Litteracitetsaktiviteter i skärningspunkten mellan lek och undervisning i förskola och förskoleklass

Sammanfattning: This licentiate thesis aims to contribute to the field of early childhood literacy by focusing on the in situ communication and interaction in literacy activities in preschools and preschool classes. The studied activities were designed by preschool teachers by means of using the educational television programme Life in Letterland (Livet i Bokstavslandet in Swedish) as a point of departure. While the current understanding of children’s early literacy development in the Swedish context largely involves a broad perspective, including children’s own cultures and experiences, curricula changes also imply that formal teaching methods will challenge the play characteristics of preschool activities. This thesis adopts a sociocultural perspective on learning and development by implying that learning is understood as situated in activities through interaction with others. The thesis consists of an extended summary and two empirical studies: study I is situated in a preschool, and study II within the context of a preschool class setting. The empirical material for both studies was generated by video documentation, and the analyses focused on the interactions between children and their teachers, and on how the activities were made meaningful for the children. A dilemma between play and instruction was evident in both studies. Study I showed that the teacher’s orchestration of preschool literacy activities was important for making them meaningful and accessible to the children. Study II showed that, although play was introduced, it transformed into an interaction that was akin to schoolwork. The teachers solved the dilemma between play and work by framing the activity in a playful way (inspired by the television programme), while the children’s work developed into accomplishing a task. In summary, even though the teachers based activities on the playful television programme this premise in itself did not make the activities meaningful. Instead, meaning was dependent on how the teachers designed and orchestrated the activities, encouraged and guided the children and involved the children’s previous literacy experiences.

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