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Naturorienterad utbildning i förskolan: pragmatiska undersökningar av meningsskapandets individuella, sociala och kulturella dimensioner
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3606-9379
2013 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [sv]

The overall purpose of this thesis is to investigate, illuminate and clarify meaning making processes and content when children between the ages of 1-3 encounter nature in a preschool practice. Further, the aim is to develop and illustrate action-centred methodological approaches that facilitate investigations of individual, social and cultural dimensions of preschool children’s meaning making of nature. The results are presented in four substudies that all take their starting points in John Dewey’s pragmatic philosophy, with a specific focus on Dewey’s concept of transactions, his theory of action and educative experience as meaning making. In the first substudy, a Practical Epistemology Analysis (PEA) is developed and used to investigate physical meaning making by studying actions and the consequences of these actions. In the second sub-study, a Custom Analysis is developed to facilitate investigations of how the preschool culture contributes to children’s meaning making of nature. An Epistemological Move Analysis (EMA) is used in the third sub-study for investigations relating to teachers’ guiding processes. Here, a Substantive Learning Quality Analysis (SLQA) is also developed and used for investigations of multi-dimensional learning qualities in children’s learning about nature. In the fourth substudy, the analysis methods above are refined to form a tool that can be used by teachers in their reflective work with pedagogical documentation in preschool practice. The results illuminate a multifaceted perspective of meaning making about nature. In this context, meaning making includes cognitive, physical, moral and aesthetical qualities, and nature content includes caring for nature, health and well being in nature and knowledge about natural phenomena and processes. The results contribute to a critical discussion about preschool science education that concerns how preschool practices can highlight nature learning and the multifaceted aspects that are of importance for making meaning of the environment and of life. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro universitet , 2013. , 121 p.
Series
Örebro Studies in Education, ISSN 1404-9570 ; 37
Series
Örebro Studies in Educational Sciences with an Emphasis on Didactics, 5
Keyword [sv]
Preschool, early childhood education, science education, nature, teaching, meaning making, John Dewey, pragmatism, transaction
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-26425ISBN: 978-91-7668-910-3 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-26425DiVA: diva2:567294
Public defence
2013-01-18, Örebro universitet, Prismahuset, Hörsal P2, Fakultetsgatan 1, Örebro, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2012-11-12 Created: 2012-11-12 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Action with friction: a transactional approach to toddlers’ physical meaning making of natural phenomena and processes in preschool
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Action with friction: a transactional approach to toddlers’ physical meaning making of natural phenomena and processes in preschool
2012 (English)In: European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, ISSN 1350-293X, E-ISSN 1752-1807, Vol. 20, no 3, 439-454 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Research into preschool education has paid a lot of attention to investigating children’s conceptual development and cognitive learning aboutnature, with methods based on observations and verbal interviews before and after a teaching period. The purpose of this study has been to present and illustrate an approach that facilitates the analysis of practical meaning making in Early Childhood Education. The study is largely based on John Dewey’s pragmatism and has a particular focus on his use of transaction, functional coordination, inquiry, educative experience and nature. In this context meaning making is understood as the growing, learning process that contributes to further actions in extended ways. A transactional approach to physical experiences, with a focus on analyses of toddlers’ bodily actions in nature encounters, is illustrated by a video recording of a toddler’s encounter with icy and clay surfaces. This encounter was analysed using Practical Epistemological Analysis. Toddlers’ inquiry processes were studied with a specific focus on functional coordination, i.e. relations between different actions and their consequences when meeting the environment. The methodological approach contributes to further research by focusing on practical and physical learning processes. It can also be seen as a contribution to Early Childhood Science Education by showing the relation between previous experiences of natural phenomena and meaning making for further actions in extended ways.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxfordshire, United Kingdom: Taylor & Francis, 2012
Keyword
Practical epistemology analysis (PEA), science education, bodily actions, nature, pragmatism, transaction
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-26948 (URN)10.1080/1350293X.2012.704765 (DOI)000309120200009 ()2-s2.0-84866668211 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2013-01-21 Created: 2013-01-21 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
2. Children’s meaning making of nature in an outdoor-oriented and democratic Swedish preschool practice
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Children’s meaning making of nature in an outdoor-oriented and democratic Swedish preschool practice
2014 (English)In: European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, ISSN 1350-293X, E-ISSN 1752-1807, Vol. 22, no 2, 229-253 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Previous research has shown that the Swedish preschool educational tradition is characterised by outdoor-oriented and democratic approaches. The purpose of this study is to empirically investigate what consequences these approaches have for preschool children's meaning-making of nature, when studied in practice, in children's spontaneous outdoor activities. The methodology is based on John Dewey's pragmatism with a specific focus on transaction, habits and customs. A transactional analysis method has been developed to fulfil the purpose of the investigation. The analysis illuminates relations between: (1) the Swedish preschool's educational tradition in terms of national customs; and (2) the local customs expressed in practice. Fifty-seven events were chosen for further analysis including play with water and sand, and sliding on snow. Consequences for children's meaning-making of nature are shown as possibilities for experience-based inquiry based on children's own choices and also for enjoying and feeling good in nature. The results show fewer possibilities for scientific concept learning. The results can thus be seen as a contribution to the early childhood educational discussion about how to arrange learning situations of natural phenomena and processes in preschools and at the same time maintain their democratic/outdoor-oriented characteristics

Keyword
outdoor; democracy; Swedish preschool; culture; pragmatism; meaning-making
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-26587 (URN)10.1080/1350293X.2014.883721 (DOI)000334334300007 ()2-s2.0-84898972839 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2012-12-05 Created: 2012-12-05 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
3. Doing, knowing, caring and feeling: Exploring relations between nature-oriented teaching and preschool children’s learning
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Doing, knowing, caring and feeling: Exploring relations between nature-oriented teaching and preschool children’s learning
2013 (English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Research has shown that early childhood science education is based on education and care, sometimes stressed as a dichotomy. The purpose of this study is to empirically investigate the relations between teachers’ teaching and children’s learning in preschool practice, both in terms of educative processes and nature oriented content. The ambition is also to develop and present an analysis method that facilitates these investigations. Outdoor nature experiences of preschool children (aged 1-3) were video-recorded, transcribed and analysed. The methodology is based on John Dewey’s pragmatic philosophy. Here, Epistemological Move Analysis, oriented toward teachers’ guiding processes as moves, and Substantive Learning Quality Analysis, oriented toward multidimensional learning qualities, are developed and used as analysis tools. The analyses show that the relations between teaching and learning processes and nature content are intertwined and include education and care. The teachers guide towards aesthetical, moral, cognitive and physical qualities in learning by challenging, admonishing, instructional, confirming, generative, reorienting and reconstructing moves. The results contribute to nature-oriented teaching practice and nature-oriented preschool research when discussing and investigating teaching and learning processes and nature content.

Keyword
preschool teaching, transactional approach, John Dewey, nature, epistemological moves
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-26950 (URN)
Available from: 2013-01-21 Created: 2013-01-21 Last updated: 2017-10-18Bibliographically approved
4. Verksamhetsorienterad dokumentation i förskolans praktik: ett didaktiskt reflektionsverktyg
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Verksamhetsorienterad dokumentation i förskolans praktik: ett didaktiskt reflektionsverktyg
(Swedish)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [sv]

I artikeln presenteras ett tredelat verktyg att använda vid läsning och granskning av dokumentationer. Verktyget är teoretiskt grundat i ett pragmatiskt perspektiv på lärande. Detta pragmatiska perspektiv bidrar med att bibehålla öppenhet för osäkerhet och överraskningar och låta dokumentationen inkludera socialisation och värdeinnehållsliga lärprocesser kopplade till mänsklig aktivitet (Dewey 1929; Biesta och Burbules 2003), samtidigt som det också erbjuder möjlighet till strukturerade reflektioner kring samtidiga och ömsesidiga dimensioner av meningsskapande. Reflektionsverktyget kan vara ett sätt att ta stöd i verksamhetsorienterade teorier (se exempelvis Pramling Samuelsson och Asplund Carlsson 2003; Dahlberg, Moss och Pence 2006; Lenz Taguchi 2012) och med hjälp av pragmatiska perspektiv på lärande synliggöra relationer mellan individuella, sociala och förskolekulturella dimensioner av meningsskapande processer och innehåll.

National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-26951 (URN)
Note

Susanne Klaar is also affiliated to Institutionen för kommunikation och information, Högskolan i Skövde, Skövde, Sweden

Available from: 2013-01-21 Created: 2013-01-21 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved

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