Barns deltagande och delaktighet : Projektarbete i en förskola med inspiration från Reggio Emilia

Sammanfattning: This thesis explores children’s and pedagogues’ participation in project work in a Swedish preschool inspired by the pedagogical philosophy of Reggio Emilia and its associated participatory agenda. The overall aim is to investigate how children are involved in the shaping of project work in everyday interactions. The study examines how children’s participation and involvement in project work, as it unfolds over time, is organized and negotiated in interaction; what children and pedagogues are oriented to and what communicative, embodied, visual, and material resources that are used. The empirical material was collected during a six months long video ethnographic study among four to five years old children. The video recordings and field notes collected during participant observations are analyzed from an ethnomethodological and a socio-cultural perspective.The study sheds light on how both children and pedagogues are active agents in the constitution of project work and the various communicative and material resources that they draw upon when participating in project work. The findings highlight how the pedagogues work to create conditions for children’s participation and how this work is intimately connected to and dependent on children’s agency. Moreover, it is shown that the pedagogues are creating conditions to facilitate children’s participation through various activities that at first glance appear as controlling. Among other things the pedagogues vary how wide ranging content is allowed. When participating in project work the children are treated and act as competent. They relate to tasks as active subjects and participatory agents in that they coordinate various resources to solve problems and to create products. In their interpretations and reinterpretations of a given task, the children take into account as well the pedagogues’ instructions as their own and other children’s interests.