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  • 1.
    Cekaite, Asta
    et al.
    Linköpings universitet.
    Disa, Bergnehr
    University of Borås, Faculty of Librarianship, Information, Education and IT.
    Affectionate touch and care: Embodied intimacy, compassion and control in early childhood education2018In: European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, ISSN 1350-293X, E-ISSN 1752-1807Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Relational care, interpersonal intimacy and emotional attunement are crucial for children’s development and wellbeing in ECEC. The present study examines how they are enacted in a Swedish preschool (for 1–5-year-olds) through recurrent adult-child physical conduct, i.e. affectionate and affectionate-controlling touch. The data consist of 24 hours of video-recorded observations of everyday activities. The study shows that educators’ Affectionate-Comforting touch was used for emotion regulation as compassionate response to children’s distress; Amicable touch engaged children in spontaneous affection; and, Affectionate-Controlling touch was used to mildly control and direct the child’s bodily conduct and participation in preschool activities, or to mitigate the educators’ verbal disciplining. The study demonstrates the emotional complexity of ECEC enacted through the practices of haptic sociality. It supports the holistic policies arguing that embodied relational care should be integrated in ECEC, contrary to ideas that connect professionalism with emotional distance and lack of physical contact.

  • 2.
    Klaar, Susanne
    et al.
    [external].
    Öhman, Johan
    Action with friction: a transactional approach to toddlers’ physical meaning making of natural phenomena and processes in preschool2012In: European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, ISSN 1350-293X, E-ISSN 1752-1807, Vol. 20, no 3, p. 439-454Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Research into preschool education has paid a lot of attention to investigating children's conceptual development and cognitive learning about nature, with methods based on observations and verbal interviews before and after a teaching period. The purpose of this study has been to present and illustrate an approach that facilitates the analysis of practical meaning making in Early Childhood Education. The study is largely based on John Dewey's pragmatism and has a particular focus on his use of transaction, functional coordination, inquiry, educative experience and nature. In this context meaning making is understood as the growing, learning process that contributes to further actions in extended ways. A transactional approach to physical experiences, with a focus on analyses of toddlers' bodily actions in nature encounters, is illustrated by a video recording of a toddler's encounter with icy and clay surfaces. This encounter was analysed using Practical Epistemological Analysis. Toddlers' inquiry processes were studied with a specific focus on functional coordination, i.e. relations between different actions and their consequences when meeting the environment. The methodological approach contributes to further research by focusing on practical and physical learning processes. It can also be seen as a contribution to Early Childhood Science Education by showing the relation between previous experiences of natural phenomena and meaning making for further actions in extended ways.

  • 3.
    Klaar, Susanne
    et al.
    [external].
    Öhman, Johan
    [external].
    Children’s meaning-making of nature in an outdoor-oriented and democratic Swedish preschool practice2014In: European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, ISSN 1350-293X, E-ISSN 1752-1807, Vol. 22, no 2, p. 229-253Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Previous research has shown that the Swedish preschool educational tradition is characterised by outdoor-oriented and democratic approaches. The purpose of this study is to empirically investigate what consequences these approaches have for preschool children's meaning-making of nature, when studied in practice, in children's spontaneous outdoor activities. The methodology is based on John Dewey's pragmatism with a specific focus on transaction, habits and customs. A transactional analysis method has been developed to fulfil the purpose of the investigation. The analysis illuminates relations between: (1) the Swedish preschool's educational tradition in terms of national customs; and (2) the local customs expressed in practice. Fifty-seven events were chosen for further analysis including play with water and sand, and sliding on snow. Consequences for children's meaning-making of nature are shown as possibilities for experience-based inquiry based on children's own choices and also for enjoying and feeling good in nature. The results show fewer possibilities for scientific concept learning. The results can thus be seen as a contribution to the early childhood educational discussion about how to arrange learning situations of natural phenomena and processes in preschools and at the same time maintain their democratic/outdoor-oriented characteristics.

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