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Toddlare och demokratiarbete: om inflytande och delaktighet hos förskolans yngsta
Södertörn University, Teacher Education.
2015 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (professional degree), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Toddlers and democratic work : influence and participation among preschools’ youngest (English)
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this study was to find out how young children are allowed to influence and affect their daily lives in preschools, as well as teachers’ views on the latter. My interest in this topic is born out of my experience of working with both younger and older preschool children. My view is that democratic work with older children is largely based on direct verbal communication while with toddlers it is based on an adult’s interpretation of a child’s often non-verbal expressions. Thus, I believe that young children’s opportunities to influence to a greater extent than older children are dependent on having teachers with a conscious child’s perspective. Based on the above-stated purpose I have found it particularly interesting to explore a specific teachers’ approach, that takes advantage of the youngest children’s competencies, but also to identify dilemmas related to this. For that reason, the research questions have partially been formulated in order to discover whether conflicts exist between a young child’s right to influence and their need for care.

The study begins with a general historical survey followed by presentations of curriculum history with a focus on children's influence, selected developmental theories and definitions of concepts essential for this study. Developmental theories have been selected for their relevance to the study and focus on Daniel Stern's intersubjectivity theory, its conceptual determination and usefulness in studies such as this. Furthermore, the results of the survey’s qualitative empirical observational studies and interviews based on phenomenological grounds are presented.

Its main results argue that young children have the opportunity to influence when teachers allow the child´s perspective to dominate over the adult perspective. In doing this, teachers often show an intuitive awareness of young children's competencies and therefore take a flexible and playful approach in their work. Conflicts between younger children's right to influence and their need for care can be largely avoided using this outlook on democratic work in preschool. Moreover, cultural differences between a teacher´s and toddler’s expressions can be overcome by an intercultural approach where both parties are seen as equal.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 39 p.
Keyword [en]
toddlers, preschool, influence, care, interculturality
Keyword [sv]
toddlare, förskola, inflytande, omsorg, interkulturalitet
National Category
Educational Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-27526OAI: diva2:813261
Subject / course
Education Studies
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2015-05-22 Created: 2015-05-22 Last updated: 2015-11-23Bibliographically approved

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