Barns övergångar till och från förskoleklass : Gränser, identiteter och (dis-)kontinuiteter

Sammanfattning: The overall aim of this study is to gain knowledge of how the transitions to and from preschool class are described and understood by children. Previous research has indicated that transitions between different school forms can be seen as both problematic and threatening. Transitions should be facilitated and "smooth", something that indicates that continuity is important. Of interest for this study is to gain knowledge of children's perspective of continuities: which continuities and discontinuities children express intransitions.Transitions are theoretically considered as social processes that are constructed, shared and reconstructed together with others. In these processes, children mark and construct borders through speech and action. Their border markings (for example, expression of differences and/or similarities between different communities and between different school forms) also become part of a child's identity constructions.The thesis is based upon the research described in three articles. The empirical data underlying these studies was constructed in a longitudinal ethnographic inspired field work where children have been observed in two transitions between three different school forms: preschool, preschool class and compulsory school.Results suggest that from children’s perspectives the transitions between different school forms contain challenges, opportunities, limitations, changes and preservation. However, the transitions also involve expressions concerning security, risk-taking and include visual markings between the different school forms.One of the conclusions that can be drawn from this work is that it isn’t enough to turn to policy level, such as curricula or even teachers’ aims or aspirations to facilitate these transitions. The child’s perspectives need to be taken into account. Through children's narratives, we have gained knowledge about the opportunities transitions can offer, but also how transitions can be considered as threats or be difficult to interpret for children. This study has also increased our understanding of the importance of continuity as well as discontinuity to mark borders between different school forms.

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