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Redefining Undervisning for Swedish Preschool: Viewing preschool teachers’ conceptions of teaching through Cultural Historical Activity Theory
Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Recent reports by the Swedish School Inspectorate have shown preschool teachers’ understanding of their teaching mission to be complex and the responsibility of teaching in preschool, multifaceted.  While the school law places responsibility for goal-directed teaching on preschool teachers, the current Swedish preschool curriculum makes no mention of the concept of teaching, defined in Swedish as undervisning. This study examines contradictions between the domains of Swedish preschool education research, policy, and practice as visible in pre-service and in-service preschool teachers’ conceptions of teaching, as it is delineated in the steering documents, and as it is evident in the classroom. The research questions are how do pre-service and in-service preschool teachers conceptualize teaching, as it is defined in government steering documents? What do pre-service and in-service preschool teachers see as evidence of teaching in their classrooms, and how do they determine their role in teaching? Cultural Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) was used to formulate and analyze semi-structured individual interviews of pre-service and in-service preschool teachers to consider the teachers’ conceptions of teaching as a product of the historical and cultural mediated activity system of preschool. Analysis of interview transcripts highlighted how complex not only the practice of teaching is for preschool teachers, but also how there is no consensus around the definition of teaching in Swedish preschools. If preschool teachers are to abide by steering documents and undertake teaching in their practice, there needs to be a new inclusive definition that imparts some clarity to preschool teaching. The new working definition, theorized using Leontiev’s hierarchy of activity, action, and operation, may help researchers, policy makers, and preschool teachers negotiate some of the confusion surrounding how to adopt and adapt teaching into Swedish preschool.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 31
Keywords [en]
teaching, undervisning, preschool, play, contradictions, activity theory, Leontiev
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-40024ISRN: JU-HLK-PEA-2-20180051OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-40024DiVA, id: diva2:1215304
Subject / course
HLK, Education
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-06-12 Created: 2018-06-08 Last updated: 2018-06-12Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf