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Liljestrand, J. (2018). Child- and subject orientation in Swedish preschool teachers’ practical reasoning. In: : . Paper presented at ECER, "Inclusion and Exclusion, Resources for Educational Research?", 3 - 7 Sept 2018, Bolzano, Italy.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Child- and subject orientation in Swedish preschool teachers’ practical reasoning
2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Policy for the Swedish preschool has successively adapted its goals in order to prepare for the school system. Åsén & Roth (2012) finds support for a change in Swedish preschool policy and practice towards the culture of school. Support for this change is also found in studies about Swedish preschool teachers increasingly highlighting learning as a basic activity in their work (e.g. Alatalo et al 2016; Alvestad & Berge 2009; Westman & Bergmark 2013; Löfdahl & Perez 2009). Such transformations of early childhood education is not unique for Sweden; tensions between child centered- and subject focused goals, has for a long time been a characteristic in early childhood curricula in Europe. This contribution intends to shed light on this curricular relationship through scrutinizing the professional talk of preschool teachers.

Since 2011 “Teaching” has been established as a new mission in the preschool and since 2010 subjects like math, science and Swedish language has been added to the national syllabus. By adding these goals, Swedish preschool now shares some general goals with the preschool class – the latter in which most of six year old children participate – and the comprehensive school. However, the Swedish preschool still has to conduct the tradition of being child- and play centered, according to its national syllabus; thus being kept within boundaries as more or less distinct from the school system. Simultaneously, the current approaching to the school system has become more accentuated ever since the national syllabus was introduced 1998 (Folke Fichtelius 2008). Swedish preschool teachers attempts to include children’s interests while paying attention to the national goals is studied by Thörner (2016) focusing (mainly) on recorded everyday situations. An important issue is how these policy changes are approached by the professionals by highlighting on their professional reasoning, regarding the purpose of the preschool in their everyday work.

In this paper, professional reasoning is approached from the perspective of teachers as social actors in everyday life, shaped by but also re-shaping, the policy context(s) of the preschool. An important dimension of the curriculum is constituted by teachers as curriculum makers (cf. Cuban 1992), in that every curriculum is dependent on how teachers interpret policy in relation to their everyday work. The purpose of this paper is to investigate preschool teachers’ professional talk focusing on the relationship between child- and subject orientation. Discourse analysis will be used an analytic tool focusing on how everyday discourse people borrows from cultural repertoires stemming from a culture’s common-sense way of talking (Potter & Wetherell 1987). The reasoning of the preschool teachers will further analyzed in relation to the policy context foremost formulated on state- and municipal level during the conversation with the preschool teachers.  

Method

In order to address complexities of professional reasoning, qualitative interviews performed in the environment of the preschools was done (Potter & Wetherell 1987). 10 preschool teachers participated addressing their specific socio-geographic environment (approximately 50 minutes each). The volume of this sample has been judged as sufficient for the analytic purpose of discerning patterns of complex dilemmatic reasoning across both within individual interviews, and through comparison (of dilemmatic reasoning) between the teacher interviews.  In order to approach teachers’ everyday reasoning the interviews were designed as semi-structured conversations between the preschool teachers and me as a teacher educator, explicitly asking for access with the professional field. An interview guide was sent beforehand and read by all (except for one) preschool teachers before the interview was performed. The preschool teachers were informed about the project including their rights regarding participation, anonymization and proper storing of the data. Data was collected in a variety of social-cultural environments such as middle class areas with high amount cultural and economic capital (n=4/10); multi-ethnical areas with low(er) amount cultural and economic capital (n=5/10) and one mixed area regarding amount cultural and economic capital (n=1/10). 7 preschools was visited, whereof 3 preschools including 1 teacher responsible for educational development and 1 teacher without such a responsibility. However, no typical features characterized the preschool teachers with responsibility for educational development. The interviews were all transcribed verbatim. The interview guide addressed the preschool as preparing for school vs representing a tradition within its own right; experiences of the children vs focus on subject goals; how the preschool teacher was working with the school-like goals and how goals were documented; the latter addressing teacher everyday work (Sheridan et al 2011).  The interview transcript was read systematically, paying notice to relations regarding child, subject- and teacher orientations, i.e. themes where the teachers were focusing on basic values for preschool education. In the preliminary analysis of each interview, dilemmas on the (i) global level, i.e. through the whole transcript, and on (ii) local level within utterance and/or interaction sequence level, was focused.  In line with Potter & Wetherell (1987), discernment of characteristic linguistic repertoires recognizable from established pedagogical traditions has also been highlighted. Examples of linking the two dimensions were also noted.

Expected Outcomes

Regarding the purpose of the preschool, when the “child” and comparisons with school was topicalized, the preschool teacher´s draws on child-centered repertoires. Boundaries of child- respective subject centeredness are manifested when comparing preschool with school.  However, when school-like ”goals” in the syllabus is focused, teacher-centered repertoires were instead prominent, in which boundaries distinguishing preschool from school was dissolved. These opposing themes (cf. Wetherell et al. 2001) are mostly located in different contexts (within the individual interview) appearing as two different and parallel logics, rather than as one coherent logic. Thus, to address relations between preschool and school implied boundary talk, while addressing subject knowledge in the syllabus – sometimes related to future participation in school – did not. Dilemmatic tensions are also manifested locally i.e. within many sequences and utterances. Talk addressing the general purposes of preschool could be interpreted as local answers to top-down state policy due to its proper affirmations of different directives in the policy texts (cf. Biesta et al 2017).  However, connections between children’s experiences and school-like subjects were also formulated in the language of everyday work, such as listening for children’s initiatives and developing themes, more or less corresponding to content knowledge in the syllabus with interests within the group of children. This professional talk is expressed in temporal modes, like “first… and then” and focused on both children and the goals in the syllabus. Thus, the child- and subject foci do not appear only as separated but also as co-present and related to teacher judgement (Author 2014) when everyday professional work is addressed; i.e. themes of content knowledge and being continually sensitive to interests of the children. Such professional reasoning could be interpreted as creative ways of handling tensions implicitly present in the national syllabus, regarding the general purpose(s) of the preschool.

References

Alatalo, T, Meier, J & Frank, E (2016) Transition between preschool and preschool class: A question about interweaving care and Knowledge. Early Childhood Educational Journal, 44: 155.

Alvestad, M & Berge, A (2009) Svenske førskolelærere om læring i planlegging og praksis relatert til den nasjonale læreplanen. [Swedish preschool teachers on planning and praxis in relation to the national syllabus]. Nordisk barnehageforskning [Nordic early childhood education research] (2), 57–68.

Author (2014) ---------------

Biesta, G, Priestley, M & Robinson, S (2017) Talking about education: exploring the significance of teacher´s talk for teacher agency. Journal of Curriculum Studies. 49:1, 38-54.

Cuban, L (1992) Curriculum stability and change. In Jackson, Philip (ed.) Handbook of Research on Curriculum. American Educational Research Association, 216-247.

Folke-Fichtelius, M (2008). Förskolans formande: statlig reglering 1944-2008. [The shaping of preschool. State regulation 1944-2008] Diss. Uppsala: Uppsala universitet.

Löfdahl, A & Pérez, H (2009) Between control and resistance: planning and evaluation texts in the Swedish preschool. Journal of Education Policy, 24, 4, 393-408.

Potter, J & Wetherell, M (1987) Discourse and social psychology: Beyond attitudes and behaviour. London: Sage.

Sheridan, S, Williams, P Sandberg, A & Vourinen (2011) Preschool teaching in Sweden – a profession in change. Educational Research, 53: 4, 415-437.

Thörner, A (2016) ”Vi kan inte bara utgå från barnens intresse”. Pedagogers guidning av barns intresse i förhållande till förskolans målstyrning. [”We cannot only base it on the children's interest” - Educators guidance of children's interest in relation to goals and guidelines.] Högskolan i Borås.

Westman, S & Bergmark, U (2014) A stengthened teaching mission in preschool: teachers´experiences, beliefs and strategies. International journal of early years education. Vol. 22, No. 1, 73-88. 

Wetherell, M,Taylor, S & Yates,S (2001) Discourse as Data: A Guide for Analysis. London, UK: Sage.

Åsén, Gunnar & Vallberg Roth, Ann-Christine (2012) Utvärdering i förskolan: en forskningsöversikt. [Evaluation in preschool: reveiw of research ] Stockholm: Vetenskapsrådet.

Keywords
Preschool teachers; professional everyday talk; child- and subject centeredness; dilemmas
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-26410 (URN)
Conference
ECER, "Inclusion and Exclusion, Resources for Educational Research?", 3 - 7 Sept 2018, Bolzano, Italy
Note

Forthcoming

Available from: 2018-04-08 Created: 2018-04-08 Last updated: 2018-08-03Bibliographically approved
Elm, A. & Liljestrand, J. (2018). Documentation between local professionalism and accountability – a case from the Swedish preschool. In: : . Paper presented at ATEE Annual Conference 2018: A future for all – teaching for a sustainable society, 20th–22nd August 2018, University of Gävle, Gävle, Sweden.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Documentation between local professionalism and accountability – a case from the Swedish preschool
2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Documentation of pedagogical practise has become a vibrant issue through its relationship with educational policy- and government in many national contexts. Documentation is also regularly used as a tool for local, collegial development, not necessarily driven by the external demands for accounting educational outcomes. Against this background, the practise of documentation could be related to different modes of teacher professionalism; outside-in-professionalism, characterized by teachers as responding to external and standardized demands, and inside-out-professionalism characterized by teachers  as responding to complexity and change, through qualified judgment.   

Although documentation is regularly employed as a tool for local, collegial development, the responsibility for documentation commissioned by educational authorities remains an assignment, coming with consequences for how to relate this self-initiated local documentation to the demands of the educational authorities. The purpose of this presentation is to investigate the tension, between documentation based in inside-out-professionalism and outside-in-professionalism, by means of a case study from the Swedish preschool.  Our research questions reads: how do external demands of documentation impact on the collegial conditions of documenting practise? How do professional conditions of documenting impact on the external demands of documentation?

Our analytical point of departure proceeds from the assumption that documentation is shaped from certain positions, interests and perspectives (Vallberg Roth 2012), including the crossing between different interests and logics within educational institutions.  A qualitative case study of one preschool setting in which a long term documentation has been performed, using CoRe (pedagogical content representation) has been adapted as an approach for teaching science, in a practice based research collaboration project, will be related to intentions from the municipality. The gathering of data includes participant observations in preschool and interviews with participating preschool teachers, at municipal briefings, interviews with responsible parties representing the local preschool as educational agency, and by collection of documents. 

The expected outcomes of our study indicate that preschool teachers are acting between norms of designing documentation from their professional and local interests and that of adapting to the interests of the educational agencies. The first norm is based in their collegial self-defined needs (in collaboration with the researchers) for teaching science in preschool, mainly by teaching science and technology themes, paying attention to preschool children’s responses to science and technology content.  The second norm is characterised by accounting for national goals in the national syllabus, in ways corresponding with the national school system.  The preschool teachers respond to this latter assignment through (professional) deliberations, aiming to deliver material from their everyday work to the agency, while simultaneously keeping the integrity of their own work as separated from the assignment of the agency. These local deliberations and decisions will further be analysed in terms of the dynamic between the two modes of professionalism mentioned above, in light of the local policy context.      

Our project shed light on conditions shared with several European countries regarding possibilities for sustainable teacher development within broader contexts of demands for accountability impacting on teachers professional work.   

National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-26645 (URN)
Conference
ATEE Annual Conference 2018: A future for all – teaching for a sustainable society, 20th–22nd August 2018, University of Gävle, Gävle, Sweden
Available from: 2018-05-29 Created: 2018-05-29 Last updated: 2018-06-12Bibliographically approved
Liljestrand, J. (2018). Educating for critical, sustainable learning in early years – policy expectations and practical deliberations among Swedish preschool teachers. In: : . Paper presented at ATEE Annual Conference 2018: A future for all – teaching for a sustainable society, 20th–22nd August 2018, University of Gävle, Gävle, Sweden.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Educating for critical, sustainable learning in early years – policy expectations and practical deliberations among Swedish preschool teachers
2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-26631 (URN)
Conference
ATEE Annual Conference 2018: A future for all – teaching for a sustainable society, 20th–22nd August 2018, University of Gävle, Gävle, Sweden
Available from: 2018-05-26 Created: 2018-05-26 Last updated: 2018-06-05Bibliographically approved
Liljestrand, J. (2018). How Interreligious buildings Influence Interreligious Neighbourhood Relations – The Case of Gods House in Fisksätra. In: Eva Wilden and Raphaela Porsch (Ed.), Religion and Dialogue in the City: . Waxmann Verlag
Open this publication in new window or tab >>How Interreligious buildings Influence Interreligious Neighbourhood Relations – The Case of Gods House in Fisksätra
2018 (English)In: Religion and Dialogue in the City / [ed] Eva Wilden and Raphaela Porsch, Waxmann Verlag, 2018Chapter in book (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Waxmann Verlag, 2018
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-19429 (URN)
Available from: 2015-06-02 Created: 2015-06-02 Last updated: 2018-03-13Bibliographically approved
Liljestrand, J. (2018). Religion and Swedishness: Swedish student’s attitudes to religions and nationality. In: Eva Wilden and Raphaela Porsch (Ed.), Religion and Dialogue in the City.: . Waxmann Verlag
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Religion and Swedishness: Swedish student’s attitudes to religions and nationality
2018 (English)In: Religion and Dialogue in the City. / [ed] Eva Wilden and Raphaela Porsch, Waxmann Verlag, 2018Chapter in book (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Waxmann Verlag, 2018
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-19428 (URN)
Projects
ReDi
Available from: 2015-06-02 Created: 2015-06-02 Last updated: 2018-03-13Bibliographically approved
Liljestrand, J. (2018). Religionskunskapslärares resonemang om den komplicerade mångfalden. Religion & Livsfrågor (2), 9-10
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Religionskunskapslärares resonemang om den komplicerade mångfalden
2018 (Swedish)In: Religion & Livsfrågor, no 2, p. 9-10Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.)) Published
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-26415 (URN)
Available from: 2018-04-09 Created: 2018-04-09 Last updated: 2018-04-23Bibliographically approved
Edling, S. & Liljestrand, J. (2018). Student teachers’ task perceptions of democracy in their future profession – a critical discourse analysis of students’ course texts. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 43(7), 82-97
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Student teachers’ task perceptions of democracy in their future profession – a critical discourse analysis of students’ course texts
2018 (English)In: Australian Journal of Teacher Education, ISSN 1835-517X, Vol. 43, no 7, p. 82-97Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The education system is still important for establishing and maintaining democracy in society. In relation to this, it is reasonable to suggest that teachers’ different interpretations of their mission to teach for democracy will influence their teaching practices. The purpose of this paper is to shed light on student teachers’ task perceptions as a dimension of their professional role to teach for democracy in school. An analysis of Swedish student teachers’ course texts written as an assignment during a course focusing on democracy is conducted using critical discourse analysis as an analytical tool. The task perceptions are described according to two main discourses: as narrow and broad approaches to teaching for democracy. These two approaches are further analyzed in terms of two corresponding strategies for teacher professionalism: outside-in professionalism and inside-out professionalism. The result partly confirms earlier studies of student teachers, where narrow approaches to democracy have been found to be most common.

National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-26635 (URN)
Available from: 2018-05-28 Created: 2018-05-28 Last updated: 2018-08-09Bibliographically approved
Liljestrand, J. (2018). The place and conditions for democratic education in interreligious encounters. Religious education, 113(1), 38-48
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The place and conditions for democratic education in interreligious encounters
2018 (English)In: Religious education, ISSN 0034-4087, E-ISSN 1547-3201, Vol. 113, no 1, p. 38-48Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper explores the spatial and environmental conditions for democratic education in an interreligious project. The interreligious project provides a case for applying Dewey´s concepts of experience and environment. Four kinds of experiences are presented: invited places - being a guest, common meeting points - shaping an interreligious "we", nomadic places - sharing everyday life and school as a secular public place - acting in public. It is concluded that educational experience is shaped by acting in a variety of environments. However, dimensions of power are also present in the context of civil life and should be taken into consideration.

National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-23859 (URN)10.1080/00344087.2017.1384970 (DOI)000430428000005 ()2-s2.0-85045648654 (Scopus ID)
Projects
ReDi
Note

Funding agency:

Religion and dialogue in modern society (University of Hamburg)

Available from: 2017-04-07 Created: 2017-04-07 Last updated: 2018-06-04Bibliographically approved
Liljestrand, J. & Edling, S. (2018). The political controversies of teacher education: a Swedish Case. In: : . Paper presented at AAACS, St. John’s University, New York City, 11-13 April 2018.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The political controversies of teacher education: a Swedish Case
2018 (English)Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Swedish teacher education has been subject for public discussion and critique for several years, particularly in national media. Its recurrent occurrence in media discourse should not be seen only as a public phenomenon, separated from everyday thinking. As Fairclough (2000) points out medialization of society is also characterized by the way it colors individuals own meaning making. A general background for the political controversy of teacher education is the historic hallmark of being a young discipline in the academy and its “constrained relationship with the state” (Maguire 2014, p. 782), contributing to political issues of what characterizes a good school and good society. Earlier studies of Swedish prominent media discourse (e.g. Wiklund 2006) regarding school and teacher education reveals a negative and even stereotype image (Edling 2014, 2016) when it comes to deliver successful results on international tests, foremost PISA , indirectly framing teacher education as a means for achieving international economic success on the international market.  

In this paper, we claim that public discussion of school and of teacher education is necessary. However, we need to discuss the conditions for such a conversation in the public sphere. We will approach this issue by looking deeper into the Swedish debate about teacher education in three prominent national newspapers, focusing on 2016-2017. In this period many issues were highlighted and condensed, such as the (low) academic status of educational research (cf. Condliffe Lagemann 2000), the possibilities for teacher education to equip teachers with skills to improve in the international competition of school knowledge and whether teacher education should be an academic type of education at all (cf. Maguire 2014).

We will approach our data from one main purpose with three interrelated focus points. The purpose of our paper is to contribute to research about medias’ role when it comes to naming and framing the debate about teacher education in Sweden by analyzing how four major newspapers in-between 2016-2017 define a) challenges/strengths with current TE, b) solutions for change/improvement of current TE, and c) who the actors for promoting this change/improvement might be. The last point highlights the possibilities (and limitations) for dialogue between different actors and groups in society.    

We have limited our search to the period of November 2016-November 2017 in order to handle a plausible volume of data and from the criteria that many different issues were brought up during this period, compared with other periods. The database Retriver was used for capturing debates in the three most prominent national newspapers (Dagens nyheter, Svenska dagbladet and Expressen). The analysis of media texts is conducted using critical discourse analysis. This involves a careful examination of words and semiotics to study whether and how language patterns occur and to discuss their plausible consequences for social life (van Dijk, 1995). The articles are thematised using an analytic table highlighting the focus points mentioned above. The results from this Swedish case could contribute with insights regarding potentialities for public discussion of a common teacher education in a democratic society.    

 

References

Condliffe Lagemann, E (2000) An Elusive Science. The Troubling History of Educational Research. Chicago: Chicago University Press.

Edling, S (2014) Between curriculum complexity and stereotypes: exploring stereotypes of teachers and education in media as a question of structural violence. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 47: 3, 399-415.  

Edling, S (2016) “Who” is Teacher Education? Approaching the Negative Stereotypes of Teacher Education. In J.M. Paraskeva & S. Steinberg eds. Curriculum. Decanonizing the Field. NY: Peter Lang

Fairclough, N (2000) New Labour, new language? London: Routledge.

Maguire, M (2014) Reforming teacher education in England: ‘an economy of discourses of truth’. Journal of Education Policy, 29:6, 774-784.  

Van Dijk, T (1995) Aims of Critical Discourse Analysis. Japanese Discourse, Vol. 1, 17-27.

Wiklund, M (2006) Kunskapens fanbärare. Den gode läraren som diskursiv konstruktion på en mediearena. [The flag-bearer of knowledge. The good teacher as a discoursive construction on the media arena] Örebro, Sweden: Universitetsbiblioteket.

National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-25951 (URN)
Conference
AAACS, St. John’s University, New York City, 11-13 April 2018
Note

forthcoming

Available from: 2018-01-08 Created: 2018-01-08 Last updated: 2018-03-13Bibliographically approved
Liljestrand, J. (2017). Education for Citizenship in Swedish RE - Approaches and Dilemmas in Teachers’ Talk. Religion & Education, 44(3), 317-330
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Education for Citizenship in Swedish RE - Approaches and Dilemmas in Teachers’ Talk
2017 (English)In: Religion & Education, ISSN 1550-7394, E-ISSN 1949-8381, Vol. 44, no 3, p. 317-330Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In Sweden, religious education (RE) has successively developed into a school subject that aims to foster democratic citizenship that is characterised by social cohesion and tolerance of religious and life stance differences. This can be interpreted in different ways by teachers in the RE curriculum. The article presents 4 different approaches to how RE teachers in Sweden teach democratic citizenship in RE. Each approach has its own dilemmas and conflicting positions. Shedding light on teachers’ reasoning about these approaches and the resulting dilemmas contributes to the understanding of education for democratic citizenship in Swedish RE.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2017
Keywords
Citizenship, dilemmas, RE teachers
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-22896 (URN)10.1080/15507394.2016.1267541 (DOI)000424577700006 ()2-s2.0-85010699649 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2016-11-30 Created: 2016-11-30 Last updated: 2018-06-26Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0003-4439-6169

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