Swedish preschools are welfare institutions required to achieve and demonstrate high quality. The preschool teachers are responsible not only for the quality of the daily activities at the preschool, but also for the evaluation and development of these activities. The latter can be problematic especially in times of diminishing financial resources. This raises question on how quality is defined and evaluated.
Our analysis of the national steering documents showed two coexisting discourses concerning quality and quality work in the Swedish preschools: I) a relational discourse within which quality was closely related to relations and reflections, and II) a new public management (NPM) discourse within which quality was related to measurability and effectiveness.
A following study of discursive expressions of quality and quality work among preschool teachers showed that the participants’ statements to a high extent corresponded with the relational discourse found in the national steering documents. The teachers regarded themselves responsible for maintain good relations to the children and their parents, and to their colleagues. The relational discourse was to some extent challenged by the NPM discourse. This discourse was found in statements stressing a correspondence between activities and curriculum, and the local guiding principle: perform, evaluate, and develop. Evaluations were made by mandatory reports to the municipal administration and locally produced inquiry forms to the parents.
In this paper we present a study which aims to explore discursive expressions about how quality could be achieved in preschool work among preschool teachers. The methodological frame of reference is inspired by critical discourse analysis, which enables the study of discourses and their relations to socio cultural practices, hereby allowing a critical perspective on society. Data was collected during a seminar where preschool teachers reflect upon their work and how they define quality or lack of quality.
|Publication status||Published - 2012|
|Event||NFPF/NERA 40th Congress: Everyday life, education and their transformations in a Nordic and globalized context - |
Duration: 1980-Jan-01 → …
|Conference||NFPF/NERA 40th Congress: Everyday life, education and their transformations in a Nordic and globalized context|
|Period||80-01-01 → …|
Swedish Standard Keywords
- Educational Sciences (503)