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Undervisning i förskolan?: en studie av förskollärarstuderandes föreställningar
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
Responsible organisation
2000 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In Sweden an increasing number of children enter school at the age of six rather than as before at the age of seven. There is an increasing need for cooperation between preschool teachers and school teachers. When these two professional groups meet, they use different professional vocabularies. The concept of teaching (Sw. 'undervisning' close to instruction) is not used by preschool teachers, while it is a central concept for school teachers. With this background the purpose of the investigation is to describe and interpret preschool teacher student's images about the concept of teaching in preschool.

Three main questions were investigated:

How do preschool teacher students discuss teaching in preschool context?

What meaning (signification) do they put into the concept?

Do the students change their ideas about preschool teaching during their training?

The data collection was carried out from the autumn term of 1991 up to and including the autumn term of 1993 at the preschool teacher training at Högskolan Dalarna.

Four groups of students were asked to have leader-less discussions about teaching. As a starting point they were provided with pre-constructed questions. Students' statements were analysed by means of Kansanen's model of three levels of thinking; action level, first thinking level and the second thinking level. In the results was shown that a part of the students changed their earlier ideas. As the project proceeded, two of the groups became able to see the difference between teaching and learning and also accounted for ideas about what preschool teaching might be. While talking about teaching the students created new concepts, they used terms like "forest teaching", "teaching play", "secure play" and "care lesson". The kind of teaching they talked about was called "child teaching".

The results also brought forward three comprehensive images, of preschool teaching: Synonymity Images, Traditional School Images and Child Care Images. Synonymity implies that the students understand teaching as synonymous with the occurrence of learning. Traditional School Images imply that the students are of the opinion that the teacher is the one who is active and instructs the pupils what to do. Child Care Images imply an outlook on teaching that it must not be noticed, the child must not be influenced directly, but more indirectly by means of material and playing.

The analysis indicates that some of the preschool teacher students have changed their images during the series of discussions about the same concept, from a more restricted to a more expanded and reflective outlook on teaching in preschool. Some students have changed their views, while others have not or only to a little extent. The rapidity of this process differs between students.

It seems that the training played a minor part for the students' reflecting on teaching in preschool. The investigation shows among other things that the training does not expose them to challenges that make them develop their thinking and ideas on teaching and learning. It also seems that a conscious and reflective planning is an important prerequisite for seeing the daily teaching in a perspective and being able to reflect upon it. Nothing seems to indicate that the students during their trainee periods have analysed the relationship between teaching and on the other hand learning an the children's activities such as free play.

The fact that students only to a limited extent carried out the discussions at the second thinking level indicates that pedagogical and other theories should be studied in the preschool teacher training so that these theories later may function as efficient and forceful tools in the work.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: HLS Förlag , 2000. , 183 p.
Studies in educational sciences, ISSN 1400-478X ; 1400-478X ;2
Keyword [en]
teacher education, preschool teacher training, concept of teaching, thinking levels.
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-7900ISBN: 91-7656-470-3OAI: diva2:199246
Public defence
2000-03-25, Sal D3, Lärarhögskolan, Rålambsvägen 24, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Available from: 2000-03-04 Created: 2000-03-04 Last updated: 2009-12-09Bibliographically approved

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