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Preschool teacher playing with children.
Photo: Gunnar Jönsson

Play-Responsive Early Childhood Education and Care (PRECEC)

Research project
Active research
Project period
2016 - ongoing
Project owner
Department of education, communication and learning

The Swedish Institute for Educational Research

Short description

Play-Responsive Early Childhood Education and Care is a joint development and research study where researchers with preschool teachers and heads empirically investigate and theorise how teaching (in the Continental/German tradition) can be developed in a manner responsive to the nature and tradition of preschool (ECEC) as a play-, group- and theme-based set of practices.

About the project

The task of preschool, to organize for children’s learning and development in the form of teaching, has led to much debate and worry among preschool teachers. Critical to this discussion has been a worry that preschool will turn into school, that is, that also preschool will move in a direction where teachers teach and children listen, rather than play and take part in mutual activities. However, as also stated in the curriculum, play should continue to be central to preschool activities.

This poses a challenge to preschool teachers and to researchers in early childhood education and care (ECEC): How can teaching be understood in an institution such as preschool where play is central? In response to the challenge of developing a form of teaching that is not contrary to play, a group of researchers, in collaboration with preschool teachers and preschool heads, have conducted research on this matter. This research has led to theoretical advancement in collective understanding of how teaching in preschool can be developed in a way where play continues to be central. This new theorization is called Play-Responsive Early Childhood Education and Care (or PRECEC). It is extensively presented in a research monography (Pramling, Wallerstedt, Lagerlöf, Björklund, Kultti, Palmér, Magnusson, Thulin, Jonsson & Pramling Samuelsson, 2019), which is available as open access:

Project members

Project leader

Niklas Pramling, professor

From the University of Gothenburg:

Camilla Björklund, Anne Kultti, Pernilla Lagerlöf, Ingrid Pramling Samuelsson, Ann-Charlotte Mårdsjö-Olsson and Cecilia Wallerstedt

From the Linnaeus University:

Hanna Palmér and Maria Magnusson

From Kristianstad University:

Susanne Thulin and Agneta Jonsson