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Förskola för hållbar utveckling: Förutsättningar för barns utveckling av handlingskompetens för hållbar utveckling
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education. (SMED)
2014 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The overall aim of the thesis is to contribute with knowledge about the conditions for preschool children’s meaning making with regard to sustainable development. With a focus on critical actions, the thesis explores how education is executed and how a critical action may be conducted in a preschool practice.

Different teaching situations in preschool have been analysed in order to determine how and which actions are privileged in the various situations, what the consequences of these actions are, and what kind of conditions that enable children to develop critical action competence.

The results show that teachers affect children’s meaning making by directing actions toward a specific learning content. The conditions in which children learn action competences for sustainable development may be affected by which actions are privileged or excluded in the situation. The analyses of conditions for children to act critically in this thesis are when:

  • the teacher aims the attention towards a pluralistic teaching content, where the content consists of value judgments.
  • variations of views are highlighted – by the help of other children or from example different viewpoints in a book.
  • children have the courage or/and feel safe expressing contradicting views.

Although the situations in which children act critically are few and far between in the empirical material, they do exist and are important to highlight, especially as few other studies explore what meaning making processes look like when critical actions are privileged. The thesis therefore contributes to the research by providing analyses of situations in which children act critically in preschool.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2014. , 108 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Educational Sciences, 3
Keyword [en]
teaching, preschool, sustainable development, children, action competence
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
Curriculum Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-215087ISBN: 978-91-554-8840-6 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-215087DiVA: diva2:686018
Public defence
2014-02-26, Gunnar Johansson 14:K120, Blåsenhus, Uppsala, 10:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2014-02-03 Created: 2014-01-10 Last updated: 2014-02-10
List of papers
1. Education for sustainable development in early childhood education: a review of the research literature
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Education for sustainable development in early childhood education: a review of the research literature
2015 (English)In: Environmental Education Research, ISSN 1350-4622, E-ISSN 1469-5871, Vol. 21, no 7, 975-990 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of the study is to describe and analyse research articles relating to the subject of education for sustainable development (ESD) for early childhood education (ECE), published during the years 1996–2013. This is done by answering three specific questions: (1) How is ESD defined by researchers in ECE? (2) What are the major research inquiries and results? (3) What does the research say about young children acting for change in relation to sustainability? Our analysis identified two different definitions of ESD: first, as a threefold approach to education based on questions concerning education about, in and for the environment; and, second, as an approach to education that includes three interrelated dimensions: economic, social and environmental. Two major research areas are identified in this study. The first area relates to how teachers understand ESD, while the second area focuses on how ESD can be implemented in educational practice. During the period studied, the research has evolved from teaching children facts about the environment and sustainability issues to educating children to act for change. This new approach reveals a more competent child who can think for him- or herself and make well-considered decisions. The decisions are made by investigating and participating in critical discussions about alternative ways of acting for change.

Keyword
ESD, child, education, sustainability, ECE
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
Curriculum Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-215077 (URN)10.1080/13504622.2014.971716 (DOI)000360824600002 ()
Available from: 2014-01-10 Created: 2014-01-10 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
2. Teaching in preschool
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Teaching in preschool
2015 (English)In: Nordic Studies in Education, ISSN 1891-5914, E-ISSN 1891-5949, Vol. 15, 20-36 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The present study investigates the practice of teaching in preschool. Similarities and differences in Swedish science education in compulsory school and preschool practice are compared. This is executed by a study of teacher’s participation in the meaning making process in the activities. The empirical material consists of video observations and field notes from preschool and compulsory school. A pragmatist approach is used to analyse the activities.

The result shows that even though no learning goals are articulated by the preschool teachers the analyses show that the teachers direct children in specific ways. Teaching in this context is understood as an action to direct children’s meaning making towards what is considered relevant in the practice.

The study shows that children in both preschool and compulsory school learn the central principle to make investigations. The actions made by the teachers do not look like teacher-centered-teaching where play and caring necessarily is ignored. If teaching can be defined as directing children’s attention into a certain direction in line with the curriculum, teaching is a central activity through the whole day in preschool.

Keyword
Teaching, meaning making, preschool, investigation, video observations
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
Curriculum Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-215080 (URN)
Available from: 2014-01-10 Created: 2014-01-10 Last updated: 2017-12-06
3. Teaching for action competence
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Teaching for action competence
2014 (English)In: SAGE Open, ISSN 2158-2440, E-ISSN 2158-2440, ISSN Online ISSN: 2158-2440, Vol. 4, 1-8 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The focus of this article is to explore preschool children’s possibilities to learn to act for sustainable development. The purpose is to describe and analyze which actions are privileged when children participate in preschool activities. Analyses of video recordings of everyday preschool activities show how children experience activities where they critically discuss and make value judgments about actions. The results of the analyses also show how different actions become relevant in different practices. Furthermore, comparisons are made between the preschool practices and three teaching principles within education for sustainable development (ESD). In ESD, action competence is the ability to critically make value judgments about different alternative ways to act for a sustainable future. The result shows how children make value judgments in situations where facts are not sufficient for solving a problem.

Keyword
action, ECE, education, sustainable development
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
Curriculum Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-215082 (URN)10.1177/2158244014543785 (DOI)
Available from: 2014-01-10 Created: 2014-01-10 Last updated: 2017-12-06
4. Privilegiering och kritik: En studie av meningsskapande i förskolans praktik
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Privilegiering och kritik: En studie av meningsskapande i förskolans praktik
(Swedish)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [sv]

Syftet med studien är att studera förutsättningarna för barn att agera kritiskt i förskolans praktik. Detta studeras genom att undersöka vad som händer med regler när värdekonflikter uppstår i barnens lekar. Genom att analysera vilka handlingar som privilegieras kan jag beskriva situationer när den kritiska förmågan privilegieras men också när den inte gör det.

Studien har visat att meningsskapande i situationer där deltagarna är oense om något innehåller värdekonflikter där det finns förutsättningar för barn att väga olika synsätt. Beroende på vilka handlingar som privilegieras finns potential att handla kritiskt. I föreliggande studie finns situationer där barn ställer regler mot varandra i lekaktiviteter. Detta möjliggör för barnen att värdera en av reglerna som mer rätt att använda än den andra. De kan därmed ställa sig kritiska till olika handlingsvägar i situationen, helt i linje med ESD-forskning och den kritiska förmåga som beskrivs inom det fältet. Det behövs ytterligare forskning som visar möjligheter för barn att utveckla en kritisk handlingsförmåga under andra aktiviteter i förskolans praktik.

Keyword
värdering, kritisk handling, förskola, hållbar utveckling
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
Curriculum Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-215083 (URN)
Available from: 2014-01-10 Created: 2014-01-10 Last updated: 2014-02-10

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