Undervisningsuppdraget i förskolan ur ett didaktiskt perspektiv
Sammanfattning: The overall aim of this thesis is to increase knowledge of how the teaching mission can be understood and realised in preschool as an educational practice. The main research questions are: 1. How can teaching be realised in preschool daily practice? 2. How is preschool teachers’ specific responsibility for teaching expressed during collegial meetings? 3. In what way does preschool teachers’ didactical leadership emerge during collegial meetings? The thesis is based on four articles. Each one of the articles answers specific research questions. The data for study 1 and 2 were gathered through observations, video filming and field notes. Three preschool teachers and 12 children participated in substudies 1 and 2. The observations focused on preschool teachers’ actions and how these influenced children’s meaning making. Substudy 1 focused on preschool teachers’ teaching in relation to three different activities. It shows different didactical consequences that teaching leads to in relation to children’s meaning making. Substudy 2 explored how preschool teachers’ habits influenced and limited teaching in relation to preschool curriculum goals. The analysed activities were outdoor activities, with a specific focus on sand play. The theoretical perspective used for the data analysis in substudies 1 and 2 was John Dewey’s pragmatism. The data in substudies 3 and 4 were gathered through non-participant observation and audio recording of seventeen collegial meetings. Five qualified preschool teachers, one unqualified preschool teacher and one preservice preschool teacher participated in substudies 3 and 4. Some of the collegial meetings were led by the principal and a pedagogical mentor. The focus for substudy 3 was on the challenges expressed by the preschool teachers in relation to their own teaching responsibility. Substudy 4 explored what didactical questions the preschool teachers discussed during the collegial meetings and how these could be related to preschool teachers’ didactical leadership. Basil Bernstein’s theory of pedagogic practice was used to analyse the results of substudies 3 and 4. The results of the four substudies show how preschool teachers’ actions create both possibilities and constraints for children’s meaning making. The opportunities for meaning making were limited when children’s actions were only confirmed or when the purpose of an activity was unclear for the participating children. On the other hand, when preschool teachers’ actions expanded ongoing activities by introducing new elements, children’s opportunities for meaning making increased. Furthermore, the results show how preschool teachers’ specific responsibility for teaching is toned down by the preschool teachers themselves. Instead, a shared pedagogical responsibility in the team is considered most important. Nevertheless, preschool teachers express challenges in relation to a shared pedagogical responsibility, especially when a common understanding for the pedagogical practice is missing in the team as a whole. Furthermore, they express a lack of full legitimacy to lead other colleagues. A conclusion that can be drawn from the study’s result is that preschool is embedded in what Bernstein describes as an invisible pedagogy. As a result of this, it may be challenging for preschool teachers to establish didactical leadership and subsequently take on their own specific responsibility for teaching.
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