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  • 1.
    Ekström, Kennet
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Child and Youth education, Special Education and Counselling.
    Förstå förskolan som ett verksamhetssystem.: En självbiografisk resa i det teoretiska landskapet2004In: NaPa-konferens: Forskning med anknytning till lärarutbildningen och pedagogisk yrkesverksamhet - idag och i morgon: Falun 23-24 april 2004, 2004Conference paper (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 2.
    Ekström, Kenneth
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Child and Youth education, Special Education and Counselling.
    Att förstå förskolan som ett verksamhetssystem - En självbiografisk resa i det teoretiska landskapet2005In: Forskningsarbete pågår : Nationella forskarskolan i pedagogiskt arbete (NaPA) / redaktör: Per-Olof Erixon, 2005, p. 34-44Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 3.
    Ekström, Kenneth
    Umeå University, Faculty of Teacher Education, Child and Youth Education, Special Education, and Counselling.
    Discourses in Swedish Preschool Education2004In: RECONED-conferens,Oslo, 2004Conference paper (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 4.
    Ekström, Kenneth
    Umeå University, Faculty of Teacher Education, Child and Youth Education, Special Education, and Counselling.
    Distribution of Power and Identities in Swedish Preschools2003In: European Conference on Educational Research, Hamburg, 2003Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 5.
    Ekström, Kenneth
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Child and Youth education, Special Education and Counselling.
    Förskolans pedagogiska praktik: Ett verksamhetsperspektiv2007Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    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.

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  • 6.
    Ekström, Kenneth
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Förskolor har en utvecklad undervisning i naturkunskap2017In: Article, review/survey (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    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

  • 7.
    Ekström, Kenneth
    Umeå University, Faculty of Teacher Education, Child and Youth Education, Special Education, and Counselling.
    Praktiknära förskoleforskning, några motiv och exempel2002In: Nationella konferensen kring lärarutbildning och pedagogisk yrkesverksamhet, 24-26 oktober 2002, Umeå, 2002Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 8.
    Ekström, Kenneth
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Övergångar mellan förskola, förskoleklass och skola som viktiga händelser för barn med olika förutsättningar och erfarenhete2010Report (Other academic)
  • 9.
    Ekström, Kenneth
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science. Mälardalens högskola.
    Övergången från förskola till förskoleklass, en förändring av delaktighet i tiden och rummet2018In: 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.

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  • 10.
    Ekström, Kenneth
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Child and Youth education, Special Education and Counselling.
    Garpelin, Anders
    Avdelningen för pedagogik och specialpedagogik, Mälardalens Högskola.
    Kallberg, Pernilla
    Institutionen för didaktik, Uppsala Universitet.
    Övergångar under förskoleåren: som kritiska händelser för barnet, föräldrarna och verksamheten - en forskningsöversikt2008In: 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)
  • 11.
    Ekström, Kenneth
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Garpelin, Anders
    Mälardalens högskola: Akademin för utbildning, kultur och kommunikation.
    Kallberg, Pernilla
    Mälardalens högskola: Akademin för utbildning, kultur och kommunikation.
    Sandberg, Gunilla
    Mälardalens högskola: Akademin för utbildning, kultur och kommunikation.
    How to organise transitions between units in preschool: does it matter2010In: International Journal of Transitions in Childhood, ISSN ISSN 1833-2390, Vol. 4, no 1, p. 4-12Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

  • 12.
    Sandberg, Gunilla
    et al.
    Mälardalens högskola.
    Ekström, Kenneth
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science. Mälardalen University, Västerås, Sweden.
    Hellblom-Thibblin, Tina
    Mälardalens högskola.
    Kallberg, Pernilla
    Mälardalens högskola.
    Garpelin, Anders
    Mälardalens högskola.
    Educational practices and children's learning journeys from preschool to primary school2017In: 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.

  • 13.
    Sundberg, Bodil
    et al.
    School of Science and Technology, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden.
    Areljung, Sofie
    UmSER; School of Science and Technology, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden.
    Due, Karin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education. UmSER.
    Ekström, Kenneth
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Ottander, Christina
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education. UmSER.
    Tellgren, Britt
    School of Science and Technology, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden.
    Opportunities for and obstacles to science in preschools: views from a community perspective2018In: International Journal of Science Education, ISSN 0950-0693, E-ISSN 1464-5289, Vol. 40, no 17, p. 2061-2077Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

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  • 14.
    Sundberg, Bodil
    et al.
    Örebro universitet.
    Areljung, Sofie
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Due, Karin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Ekström, Kenneth
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Ottander, Christina
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Tellgren, Britt
    Örebro universitet.
    Understanding preschool emergent science in a cultural historical context through Activity Theory2016In: European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, ISSN 1350-293X, E-ISSN 1752-1807, Vol. 24, no 4, p. 567-580Article in journal (Refereed)
    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. 

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