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Investigating Swedish Preschool Teachers’ Intentions Involved in Grouping Practices

Journal article
Authors Panagiota Nasiopoulou
Published in Early Childhood Education Journal
ISSN 1082-3301
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Education, Communication and Learning
Language en
Keywords Preschool teachers’ intentions, Grouping practices, Preschool, Person-centered approach, Latent profile analysis
Subject categories Educational Sciences


This study aims to explore profiles of preschool teachers’ intentions when they divide the children into subgroups. Interactionist perspectives, Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory, and a pedagogical perspective on preschool quality provide the foundation for the study’s theoretical framework. By applying a person-centered analytical procedure, the study analyzes preschool teachers’ considerations of a set of intentional indicators involved in grouping practices related to conditions for supportive classroom environment, opportunities for children’s play and interactions, and preschool teachers’ direct involvement in children’s learning. The sample consists of 698 preschool teachers from preschools in 46 municipalities in Sweden. Two intentional profiles were identified: a relational profile and an organizational profile. The patterns of play and learning opportunities, increasing communication and interaction, and opportunities for children to share their experiences and interests were the most distinctive patterns across the two profiles. Preschool teachers’ consideration of grouping practices as appropriate for working with a specific learning goal was equally emphasized in both profiles. These findings provide insight into preschool teachers’ pedagogical approaches and yield implications for the design of continuing professional development models for preschool teachers.

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