När förskolan möter neurovetenskap Kunskapsteoretiska möten i teori och i praktik
Sammanfattning: This doctoral thesis in Early Childhood Education reports on encounters between the theories and practices of Swedish preschool and research-based neuroscience knowledge. Thus, this thesis concerns epistemological encounters and didactic consequences. The scientific problem pertains to the relation between scientifically generated knowledge and educational practices in preschool, with specific attention to the requirement that preschool, as the first level in the Swedish education system, should be based on scientific knowledge and verified experience-based knowledge. The didactic problem emerging from this scientific problem concerns how this might affect the daily practices of responsible preschool teachers and educators at large.The thesis adopts a relational ontology with a multi-epistemological and methodological approach, based primarily on Stengers’ (e.g., 2018) and Mols’ (e.g., 2002) respective scholarship. The aims of the thesis are to investigate, firstly; what is produced in epistemological encounters within and between the research fields of Early Childhood Education and neuroscience. Secondly; what is produced between these fields and preschool didactic practices. The focus for the latter is on the didactic practices relying on the extended language concept in the Swedish preschool curriculum.To explore these aims in more detail, a series of so-called cartography mapping exercises have been conducted. On the one hand, in the analyses of the literature aimed at bringing the two fields together. On the other hand, cartography mapping has been conducted with educators in three preschools collaboratively analyzing their literacy practices. The Deleuze-inspired (Deleuze & Guattari, 1987) methodology of cartography mapping aspire to simultaneously critically deconstruct and productively experiment with underlying lines of thinking emerging from scientific or philosophical problems that concern development and learning, and especially language development and skills of literacy during the preschool years (Lenz Taguchi, 2016a, 2016b).The knowledge that this thesis produces is summarized below. Cartography mapping can be used both as a research method and as a method in pedagogical practice. In addition, cartography mapping can accommodate issues in different epistemologies and in different practices, such as research practice and preschool didactic practice. That is, practices that are related and share an overarching aim, but which are nevertheless not the same. The method reveals the different epistemologies present and how they can operate simultaneously within preschool didactic practice. The results from the thesis support the Swedish preschool curriculum goals which encompasses a dual assignment of learning (group and individual), that require different epistemological and didactic methods to be fulfilled.A preschool practice based on scientific evidence and verified experience-based knowledge thus requires the use of a wide range of theories and epistemologies to guide preschool staff. Hence, the results of this thesis show not just the presence, but also the possibility of developing a multi-epistemological didactic repertoire in preschool development and learning practices.
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