Interaktionsmönster, social anpassning och emotioner i förskolan. En mikrosociologisk studie av interaktion mellan förskollärare och barn i målorienterade aktiviteter

Sammanfattning: The overarching aim of this thesis is to contribute knowledge about the interactions between preschool teachers and children in ongoing goal-oriented documentation activities in preschool. More specifically, the thesis aims to contribute with in-depth knowledge of how interaction and social adaptation can be understood based on Goffman’s (1983, 1986) and Scheff’s (1990, 1997) micro-sociological theories. The empirical data were generated by video recordings of documentation activities that took place in the everyday context of preschools. The thesis comprises three chronologically accomplished sub-studies. Study I is a rewritten and condensed study with a focus on the results and discussion of my published licentiate thesis. The first study takes an exploratory analytical approach by means of Goffman’s concepts of framing and interaction orders, which implies that the interaction and the social behaviour are organised based on shared norms. Studies II and III constitute an in-depth development of the initial results of Study I and have a micro-sociological analytical approach using Scheff’s theory, in particular his concept of the deference-emotion system, which denotes an informal system of social sanctions that subtly promotes conformity. The overarching results show the complexities and the nature of interaction in a goal-oriented activity, with the preschool teachers demonstrating a task- and result-oriented definition, whereas the children’s definition of the situation was of a more spontaneous and changeable character. However, later in the interaction, the children adapted by temporarily agreeing with the teachers’ definition and aligning their performance accordingly, which occurred through an informal and subtle system of social influence. The thesis highlights the functions that the interaction order and emotions have in social adaptation in preschool, which need to be discussed with regard to an overall adaptation to formal schooling. This raises questions regarding the balance between conducting goal-oriented education and following children’s interests with a teacher-child relationship approach to learning activities. These questions are targeted at the policy level. In practice, however, the responsibility is placed on individual preschool teachers to handle the complexity of goal-oriented activities in preschool contexts that should also create conditions for children’s socio-emotional development and lifelong desire to learn.

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