Transformativa kunskapsprocesser för verksamhetsutveckling. : En feministisk aktionsforskningsstudie i förskolan
Sammanfattning: This doctoral thesis had two purposes. 1. To study some preschool teachers’ possibilities to develop a gender aware pedagogy by applying theories of organisation, profession and collaboration. 2. To do qualitative research by drawing on principles of research for social justice, as a contribution to the development of methodology in feminist educational action research. The following research questions helped elucidate these purposes: How do preschool teachers create space for reflection and knowledge processes over time? What individual and collective actions do preschool teachers take over time? How can this study contribute to organisational development? Feminist pragmatism served as the philosophical underpinning for feminist action research (FAR) as a methodology and method. The preschool teachers were regarded as agents for change in their own pedagogic and organisational practices. Over a three-year period meetings were conducted on a regular basis. One-on-one interviews, group interviews, numerous emails, telephone calls and some observations completed the data collection. The analytical research narrative emerged by linking the preschool teachers’ actions to their ambiguous professional status. Actions were interpreted by applying the principles inherent in FAR, what, who and critical incidents over time. The absence of professional recognition from the municipal employer and parents for the preschool teachers was evident. Since the preschool teachers needed professional recognition, they experienced the collaborative nature of this study of great value as it conferred legitimacy for their professional development. There emerged meaningful pedagogic change over time, which emphasised the temporal aspect of organisational change from the bottom up. Collective actions began to take root in a shared value system. The design of the project – to collaborate with an outside ally – was decisive in regard to creating space for reflection and collective actions. Collective actions were possible due to the courage of individual participants who dared break silences surrounding organisational injustices. In conclusion, it can be stated that organisational change over time is indeed possible by practising radical openness for agency. Transformative knowledge processes can be achieved provided that genuine offers of participation are issued and well received. By elaborating on terms such as action, participation, emancipation, social justice and knowledge, a methodological contribution could be made to feminist action research.
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