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Preschool teachers communicating values to children

Conference contribution
Authors Ingibjorg Sigurdardottir
Pia Williams
Published in EECERA European Early Childhood Education Research Association
Publication year 2016
Published at Department of Education, Communication and Learning
Language en
Keywords values education, preschool teachers, preschool
Subject categories Educational Sciences


Aim:This paper aims to investigate how values are communicated to children in one Icelandic preschool. How do preschool teachers communicate values, which they believe are important, to the children? Previous work :Values education should be included in early childhood education and care in all the Nordic countries. Nevertheless, the focus on values education seems to be missing (Einarsdóttir, Purola, Johansson, Broström and Emilson, 2015). Research in primary schools have indicated that teachers seem to be lacking professional knowledge on values education (Thornberg, 2008; Thornberg and Oğus, 2013) Theoretical and conceptual framework: This study draws on Jürgen Habermas’s (1995) theory of communicative action. Values are understood as principles that guide human actions and by which those actions are judged to be good or desirable. Values education refers to educational practices through which children are assumed to learn values (Halstead and Taylor, 2000). 50 Paradigm, methodology and methods: Analyses are conducted drawing on collaborative action research, indicating that the seven participating preschool teachers actively collaborate with the researcher. Video observations and field notes are used. Thematic analysis was used to find themes and patterns. 36 Ethical consideration: The study follows the Icelandic research council guidelines and ethical rules in social science research. Ethical aspects of research have been considered. Autonomy was guaranteed to all participants. The parents of the children consented to the project. Teachers participated voluntarily. 40 Main findings or discussions: The findings indicate that the participating preschool teachers emphasized mutual understanding in communications with the children. Different values were communicated differently. Implication, practices or policy: The results generate knowledge of the perspectives of preschool teachers concerning values education and early childhood education.

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