Preschool teachers talk about curriculum for the youngest children. What is essential to learn in preschool?

Forskningsoutput: KonferensbidragArbetsdokument (paper)


The intention of this presentation is to discuss the role of education in preschool for children 1-3 years of age. It´s one angle of a study made in some Swedish preschools in 2009. The main study aims to develop knowledge concerning what the curriculum looks like that is described by teachers working with the youngest children in early childhood education. Focus is on descriptions of the what and the how in the curriculum, eg. what children should learn and how they can learn and also what is characteristic for early childhood education concerning the youngest children. A theoretical mapping of Scandinavian preschool research shows that only a few of the studies concern the youngest children, which contributes to the direction of this study’s interest. An interviewstudy with semistructured questions was carried out with 15 teachers who are working with children 1-3 years old in five different preschools. In this presentation I discuss and analyze some of the findings from the main study related to curriculumtheory and to different paradigms holding childhood perspectives. Childhood sociology, childhood psychology and childhood pedagogy constitutes a background to questions concerning child perspectives and the children and teachers as actors doing preschool. The results show that teaching assignment seem to be unique while the responsibility is to deal with and manage a large amount of care, education and learning on the spot. One concept evolved from the study is “a didactic in terms of the present moment”. It’s closely connected to the didactic questions what, how, why, who, where and when and important aspects are time, concreteness and a child perspective. In these teacher’s descriptions, children’s interests and needs seem to be more strong guidelines than intentions of the curriculum. Corresponding to childhood perspectives (Sommer, Pramling Samuelsson & Hundeide, 2010; Corsaro, 2005), this indicates a view of the child as competent and having the equal rights as adults. Another result is teacher’s sayings that self-esteem and self-confidence are prime abilities for children to achieve before they can learn anything else. This at the same time indicates an opposing view of the child as incompetent to learn until they reach certain amounts of these abilities. Further in these teachers’s outspoken curriculum the role of play is described as essential in preschool as science and mathematics. I argue that this is can be seen as a sign of an approach to more school-like activities. This is in contrast to  other research where preschool teachers position themselves as being against “schoolifying” in preschool (Enö, 2005). Related to curriculumtheory (Evans, 1982) for the youngest the results show a childcentered position and a broad interpretation of what are characteristic grounds for preschool activities. Teachers in preschool have an important work in order to achieve quality in children’s learning and development (Sheridan, 2001). Therefore it’s essential to discuss what could be the consequences if children never choose or are interested in some pedagogical content and if teachers follow children’s intentions more than the curriculum.

StatusPublicerad - 2011
EvenemangEECERA Conference, Geneva and Lausanne, 15-17th September 2011 -
Varaktighet: 1980-jan.-01 → …


KonferensEECERA Conference, Geneva and Lausanne, 15-17th September 2011
Period80-01-01 → …

Nationell ämneskategori

  • Pedagogik (50301)


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