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Sundberg, B., Areljung, S., Due, K., Ekström, K., Ottander, C. & Tellgren, B. (2018). Opportunities for and obstacles to science in preschools: views from a community perspective. International Journal of Science Education, 40(17), 2061-2077
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Opportunities for and obstacles to science in preschools: views from a community perspective
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2018 (English)In: International Journal of Science Education, ISSN 0950-0693, E-ISSN 1464-5289, Vol. 40, no 17, p. 2061-2077Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this study, Activity Theory (AT) is used to analyse general patterns for how cultural and historical factors interact with the shaping of science activities in preschools. Data was produced from field notes, video observations, video stimulated recall group discussions and individual interviews with preschool teachers at fourteen preschool units, where science activities were described as a common feature of the practice. Two factors were found to be particularly important for how and whether science learning opportunities were afforded the children: the structure of the preschool community and the type of educational culture within it. In communities characterised by weak mutual commitment and without joint understanding of the purpose of the activities, the science learning objects of the activity often became fragmented and thereby elusive. This was also true for strong communities, with a shared approach and a joint understanding of the purpose of the science activities, but with educational cultures where science learning was not actively supported. In contrast, a strong community combined with an educational culture that allowed teachers to lead and intentionally frame the science content, offered child-centred science activities with clear science learning objects.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2018
Keywords
early years/early childhood, qualitative research, teacher beliefs, activity theory
National Category
Pedagogical Work
Research subject
didactics of natural science; educational work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-151747 (URN)10.1080/09500693.2018.1518615 (DOI)000451897000001 ()2-s2.0-85053318259 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 721-2011-5657
Available from: 2018-09-12 Created: 2018-09-12 Last updated: 2019-01-08Bibliographically approved
Ekström, K. (2018). Övergången från förskola till förskoleklass, en förändring av delaktighet i tiden och rummet (2ed.). In: Garpelin, A., Sandberg, G. (Ed.), Att förstå barns vägar till lärande under övergången från förskola till skola: (pp. 87-107). Västerås: Mälardalens högskola (2)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Övergången från förskola till förskoleklass, en förändring av delaktighet i tiden och rummet
2018 (Swedish)In: Att förstå barns vägar till lärande under övergången från förskola till skola / [ed] Garpelin, A., Sandberg, G., Västerås: Mälardalens högskola , 2018, 2, no 2, p. 87-107Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [sv]

Det här kapitlet ska försöka svara på frågor om kontinuiteter och diskontinuiteter med avseende på barns erfarenheter, och pedagogers organisation av lärande för barn som gör övergången mellan förskola och förskoleklass. För att kunna svara på frågor om hur kontinuitet beträffande övergången till förskoleklass kan se ut har såväl förskolor som förskoleklass studerats i etnografiskt inspirerade studier där såväl observationer som intervjuer producerats under en tidsrymd av sammanlagt två år i två förskoleavdelningar och två förskoleklasser. Verksamhetsteoretiska analyser av de verktyg som används i de olika verksamheterna och vad som betraktas som meningsbärande för deltagande pedagoger har gjorts. När de två verksamheterna jämförs framträder det framför allt diskontinuiteter vad gäller barnens delaktighet och hur deras erfarenheter och kunskaper tas till vara.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Västerås: Mälardalens högskola, 2018 Edition: 2
Series
Mälardalen Studies in Educational Sciences ; 35
Keywords
barnsyn, förskola, förskoleklass, kunskapssyn, verksamhetsteori
National Category
Pedagogical Work
Research subject
educational work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-152315 (URN)978-91-7485-403-9 (ISBN)
Projects
Gränsland, broar och passageriter. Att förstå barns vägar till lärande från förskola till skola. (VR) POET Pedagogies of Educational Transitions (IRSES, EU)
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2011-5656
Available from: 2018-10-02 Created: 2018-10-02 Last updated: 2018-10-03Bibliographically approved
Sandberg, G., Ekström, K., Hellblom-Thibblin, T., Kallberg, P. & Garpelin, A. (2017). Educational practices and children's learning journeys from preschool to primary school. In: Nadine Ballam, Bob Perry, Anders Garpelin (Ed.), Pedagogies of educational transitions: European and Antipodean research (pp. 239-253). Cham, Schweiz: Springer Publishing Company
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Educational practices and children's learning journeys from preschool to primary school
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2017 (English)In: Pedagogies of educational transitions: European and Antipodean research / [ed] Nadine Ballam, Bob Perry, Anders Garpelin, Cham, Schweiz: Springer Publishing Company, 2017, p. 239-253Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Children all around the world pass through a number of transitions in educational systems. These transitions are organised in different ways in different countries. In Sweden, children pass through three school forms in early childhood education: preschool, preschool class and primary school. In a research project funded by the Swedish Research Council, the Swedish POET group conducted case studies in three municipalities, using participant observations, semi-structured interviews and focus group interviews. The aim has been to deepen the understanding of children's learning journeys from preschool into school. A second aim has been to examine the long-term implications of educational practices across the transitions for children's learning and participation. In this chapter, some findings from the research project are presented. The results show how the complex structure of Swedish early childhood education creates challenges for children and their learning journeys.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cham, Schweiz: Springer Publishing Company, 2017
Series
International perspectives on early childhood education and development ; 16
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
educational work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-139480 (URN)10.1007/978-3-319-43118-5_15 (DOI)9783319431161 (ISBN)9783319431185 (ISBN)
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2011-5656EU, European Research Council
Available from: 2017-09-14 Created: 2017-09-14 Last updated: 2018-10-03Bibliographically approved
Ekström, K. (2017). Förskolor har en utvecklad undervisning i naturkunskap.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Förskolor har en utvecklad undervisning i naturkunskap
2017 (Swedish)In: Article, review/survey (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.)) Published
Abstract [sv]

Tidigare forskning ofta har pekat ut förskollärares förhållande till naturvetenskap som problematiskt, men nu kommer ny forskning som visar att det förekommer en rik och varierad undervisning i naturkunskap i svenska förskolor. Vissa ämnesinnehåll verkar dock vara svårare än andra och lärandeobjekten får ofta konkurrens i genomförandesituationen

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Skolverket, 2017
Keywords
förskola naturvetenskap
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
educational work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-139484 (URN)
Note

Skolverket : Forskningsartiklar

Available from: 2017-09-14 Created: 2017-09-14 Last updated: 2020-04-08Bibliographically approved
Sundberg, B., Areljung, S., Due, K., Ekström, K., Ottander, C. & Tellgren, B. (2016). Understanding preschool emergent science in a cultural historical context through Activity Theory. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 24(4), 567-580
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Understanding preschool emergent science in a cultural historical context through Activity Theory
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2016 (English)In: European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, ISSN 1350-293X, E-ISSN 1752-1807, Vol. 24, no 4, p. 567-580Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study is to explore how cultural factors interact with preschool teachers’ shaping of activities with science content, and also how Activity Theory (AT) as a theoretical framework can be useful for examining interrelations within preschool systems. Qualitative data was collected from three preschools in the form of guided group discussions with preschool teachers, observations and video recordings of activities, and stimulated recall discussions based on the recorded practices. The preschools displayed diverse approaches for experiencing and learning science, some with great creativity. In all preschools learning was integrated with care, upbringing and play. To support children’s interest and confidence was central. How science activities were shaped mainly depended on how children’s interests were allowed to govern practice. The use of AT as an analytical tool was proven to be effective in identifying the elements, relationships and tensions crucial for understanding the framing of science activities. 

Keywords
Activity Theory (AT), preschool practice, preschool culture, science teaching, emergent science
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
didactics of natural science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-110714 (URN)10.1080/1350293X.2014.978557 (DOI)000380367400007 ()
External cooperation:
Projects
Förskolans praktik i mötet med naturvetenskap
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 721 2011 5657
Available from: 2015-10-26 Created: 2015-10-26 Last updated: 2019-12-13Bibliographically approved
Ekström, K., Garpelin, A., Kallberg, P. & Sandberg, G. (2010). How to organise transitions between units in preschool: does it matter. International Journal of Transitions in Childhood, 4(1), 4-12
Open this publication in new window or tab >>How to organise transitions between units in preschool: does it matter
2010 (English)In: International Journal of Transitions in Childhood, ISSN ISSN 1833-2390, Vol. 4, no 1, p. 4-12Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study is, to deepen our understanding of what transitions within a preschool institution mean from the perspective of those involved. The issue is important to focus on, since an overview of research shows, that there are hardly any studies made on transitions within preschools. In the study presented nine preschool teachers were interviewed, representing two preschools differing in approach regarding how the transitions between different units were organised. One of the preschools had “marked” transitions between four units for groups of children strictly based on age. The transitions were perceived as a matter of course, as something natural. The other preschool with only two groups,  one for younger children and one for older children, had “smoother” transitions based on individual considerations. Here, the maturity of the individual child was taken into account. In the interpretation of the results, in order to gain a deeper understanding of the meaning of the transitions for the people involved, using the concept of rites of passage, two approaches were revealed. The first regarded transitions to be a part of the pedagogy, supporting the natural development of the child, as a rite of passage, leaving one social stage in their life  and move over to another. The second saw transitions as necessary due to external factors, trying to attain a pedagogical environment, where transitions were as smooth as possible, with no marked rites of passage, not for the individual, not for the collective.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Melbourne: The University of Melbourne, Australia, 2010
Keywords
rite of passage; marked transitins; unmarked transitions
National Category
Pedagogical Work Pedagogy
Research subject
educational work; Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-40095 (URN)
Available from: 2011-02-16 Created: 2011-02-16 Last updated: 2018-06-08Bibliographically approved
Ekström, K. (2010). Övergångar mellan förskola, förskoleklass och skola som viktiga händelser för barn med olika förutsättningar och erfarenhete (11ed.). Halden: Høgskolen i Østfold
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Övergångar mellan förskola, förskoleklass och skola som viktiga händelser för barn med olika förutsättningar och erfarenhete
2010 (Swedish)Report (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Halden: Høgskolen i Østfold, 2010 Edition: 11
Series
Rapport (Høgskolen i Østfold). LU : [30], ISSN 1503-2612 (online) 0805-8164 (tryckt) ; 2010:11
Keywords
metod intervju interpretativ
National Category
Pedagogical Work
Research subject
educational work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-40086 (URN)978-82-7825-330-4 (ISBN)978-82-7825-331-1 (ISBN)
Available from: 2011-02-16 Created: 2011-02-16 Last updated: 2018-06-08Bibliographically approved
Ekström, K., Garpelin, A. & Kallberg, P. (2008). Övergångar under förskoleåren: som kritiska händelser för barnet, föräldrarna och verksamheten - en forskningsöversikt. Tidskrift för lärarutbildning och forskning. Journal of Research in Teacher Education, 15(1), 45-62
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Övergångar under förskoleåren: som kritiska händelser för barnet, föräldrarna och verksamheten - en forskningsöversikt
2008 (Swedish)In: Tidskrift för lärarutbildning och forskning. Journal of Research in Teacher Education, ISSN 1404-7659, Vol. 15, no 1, p. 45-62Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Fakulteten för lärarutbildning, 2008
National Category
Pedagogical Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-9296 (URN)
Available from: 2008-03-18 Created: 2008-03-18 Last updated: 2018-06-09Bibliographically approved
Ekström, K. (2007). Förskolans pedagogiska praktik: Ett verksamhetsperspektiv. (Doctoral dissertation). Umeå: Institutionen för barn- och ungdomspedagogik, specialpedagogik och vägledning, Umeå universitet
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Förskolans pedagogiska praktik: Ett verksamhetsperspektiv
2007 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Alternative title[en]
The pedagogical practice in preschools : In a perspective of activity
Abstract [en]

Since 1960s, preschools have been important parts both of Swedish welfare and of labour market policies. The preschool thus constitutes a very important site for rearing and educating young children.

Reforms of the Swedish preschool in the 1990s concerning both accessibility and quality were introduced at a time when the economy of the municipalities dramatically deteriorated because of reductions in State subsidies. The strained economy of the State and the municipalities, has resulted, among other things, in a growing number of children in preschool groups and pressure to change organization and pedagogical content. These changes took place in a time of decentralization where the responsibility for organization of preschools was given to the municipalities. Changes in economy, organization and curriculum form the background for this study.

The purpose of the study is to examine and understand how preschool working teams shape and realize the pedagogical practice and how working conditions affect this process. The approach of the study is interpretative, where the interpretative perspective is mainly represented by activity theory and theories of cultural reproduction. Three aspects of the actions are observed: the object of the actions, the instruments mediating the actions and the content of mediating actions. Bernstein’s concepts classification and framing are used as tools in analysing the empirical data.

The interpretative, empirical study is based on qualitative data collected mainly by observations and interviews. Three preschools are chosen for the study. The preschools in the study are located in two municipalities in the north of Sweden, representing three different environments. All preschools receive children one to five years old. The personnel consist of preschool teachers and childminders working in teams. Eleven of them where interviewed.

The study shows that daily routines both shape and restrict practices in preschools. The work is mainly focused on care giving, where the children are supposed to adapt to and subordinate themselves to the norms and to the existing routines. The children’s influence varies between organized activities, where they have little influence, and play time, where they can choose what to do. It also varies between the preschools, where the preschool with children from more affluent families have more freedom than children from the multicultural, lower-income environment do.

The work is collectively oriented toward training adaptation, but also, to a certain extent, training for autonomy and responsibility taking. Organization of learning activities often takes the form of transmitting information. The informants regard themselves as caregivers with the main purpose to mediate security and create conditions for the children to develop socially.

The changes in conditions emanating from political decisions have brought new working tasks to the preschools and have reduced the level of resources at the same time as the demands made are experienced as being harder. This creates frustration and tends to result in lower levels of ambition.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Institutionen för barn- och ungdomspedagogik, specialpedagogik och vägledning, Umeå universitet, 2007. p. 217
Series
Doktorsavhandlingar inom den Nationella Forskarskolan i Pedagogiskt Arbete, ISSN 1653-6894 ; 5Doktorsavhandlingar i pedagogiskt arbete, ISSN 1650-8858 ; 12
Keywords
pedagogical practice, childcare, preschool education, learning, rearing, preschool working teams, preschool teachers, childminders, working conditions, societal changes
National Category
Pedagogical Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-992 (URN)91-7264-241-6 (ISBN)
Distributor:
Barn- och ungdomspedagogik, specialpedagogik och vägledning, 90187, Umeå
Public defence
2007-02-23, Hörsal A, Samhällsvetarhuset, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 00:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2007-02-02 Created: 2007-02-02 Last updated: 2018-06-09Bibliographically approved
Ekström, K. (2005). Att förstå förskolan som ett verksamhetssystem - En självbiografisk resa i det teoretiska landskapet. In: Forskningsarbete pågår : Nationella forskarskolan i pedagogiskt arbete (NaPA) / redaktör: Per-Olof Erixon (pp. 34-44).
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Att förstå förskolan som ett verksamhetssystem - En självbiografisk resa i det teoretiska landskapet
2005 (Swedish)In: Forskningsarbete pågår : Nationella forskarskolan i pedagogiskt arbete (NaPA) / redaktör: Per-Olof Erixon, 2005, p. 34-44Chapter in book (Other academic)
National Category
Pedagogical Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-5991 (URN)91-7305-900-5 (ISBN)
Available from: 2007-12-04 Created: 2007-12-04 Last updated: 2018-06-09Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0003-4089-8129

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