Bångstyriga barn : Makt, normer och delaktighet i förskolan
Sammanfattning: In recent years, feminist research in education has put an increasing emphasis on the relationship between children and adults, mostly connected to a critique of gender pedagogy and other forms of so-called “fundamental values education” (värdegrundsarbete). This study looks at the power relations between children and adults in preschool in the context of educational activities intending to increase gender equity, social equality, and participation. The study’s aim is to examine the tensions and conflicts that occur in this context. How are the power relations between adults and children expressed and negotiated? Which possibilities do children have for participation, for resistance, and for creating something new? On a more general level, the study intends to examine democracy in the context of the educational work in question. It hopes to contribute to a discussion about the democratic implications of our understanding of “children” and “adults”, both in the preschool context and in society at large. This also concerns children’s and adults’ possibilities to step outside of preconceived frames and engage in processes of transformation.As a methodological approach I have followed fundamental values education in a selected preschool for one school year. I did an ethnographic field study, in which I observed the preschool’s regular activities. I also had separate meetings with the teachers, during which we discussed the children’s possibilities to participate in fundamental values education, drawing inspiration from action research. As a theoretical departure point, and in order to investigate the power relations between adults and children, I use poststructuralist and feminist theory, with a particular interest in power, norms, and participation. I put the focus on children’s resistance and on “unruly children”, who, I argue, challenge us to revisit and improve our educational aspirations in gender equity, social equality, and participation.
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