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Navigating the risky terrain of children’s working theories
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå Centre for Gender Studies (UCGS). (UmSER)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7273-5442
Faculty of Education, Te Oranga School of Human Development and Movement Studies, University of Waikato, New Zealand.
2016 (English)In: Early years, ISSN 0957-5146, E-ISSN 1472-4421Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

‘Working theories’ encompass children’s theorising about the social and material worlds. This article looks explicitly at power relations involved in pedagogy around children’s working theories by focusing on the teacher’s control of what and whose working theories get unpacked and extended. From an analysis of four cases from early childhood education (ECE) settings, it is concluded that teaching strategies are related to possible risks of unpacking and extending children’s working theories. From a teacher’s perspective such risks include: undermining the ECE setting’s rules; exposing one’s own lack of knowledge or skills; or risking the relations and atmosphere in the group or setting. These risks affect how working theories are dealt with in terms of time – right away, later or never – and voicing, as teachers regulate children’s ideas for example through making concrete, reconstructing or silencing them.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Early childhood, working theories, pedagogy, teaching strategies, power
National Category
Pedagogical Work
Research subject
educational work
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-126042DOI: 10.1080/09575146.2016.1191441OAI: diva2:974667
Available from: 2016-09-27 Created: 2016-09-27 Last updated: 2016-09-27

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Areljung, Sofie
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Department of Science and Mathematics EducationUmeå Centre for Gender Studies (UCGS)
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