Förskolans dokumentations- och bedömningspraktik : En diskursanalys av förskollärares gemensamma tal om dokumentation och bedömning

Sammanfattning: The aim of the study is to contribute with knowledge about preschool documentation and assessment practice. The focus lies on preschool teachers’ mutual talk about documentation and assessment and how discourses about documentation and assessment practices are sustained, challenged or recreated. In the study, the applied theory and method are taken from Norman Fairclough’s critical discourse analysis. The starting point of the study is the way preschool teachers in their speech acts express what they consider to be common sense with regard to documentation and assessment. The data material was constructed by using two focus groups with a total of 10 participant preschool teachers. The teachers’ speech acts were analyzed by applying the analysis concepts of modality and legitimacy. The result shows that preschool teachers talk about documentation as something regulated by using the curriculum as authority, as well as something benefiting the reputation of preschool and its profession, children’s development as well as the development of preschool. In addition, documentation is mentioned as a tool for working with children’s interest and influence. These are the speech acts that legitimize documentation in preschool. In contrast, there are few speech acts that question preschool documentation practice. To legitimize challenging the current documentation practice, the question whether preschool is like a Big Brother world is asked. Photographs and film emerge as highly important documentation tools for benefiting children’s development, making the organization visible to caregivers, and for pinpointing learning. Children’s participation is legitimized by preschool teachers from various aspects, while children appear to have few possibilities to abstain from documentation. The participant teachers demonstrate both the necessity and the desirability of the assessment concept in preschool documentation and assessment practice. Their talk is of high modality both when referring to the undesirability of assessing the individual child and when admitting that this is something they are obliged to do. This is legitimized by their claim that the assessment is of benefit to the children. Assessing the relation between activities and children’s actions emerges as desirable in preschool teachers’ talk. In the analysis of how preschool teachers talk about documentation and assessment, five different ways of referring to these processes can be distinguished. They comprise a power structure discourse as well as a learning, a professionalization, a digital and a welfare discourse. One conclusion to be drawn is that preschool teachers contribute to maintaining documentation as a natural part of preschool activities. Challenging preschool documentation and assessment practice occurs to some extent in that ethics discussions, which have not previously been included in preschool documentation and assessment practice, now enable teachers to discuss what their documentation requirement entails for the children.

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