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When a problem in a fairy tale challenge and inspire – a study of preschool children’s work on technological solutions

Conference contribution
Authors Katharina Dahlbäck
Ann-Marie Von Otter
Published in ETEN konferens 25-27 april, Vic
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Pedagogical, Curricular and Professional Studies
Language en
Keywords Fairy tale, technology, pre-school children, technology process
Subject categories Educational Sciences


The aim of the presentation is to contribute with knowledge about children's practical work and communication in a technology-related problem-solving activity, based on a fairy tale. More research about technology in preschool is needed, especially concerning children's knowledge in relation to the technology (design) process. The study was conducted in a pre-school with two pre-school teachers. The story used in the study is about two fantasy animals, “Bus and Frö”, who live on each island. Bus and Frö are thinking about how they will manage to cross the sea and meet (Nilsson, 2012). How can the children help them to solve the problem? Children's problem-solving activities was documented by video recordings on four occasions. The results showed that the children worked with most parts in the technology process. The fairy tale contextualized the problem, sketches were used to communicate ideas and children's solutions were inspired by the story as well as their experiences from everyday life. The fairy tale also invited creativity and inspired solutions because everything is possible in the fairy tale world. Through the connection between the fairy tale and technology, the conditions for learning through languages, images and tasks were created, encouraging the children's interest, imagination and creative creation. Combining the known (the fairy tale) and the unknown (the technology content) proves to be fruitful when solving a technology-related problem where imagination, knowledge and experience is required.

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