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Preschool Teachers Responsibility in a Discourse-analytical Perspective: a Swedish Case
University of Borås, School of Education and Behavioural Science.
2014 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Both internationally and nationally, there is an ongoing tendency to pinpoint responsibility as well as individual executives as responsible for different parts of activities (Svensson, 2011). However, in the educational area, this has particularly been applied when it comes to the heads of pre-schools and schools and to teachers in these contexts. Since the 2010 this trend has been clearly articulated through the discourse about preschool teachers' responsibility in the Swedish preschool curriculum (Skolverket, 2010). When the preschool curriculum was revised in 2010 there was a clear discursive change related to the preschool teacher's responsibility for the pedagogical activities. This change meant that parts of the responsibility that for many years had been described as a responsibility shared by the participants in the team, now came to be described as a preschool teacher's responsibility. Important to mention here are that these teams traditionally have consisted of various professionals, such as pre-school teachers with a university degree and child minders with an upper secondary degree. The aim of the paper is to highlight and problematize how the discourse about the pre-school teacher's mission of providing pedagogical activities in pre-school has been developed and changed over time in national policy documents. The following questions will be given special attention: How is preschool teachers' responsibility described in policy texts and other texts on higher education? What underlying discourses emerge in relation to descriptions of the preschool teachers' responsibility, why and in whose interest? Has the discourse on early childhood teacher's responsibility varied over time, if so how? The theoretical, as well as the metodological framework takes its point of departure in Faircloughs (1992, 1995, 2003) critical discourse analysis, which made it possible to investigate elements of educational change in policy texts. In the analysis the concept of discourse is both used as the designation of a specific discourse, in this case the discourse of responsibility, and in the wider sense in terms of language use seen as a kind of social practice (Fairclough, 1992). A discourse is constructed and compiled in a specific way. Each new discourse is always in effect a construction of older discourses that contribute to changes in for example policy documents. The concepts that have emerged as the most relevant ones for the analysis of discursive changes in the texts that I have analysed are intertextuality and interdiskursivitet. In relation to this study intertextuality has been used to elucidate the presence of text in other texts, while interdiscursivity involves an analysis of the particular mix of discourses, genres or styles, as articulated or working together in the text (Fairclough 2003). In the process of trying to understand the kind of responsibility that is projected in policy documents and other texts, Bernstein's (2000, 2003) concepts of horizontal and vertical discourse have been useful. These concepts contributed to an understanding of what kind of knowledge that were related to the discourse about the pre-service teachers respectively the teams responsibility. According to Bernsteins´ distinction vertical and horizontal discourse represents two fundamental forms of knowledge discourses which are described as a general and scientific respectively a context-bound common-sense knowledge discourse. Method Data is produced from a number of policy documents for the Swedish preschool from the early 1900s until 2010. The selection of documents includes both national preschool curriculum documents (Utbildningsdepartementet,1998; Skolverket, 2010), legal texts (SFS 2010:800), Government Bills (Pedagogiskt program för förskolan, 1987), reports (for example Befolkningskommissionen,1938; SOU 1951; SOU:26; SOU1972:27; Barnomsorg och skola kommittén, 1997), and other national texts containing advices and instructions (for example Socialstyrelsen, 1945, 1963). The data analysis consists on the one hand of a content analysis and on the other hand of an analysis of the use of concepts. The content analysis was used as a way to study the discourse about the preschool teachers' responsibility over time and the underlying discourses. The concept analysis was especially used in order to describe and understand the kind of responsibility that are described as the preschool teachers respectively the team's responsibility when the curriculum was revised in 2010. Expected Outcomes The results show that the discourse of preschool teacher's responsibility has been influenced by both preschool teachers' own interests, political ideas and social needs as well as economic and educational interests. Over the years the discursive change has been more and more related to the stronger state regulation and governance of early childhood education. When it comes to the discourse about the preschool teacher's responsibility there have been three important discursive changes, one in 1940s, one in 1970s and one in 2010, which in various degree was related to the preschool teachers professional knowledge and autonomi. For example, from being described as responsible in terms of being professional and autonomous in the 1940ies, to sharing responsibility with the others in the team in the 1970ies, to being described as responsible based on professional knowledge in the 2010 revised version of the curriculum. The analysis of the kind of professional knowledge that is especially ascribed the preschool teachers responsibility from 2010, is the kind of knowledge Bernstein (2000, 2003) describes as a vertical knowledge discourse. References Bernstein, B. (2000). Pedagogy, symbolic control and identity: theory, research, critique. (Rev. ed). Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. Bernstein, Basil. (2003). Class, codes and control. Vol. 4, The structuring of pedagogic discourse. London: Routledge. Fairclough, N. (1992). Discourse and Social Change. Cambridge: Polity Press. Fairclough, N. (1995). Critical discourse analysis: the critical study of language. London: Longman. Fairclough, N. (2003). Analysing discourse:textual analysis for social research. NewYork:Routledge. SFS 2010:800. Skollagen. [The Education Act] Retriwed from http://www.riksdagen.se/ Socialstyrelsen (1945). Råd och anvisningar nr 27 [Advise and instructions no 27]. Stockholm: Socialstyrelsen Socialstyrelsen (1959). Råd och anvisningar nr 114/1959 [Advise and instructions no. 114/1959]. Stockholm: Socialstyrelsen Socialstyrelsen(1963). Råd och anvisningar nr 163/1963 [Advise and instructions no. 163/1963]. Stockholm: Socialstyrelsen SOU 1938:20. Betänkande angående barnkrubbor och sommarkolonier m. m. [Report on creches and holiday camps etc.]. Stockholm: Nord. bokh. i distr.. SOU 1951:15. Daghem och förskolor: betänkande om barnstugor och barntillsy [Nurseries and kindergartens: report on nurseries and child care]. Stockholm: 1951 SOU 1972:26. Förskolan del 1. Betänkande avgivet av 1968 års barnstugeutredning [ Preschool part 1. Report delivered by the 1968 child cottage investigation] Stockholm: Allmänna Förlaget. SOU 1972:27. Förskolan del 2. Betänkande avgivet av 1968 års barnstugeutredning. [ Preschool part 2. Report delivered by the 1968 child cottage investigation] Stockholm: Allmänna Förlaget. SOU 1987:3. Pedagogiskt program för förskolan [Pedagogical program for preschool] Stockholm: Allmänna förlaget. SOU 1997:157. Att erövra omvärlden: förslag till läroplan för förskolan: slutbetänkande [To conquer the world: proposal for a curriculum for preschool: final report]. Stockholm: Fritze. Svensson, L.G. (2011b). Profession, organisation, kollegialitet och ansvar.[ Profession , organization, collegiality and accountability] Socialvetenskaplig tidskrift (4), s 301-319. Utbildningsdepartementet (1998). Curriculum for the Preschool LPFÖ 98. Stockholm: Utbildningsdep., Regeringskansliet. Skolverket (2010). Curriculum for the Preschool LPFÖ 98, revised 2010. Stockholm: Skolverket.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014.
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Teacher Education and Education Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-7362Local ID: 2320/14751OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hb-7362DiVA, id: diva2:888076
Conference
Paper presented at ECER, Porto, 2-5 September 2014
Available from: 2015-12-22 Created: 2015-12-22 Last updated: 2017-01-22Bibliographically approved

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Eriksson, A

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