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When the mission of culture and diversity is put in the preschool teacher’s lap: A study of how preschool teachers work with intercultural issues in Swedish Preschools.
Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, School Based Research, Preschool Education Research.
Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, School Based Research, Preschool Education Research.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (university diploma), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The aim of the research presented in this paper is to expand current understandings of how preschool teachers in Sweden work with and talk about intercultural issues in preschool, and how they interpret the curriculum working with respect to issues of cultural diversity. The study is based on data from two semi-structured focus groups with preschool teachers from preschools where the majority of the children were foreign born or were first generation Swedes. Transcriptions from these focus groups were subjected to content analyses based on a norm critical perspective. Our results showed that the preschool teachers had difficulty distinguishing the terms multicultural and intercultural. However, based on the way the teachers discussed their approaches to engaging with actual and hypothetical cultural dilemmas it was evident that the teachers had competence in the intercultural area and worked with an intercultural pedagogy but without reflecting about it.  While our study showed that teachers believe that they need more formal training in intercultural pedagogy, it also highlighted the fact that teachers develop legitimate competencies in these areas on their own. These ”learning-by-doing” competencies are valuable as well and should be accounted for as the preschool teacher training sector works to develop training methods for preschool teaches in intercultural education. A lot of things are left for the preschool teacher to handle and interpret by themselves.  The curriculum is an example for one of these tools that a lot of teachers have a hard time interpreting. Our results showed that the goals in the curriculum within the aspect of intercultural issues and diversity is contradictory and hard to understand.




Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 42 p.
Keyword [en]
intercultural education, norms, diversity, multicultural education, preschool curriculum, preschool teachers
Keyword [sv]
Interkulturalitet, normer, mångfald, multikulturell utbildning, läroplanen för förskolan, förskollärare
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-30864ISRN: JU-HLK-JU-1-20160197OAI: diva2:942580
Available from: 2016-06-27 Created: 2016-06-25 Last updated: 2016-06-27Bibliographically approved

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