Att våga flyga: Ett deltagarorienterat projekt om samtalets potential och förskolepersonals konstruktion av det professionella subjektet
Sammanfattning: A major aim initially was to create a forum for reflective dialogue on the preschool professions and how it is experienced on a daily basis, so as to be able to investigate how members of the preschool staff construct their professional subject. The following are major questions that were posed: How do preschool staff members talk about themselves, their profession and their work? In what way does reflective discussion contribute to the construction of a professional subject? The basic method adopted was that of participatory research. The specific methods employed included those of thematically structured depth interviews, dialogue conferences and a research circle. Participants were found to construct the subject matter of their profession in part on the basis of their working-class and lower middle-class background. The fact that they were women working in a profession dominated by women also influenced their conception of themselves as professionals. There was a more or less hidden professional hierarchy within the preschool concerning preschool teachers versus child minders. The discussions dealt in particular with pedagogical matters, childcare, professionalism and individuality. Participants showed their acceptance of various norms and values readily associated with subordination. The duality of their situation became evident when they discussed such matters as caring for children and teaching, as well as their simply performing their duties versus having a sense of achievement. It became evident how their location between the public and the private spheres influences preschool staffs? construction of the subject matter of their profession. There was also an obvious duality between their professional position and the position of others when they viewed themselves in relation to colleagues, children, parents and the school system generally. Although they regarded themselves as authorities in certain contexts, in other situations they identified themselves with groups they considered to be in a subordinate position. It was from this latter perspective that they tended to criticize prevailing norms, public authorities and the educational system. The project revealed a clear potential for change and emancipation and the importance of hope and of creating meaning. The discussions appeared to contribute to the development of new and differing perspectives of participants regarding their professional and private identities. In addition, they overcame polarization and the adherence to inflexible positions, as well as to develop and apply knowledge of various types. A demystification of power structures and an increased insight into pedagogical processes and the capabilities of the individual could also be noted.
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