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Aspects of democracy in preschool-home collaboration
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies (from 2013). (UBB, Utbildningsvetenskapliga studier av barn och barndom)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0827-9715
2019 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Aspects of democracy in preschool-home collaboration

Research topicThe research is a part of a larger project aiming to consolidate relationships between universities and schools/preschools in order to develop models for cooperation. This presentation focus on the first stage of the project and examines preschool teachers’ understandings of the democratic mission of preschool.

The aim of this presentation is to highlight some issues of teachers’ work and aspects of democracy in relation to preschool-home collaboration.

Theoretical framework

The theoretical framework is an ecological approach of “teacher agency” according to Priestly, Biesta and Robinson (2015). Agency situated in teachers’ professional work, described as the outcomes of interactive processes of critical reflections, as entanglements of their experiences and projective abilities. Reflections used to evaluate how to respond to problematic situations and dilemmas occurring in the situated cultural, structural and material context, called the practical-evaluative dimension (Biesta et. al., 2015).  The theory help illustrate teachers’ differing aspects of democracy, and how teachers form their action repertoires when evaluating experiences out of the situated context.

Methodological design

The data collected through interviews in focus groups, included 48 preschool teachers discussing the democratic mission and teacher assignments. Conversations recorded and analyzed by content analysis.

The initial analyze revealed that aspects of democracy in relation to preschool-home collaboration were predominant in the discussions about the democratic mission. This appeared as an emergent theme around democracy and was analyzed by the practical-evaluative dimension of the theoretical perspective of TA.

Findings

The result show how structural and cultural factors as policies, education, religion, language, discourses and norms were crucial in the teachers’ understandings of democracy in relation to preschool-home collaboration.It reveals three different approaches of teacher agency that suggests various consequences for preschool-home collaboration:Predominant approach, teacher agency characterized by teachers using power to maintain norms and strong structures in disagreements with parents. Democracy regarded as a content, but not practiced as a form, in teachers’ response to parents and children. An approach that constrains parents’ and children’s participation.

Limited approach is appearing in situations where teachers lack experiences or/and knowledge about the teaching assignment and policies. This often results in teachers avoiding problematic situations and dilemmas in their work.

Transformative approach of teacher agency is when teachers being critical to their own ideas and interested in different perspectives. Understanding democracy as a way to exist with others to increase mutual understandings of problematic situations and dilemmas occurring in preschool-home collaboration. Democracy made together in deliberative conversations between teachers, children and parents that enables participation.

Relevance to Nordic educational research

This presentation contributes with knowledge about how different approaches of teacher agency enable or constrain preschool-home collaboration. Understandings that provides an opportunity to increase achievement of democracy in preschool-home collaboration. A crucial part of the democratic mission of preschool.

The larger project provides knowledge of cooperation models between researchers and teachers in order develop collaboration between universities and schools/preschools.

References

Priestley, M., Biesta, G. & Robinson, S. (2015). Teacher agency: An ecological approach. London: Bloombury Academic.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
Keywords [en]
Collaboration, democracy, parents, preschool, teachers, teacher agency
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Educational Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-71481OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-71481DiVA, id: diva2:1295782
Conference
NERA, Nordic Educational Research Association 2019, 6-8 March, Uppsala, Sweden
Projects
ULF-step, UBB, Karlstad universityAvailable from: 2019-03-12 Created: 2019-03-12 Last updated: 2019-04-25Bibliographically approved

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Johansson, Emelie

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
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Language
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  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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