Barns kamratrelationer i förskolan: Samhörighet tillhörighet vänskap utanförskap
Sammanfattning: The thesis is a survey of 353 preschool children’s social relations emphasizing their peer and friendship relations in particular. The study also concerns the conceptions the preschool personnel have concerning the children’s social characteristics and social skills. The aim of the work is to contribute empirically to provide an answer to the question of whether the preschool represents a social environment that gives all children the opportunity of establishing good relations with other children. Children between three and seven years of age from a total of 18 preschool groups and the preschool personnel assigned to the groups participated in the study. The basic methods used are sociometry and a teacher’s rating scale. Reasons why the preschool is regarded as a place where all children should be able to establish good social relations with other children are based on a variety of assumptions made in three different discourses; moral theory, developmental psychology and the curriculum for the Swedish preschools (Lpfö-98). The sociometric results reveal three main patterns in the children’s social relations; belonging, solidarity and friendship. The majority of the preschool children appeared to gain belonging and experience solidarity within their peer group and to be a part of friendship relations from an early age. Approximately every ninth child was not named as someone’s peer (referred to as excluded children). The children’s social belonging and social solidarity is found to be related primarily to the group to which they belonged rather than to any structural variables like gender or age. The main differences were those within and between the different groups, primarily in the numbers of children included and excluded respectively. A relationship is clearly found between the teachers’ understanding of the children’s social characteristics and social skills on the one hand and the children’s group status and their belongings and solidarity on the other. The difference between the children that have belonging and solidarity compared to those who does not in how the teachers understood their social characteristics and social skills increased with an increase in the child’s popularity. One of the conclusions to be drawn is that the preschool groups in which there are children who do not gain belonging or who do not recognize their having a friend, appeared not be fulfilling their task of providing an environment in which all children are able to experience themselves as valued members of the group. An other conclusion to be drawn is that it appears that the characteristics and skills the teachers ascribe the children are related to the children’s ability to develop good relations with other children. The dominant discourse concerning the competent child clearly does not apply to all the children. The differences between the various preschool groups in the social belonging and social isolation the children expressed could not be adequately explained in the study, but it would be of utmost interest to examine this further in a new study.
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