“You Say… I Hear…”: Epistemic Gaps in Practitioner-Parent/Carer Talk

  • Nick Hodge
  • Katherine Runswick-Cole


  • Policy guidance has often focused on the need for strong partnerships between parents/carers and practitioners to support the learning of children labelled with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND).

  • Despite this policy focus, relationships between parents/carers and practitioners are often difficult.

  • This chapter explores the nature of these difficulties drawing on the work of Lipsky (1971) and McKenzie and Scully (2007).

  • In conclusion, there are suggestions for how partnership working between parents/carers, practitioners and children might be developed.



The authors would like to thank the parents, carers and practitioners who have shared their experiences and permitted us to represent them here. We would also like to thank members of the Disability Research Forum at Sheffield Hallam University for their feedback on a presentation of this work and Jack Levinson, City University New York, for directing us to the work of Lipsky.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nick Hodge
    • 1
  • Katherine Runswick-Cole
    • 2
  1. 1.Sheffield Hallam UniversitySheffieldUK
  2. 2.The School of EducationThe University of SheffieldSheffieldUK

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