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It didn´t turn out the way it was supposed to: Possibilities for children´s agency in a teacher organized environment
Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication.
Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this study is to examine the ways in which preschool teachers’ organization of the physical and social environment both restrict and enable children's free play. Specifically, we want to understand how these forms of organization has an impact on children’s agency. To reach this aim we conducted a case study to examine the organization of the physical environment in preschool rooms where free play takes place, and the actions children take in these rooms. We focused in particular on the teacher’s role in this organization. The study is based on observations and interviews of teachers from a rural preschool with 14 children aged 3-4 years. Interview transcripts and field notes were subjected to a content analysis. We found that the teachers have a vision that the environment should be in constant change and therefore want a diversity and variation in the material. It also became apparent that teachers distinguish between “good” and “bad” forms of play, and that these distinctions play a role in how the teachers evaluate children’s free play and the organization of free play spaces. In addition, it became evident that certain rooms and material were conducive to certain types of play. The results showed for example, that teacher´s ideas of good play and the use of closed doors and gates became an infringement on children´s agency. Conclusions of this study were that through the environment the teachers have designed and the materials they have chosen, their control of free play and children´s agency is always present.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 28 p.
Keyword [en]
Agency, free play, control, environment, preschool, classification, framing
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-30742ISRN: JU-HLK-JU-1-20160166OAI: diva2:940912
Available from: 2016-06-22 Created: 2016-06-21 Last updated: 2016-06-22Bibliographically approved

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