"Vi började se barnen och deras samspel på ett nytt sätt " : Utveckling av samspelsdimensionen i förskolan med hjälp av Pedagogisk processreflektion

Sammanfattning: The overall aim of the Educational Process Reflection (EPR) studies has been to develop a better understanding concerning interaction between adults and children and the conditions for children’s peer play and interaction within the pre-school arena. The ultimate goal of the present study is to explore how practitioners through the use of EPR may develop the dimension of social interaction between practitioners and children and between children, in order to consciously create a more healthy and inclusive experience for all children and especially for children at risk. The study is based on a hermeneutic and a socio cultural perspective and a combination of activity theory and object relation theory. The methodology draws on activity theory and Yrjö Engeström’s (1987) development work research and specifically a more elaborated version of learning activity termed Educational Process Reflection, which is a model for professional development created in the previous EPR-studies presented in Bygdeson-Larsson (2005a; b; 2006). It builds on practitioners´ observations of peer play interactions and practitioners retold experiences of interaction with the children. The model consists of an oscillation between EPR-sessions and pre-school practice. The results of the study are presented in a narrative way and show how changes in pre-school grow out of collaborative reflection combined with new theoretical perspectives. The practitioners´ competence or professionalism concerning the interactive dimension was improved and individual children at risk got new and better conditions for being included in positive peer play and interaction experiences. The pre-school turned out to become a resilient environment for children in peer play and interactive difficulties. The main results illuminate and give an understanding of how practitioners´ ways of working with children in peer play problems or special needs turned out to become more resilient and how children got better possibilities to be included in positive ways. It also enhances the understanding of how the processes in peer play situations changed for the better for other children and how the whole climate in the pre-school also seemed to change and become more inclusive. Overall the results of this study bring about an enhanced understanding of the complexity of the pre-school seen as an activity system and the need for new tools concerning interactive processes. This study implicates that pre-school practitioners own investigation and reflection of interactive processes in pre-school is essential, and may well be used before applying a categorising or diagnostic approach concerning children in special needs. This study has implications for professional development, researcher-practitioner co-operation and consultative activities concerning pre-schools and children. The present study implies that all these activities have an advantage of taking the dynamics of the pre-school as an activity system into account before focusing on practitioners or children as individuals.