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Communication with young children in preschool: the complex matter of a child perspective

Journal article
Authors Agneta Jonsson
Pia Williams
Published in Early Child Development and Care
Volume Available online: 23 Apr 2012
Pages 1–16
ISSN 0300-4430
Publication year 2012
Published at Department of Education, Communication and Learning
Pages 1–16
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1080/03004430.2012.67...
Keywords preschool; curriculum; communication; child perspectives; preschool teacher
Subject categories Children

Abstract

This article discusses results obtained from a study on the contribution of the preschool teacher as a curriculum-maker in preschool. The research question addressed is ‘what is the characteristic for the curriculum offered, as it appears in one teacher’s verbal communication with 1–3-year-old children?’ The research area is motivated by the need for knowledge about the implications that a goal- oriented preschool curriculum and broad discretion for teachers might imply for activities in preschool. This study was carried out in Sweden, and the empirical data consist of videotaped observations of communication between a single teacher and a number of children aged between one and three during one morning in preschool. The results show that the teacher frequently uses questions as a means of communication, where a large number of shifts between different children and different issues are particularly characteristic. Although this contributes to a child perspective, it also implies a teacher-centred position and a fragmented way of exercising the discretion vis-a`-vis the curriculum. The findings are discussed and related to curriculum theory and to early childhood perspectives.

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