) in partial correlations were lower than zero-order correlations. Therefore, it was necessary to set psychological empowerment as a control variable in hierarchical regression. Table 3: Means, Standard Deviations, and Zero-Order and Partial Correlations among Psychological Empowerment, Organizational Culture, and Teacher–Parent Partnerships (N = 438) Item  M  SD  1  2  3  4  5  Zero-order   1. Teacher–parent partnerships  57.40  7.26             2. Psychological empowerment  45.63  6.73  .49***           3. Developmental culture  19.63  2.92  .37***  .46***         4. Group culture  19.66  3.11  .38***  .52***  .72***       5. Hierarchical culture  18.55  2.96  .23***  .29***  .29***  .26***     6. Rational culture  16.30  3.58  .06  .16**  .07  .09  .54***  Controlled by psychological empowerment   3. Developmental culture                 4. Group culture          .63***       5. Hierarchical culture          .20***  .14***     6. Rational culture          .01  .03  .53***  Item  M  SD  1  2  3  4  5  Zero-order   1. Teacher–parent partnerships  57.40  7.26             2. Psychological empowerment  45.63  6.73  .49***           3. Developmental culture  19.63  2.92  .37***  .46***         4. Group culture  19.66  3.11  .38***  .52***  .72***       5. Hierarchical culture  18.55  2.96  .23***  .29***  .29***  .26***     6. Rational culture  16.30  3.58  .06  .16**  .07  .09  .54***  Controlled by psychological empowerment   3. Developmental culture                 4. Group culture          .63***       5. Hierarchical culture          .20***  .14***     6. Rational culture          .01  .03  .53***  **p < .01. ***p < .001. Table 3: Means, Standard Deviations, and Zero-Order and Partial Correlations among Psychological Empowerment, Organizational Culture, and Teacher–Parent Partnerships (N = 438) Item  M  SD  1  2  3  4  5  Zero-order   1. Teacher–parent partnerships  57.40  7.26             2. Psychological empowerment  45.63  6.73  .49***           3. Developmental culture  19.63  2.92  .37***  .46***         4. Group culture  19.66  3.11  .38***  .52***  .72***       5. Hierarchical culture  18.55  2.96  .23***  .29***  .29***  .26***     6. Rational culture  16.30  3.58  .06  .16**  .07  .09  .54***  Controlled by psychological empowerment   3. Developmental culture                 4. Group culture          .63***       5. Hierarchical culture          .20***  .14***     6. Rational culture          .01  .03  .53***  Item  M  SD  1  2  3  4  5  Zero-order   1. Teacher–parent partnerships  57.40  7.26             2. Psychological empowerment  45.63  6.73  .49***           3. Developmental culture  19.63  2.92  .37***  .46***         4. Group culture  19.66  3.11  .38***  .52***  .72***       5. Hierarchical culture  18.55  2.96  .23***  .29***  .29***  .26***     6. Rational culture  16.30  3.58  .06  .16**  .07  .09  .54***  Controlled by psychological empowerment   3. Developmental culture                 4. Group culture          .63***       5. Hierarchical culture          .20***  .14***     6. Rational culture          .01  .03  .53***  **p < .01. ***p < .001. Prediction of Teacher–Parent Partnerships by Psychological Empowerment and Organizational Culture, Controlling for Demographic Background Hierarchical regression analysis using psychological empowerment and organizational culture as predictors of teacher–parent partnerships reported that psychological empowerment significantly predicted teacher–parent partnerships (see Table 4). Among demographic variables, classroom grade level predicted teacher–parent partnerships significantly in a negative way at the initial step. However, the correlation disappeared after main variables were added in the regression. The younger the children the teachers oversaw, the higher level of psychological empowerment the teachers perceived they had. Educational level was a significant predictor of teacher–parent partnerships and remained significant even after adding main variables at the final step. The joint predictability of demographic variables was 10 percent. Three out of four organizational cultures were significant predictors of teacher–parent partnerships in step 2, and the organizational culture variables improved the predictability up to 26 percent. However, they did not remain as significant predictors after psychological empowerment was entered at the final step. Psychological empowerment was a significant predictor of teacher–parent partnerships and all the demographic, individual, and organizational variables explained 33 percent of the variance in teacher–parent partnerships. Psychological empowerment explained teacher–parent partnerships above and beyond demographic and organizational variables (ΔR2 = .07). Teachers with high psychological empowerment tended to perceive themselves more engaged in partnership with parents of young children. Table 4: Hierarchical Regression on Teacher–Parent Partnerships by Psychological Empowerment and Organizational Culture, Controlling for Teacher Demographics (N = 438) Variable  Step 1  Step 2  Step 3  B  SE  β  B  SE  β  B  SE  β  Age  .10  .08  .10  .09  .07  .09  .07  .07  .07  Working history  .20  .13  .11  .17  .12  .10  .07  .12  .04  Years at current institution  .83  .51  .09  .79  .47  .09  .34  .45  .04  Age of children in classroom  –.70  .29  –.13*  –.38  .27  –.07  –.28  .26  –.05  Educational level  1.70  .61  .15**  2.15  .56  .18***  1.81  .54  .15**  Developmental culture        .44  .17  .18*  .28  .17  .11  Group culture        .51  .16  .22**  .25  .16  .11  Hierarchical culture        .29  .15  .12*  .21  .14  .08  Rational culture        –.07  .11  –.04  –.11  .11  –.06  Psychological empowerment              .36  .06  .34***    R2(ΔR2) = .10 F(df) = 7.58*** (5, 361)  R2(ΔR2) = .26 (.16) F(df) = 13.60*** (9, 361)  R2(ΔR2) = .33 (.07) F(df) = 17.02*** (10, 361)  Variable  Step 1  Step 2  Step 3  B  SE  β  B  SE  β  B  SE  β  Age  .10  .08  .10  .09  .07  .09  .07  .07  .07  Working history  .20  .13  .11  .17  .12  .10  .07  .12  .04  Years at current institution  .83  .51  .09  .79  .47  .09  .34  .45  .04  Age of children in classroom  –.70  .29  –.13*  –.38  .27  –.07  –.28  .26  –.05  Educational level  1.70  .61  .15**  2.15  .56  .18***  1.81  .54  .15**  Developmental culture        .44  .17  .18*  .28  .17  .11  Group culture        .51  .16  .22**  .25  .16  .11  Hierarchical culture        .29  .15  .12*  .21  .14  .08  Rational culture        –.07  .11  –.04  –.11  .11  –.06  Psychological empowerment              .36  .06  .34***    R2(ΔR2) = .10 F(df) = 7.58*** (5, 361)  R2(ΔR2) = .26 (.16) F(df) = 13.60*** (9, 361)  R2(ΔR2) = .33 (.07) F(df) = 17.02*** (10, 361)  *p < .05. **p < .01. ***p < .001. Table 4: Hierarchical Regression on Teacher–Parent Partnerships by Psychological Empowerment and Organizational Culture, Controlling for Teacher Demographics (N = 438) Variable  Step 1  Step 2  Step 3  B  SE  β  B  SE  β  B  SE  β  Age  .10  .08  .10  .09  .07  .09  .07  .07  .07  Working history  .20  .13  .11  .17  .12  .10  .07  .12  .04  Years at current institution  .83  .51  .09  .79  .47  .09  .34  .45  .04  Age of children in classroom  –.70  .29  –.13*  –.38  .27  –.07  –.28  .26  –.05  Educational level  1.70  .61  .15**  2.15  .56  .18***  1.81  .54  .15**  Developmental culture        .44  .17  .18*  .28  .17  .11  Group culture        .51  .16  .22**  .25  .16  .11  Hierarchical culture        .29  .15  .12*  .21  .14  .08  Rational culture        –.07  .11  –.04  –.11  .11  –.06  Psychological empowerment              .36  .06  .34***    R2(ΔR2) = .10 F(df) = 7.58*** (5, 361)  R2(ΔR2) = .26 (.16) F(df) = 13.60*** (9, 361)  R2(ΔR2) = .33 (.07) F(df) = 17.02*** (10, 361)  Variable  Step 1  Step 2  Step 3  B  SE  β  B  SE  β  B  SE  β  Age  .10  .08  .10  .09  .07  .09  .07  .07  .07  Working history  .20  .13  .11  .17  .12  .10  .07  .12  .04  Years at current institution  .83  .51  .09  .79  .47  .09  .34  .45  .04  Age of children in classroom  –.70  .29  –.13*  –.38  .27  –.07  –.28  .26  –.05  Educational level  1.70  .61  .15**  2.15  .56  .18***  1.81  .54  .15**  Developmental culture        .44  .17  .18*  .28  .17  .11  Group culture        .51  .16  .22**  .25  .16  .11  Hierarchical culture        .29  .15  .12*  .21  .14  .08  Rational culture        –.07  .11  –.04  –.11  .11  –.06  Psychological empowerment              .36  .06  .34***    R2(ΔR2) = .10 F(df) = 7.58*** (5, 361)  R2(ΔR2) = .26 (.16) F(df) = 13.60*** (9, 361)  R2(ΔR2) = .33 (.07) F(df) = 17.02*** (10, 361)  *p < .05. **p < .01. ***p < .001. Discussion The rapidly changing child care environment requires quality partnership between institutions and homes to keep up with the changes. How institutions and teachers adapt and respond to internal and external environment changes and trends will depend on the individual characteristics of teachers and the institutional differences. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that we set and maintain a desired level of teacher–parent partnership to promote the growth and development of children, so we hypothesized that teachers perceive their partnerships with parents as better when they feel themselves psychologically empowered, and our hypothesis was supported in the present study. When teachers reported they were powerful in terms of deriving meaning from their jobs, feeling competent, being able to self-determine, and being influential on their institutions, teachers perceived that they are more engaged in seeking and sharing information from parents and were in more cooperative relationships with parents. Teachers’ perceptions of the degree that they are engaged in partnership with parents differed by age, teaching experience, years at current institution, type of institution, children’s age, and education level of teachers. Our findings are consistent with the study of Yim and Ahn (2011) in which higher education level, longer teaching experience, and the lower ratio of teacher-to-child were related to higher level of cooperation with parents. The higher the age, experience, years at current institution; the lower the age of children taught; and working in child care rather than kindergarten correlated with a higher perception of teacher–parent partnerships. It may be that teachers’ higher education levels give them more confidence in their performance as they form and maintain quality relationships with parents, thus promoting positive partnerships. Furthermore, it is possible to assume that teachers of younger children perceive themselves more engaged in partnerships with parents because of the lower teacher-to-child ratios or the smaller class size for younger children compared with classes for older children. This finding may need further investigation but seems to support previous research by Kwon and Lee (2001) and NICHD Early Child Care Research Network (1996), who found that the lower the teacher-to-child ratio and the smaller the size of the class or the group, the more positive the teacher is. Better teacher–parent partnerships correlated with psychological empowerment and organizational cultures. High levels of teachers’ psychological empowerment were related to higher levels of teacher–parent partnerships. This supports the previous finding of Hoover-Dempsey et al. (1992) that teachers’ positive perception of their own empowerment launches their efforts to engage parents in school and encourages parents to be more actively involved. As teachers believe they are psychologically empowered, they tend to consider the organizational culture of the institution as developmental, group, and hierarchical. This finding supports the work of Y. H. Kim (2006), who found the positive association between organizational culture of institutions and empowerment among teachers; Chang (2005) also found that teachers perceive a higher degree of empowerment when they perceive the organizational culture of their institutions as more developmental, group, and rational. Otherwise, organizational culture may function as an antecedent, with job satisfaction as antecedent for empowerment (Johnson, 2001). In addition, the predictability of organizational culture variables became not significant when they were entered with the psychological empowerment to the regression analysis together, meaning that the correlation was overestimated. Thus, the search for potential parameters between the organizational culture and teacher–parent partnership is needed for further studies. In other words, there is a possibility that psychological empowerment can act as a mediator between the organizational culture and teacher–parent partnership. Psychological empowerment significantly explained teacher–parent partnership, and its predictability remained meaningful after controlling the background demographics of teachers. According to Spreitzer (1996), individuals with a high degree of psychological empowerment believe that the work they perform could affect the organization to which they belong, thus they can lead and control the process, value their jobs, and have faith and confidence in their job competence. In this regard, innovative behavior, job satisfaction, and organizational culture—including the shared values affecting the attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs of members—may be at an intermediate stage toward improving education through teacher–parent partnerships. On the other hand, organizational culture may be in a complementary relationship with empowerment. In this aspect, organizational culture motivates teachers to demonstrate their expertise and capabilities to strengthen their cooperation with parents for effective education. Future research should clarify the role of organizational culture in relation with the psychological empowerment of teachers and teacher–parent partnerships. The present study attempted to use individual and organizational factors simultaneously in examining teacher–parent relationships in early childhood education. The findings enhance our understanding of the mechanisms of psychological empowerment and organizational culture in early childhood teacher–parent partnerships in South Korea. The current study is useful because it used a unique sample of teachers in an Asian country, as there is still a scarcity of data from Asian cultures in this area of research. It may be true that Asians are more likely to pursue happiness and support from more close relationships compared with people in Western cultures. The study supports developing an empowerment program for core competency of early childhood teachers in terms of teacher empowerment as a professional development process (Short, 1994) and other ideas to improve the organizational culture of early childhood education institutions in South Korea. To empower teachers, institutions should hire school social workers. Compared with the relatively short 20-year history of school welfare, the Korean government has been carrying out various projects relevant to school welfare for elementary through senior high schools, which have been led by local governments and the private sector at the beginning (Noh & Kim, 2006). However, early childhood education has been an exception. Recently, a school social work project was established as part of measures to report child abuse because of the surge in reporting of child abuse in early childhood education institutions. However, social workers are not as involved in helping teachers. Especially as communication with parents is reported to be one of the main factors inducing job stress among child care providers (Reedy & McGrath, 2010) and because of the surge of child abuse reported in child care facilities, it is important to focus on the psychological well-being of teachers. The role of the shelter provider for children, a unique and important role found among Korean school social workers, can be applied to teachers (Noh & Kim, 2006). In other words, if school social workers share the load or make the task of communicating with parents more efficient for teachers, that would allow teachers to exert their competence and to escape from the uniform and hierarchical culture of institutions that may arise in relatively small size organizations in a Confucian society where age hierarchy is important, to rest in the psychological shelter. This study had several limitations. First, the study variables were measured by self-reported questionnaires. 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Children & SchoolsOxford University Press

Published: May 16, 2018

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