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Förskolans teknikundervisning: vad och hur?
Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics. (Matematikens, naturvetenskapens och teknikens didaktik)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4559-3500
2019 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study was to provide a description of the subject area of tech­nology and the teaching of it in preschool. Three research questions were ad­dressed: 1) What is the content of the subject area of technology in preschool? 2) How do the participants in the study teach technology in preschool? and 3) What aspects of technology does the preschool staff enable the children to learn? The motivation behind the study is the fact that technology is a rela­tively new teaching area in preschool. Research on the topic is scarce and does not provide preschool staff with an adequate scientific basis on which to build their teaching. Data were generated in three phases. First, a questionnaire was sent to 10 % of preschools in one municipality, asking staff what they include in the subject area of technology and how they view the teaching of tech­nology in preschool. Secondly, seven preschool staff who had responded to the ques­tionnaire were interviewed with the aim of providing a more detailed descrip­tion of how technology is taught in their respective preschools. Thirdly, an ethnographically inspired perspective was employed with the participation of two preschool units. I visited them during a six-week period, carried out ob­servations and interviewed staff. The outcome of the research is presented in the form of five individual studies, which collectively provided answers to the research questions. The results showed that preschool staff vary in their de­scriptions of the content of the technology area and how it is taught, with a range spanning from content that does not belong in technology as a knowledge area to relatively complex technological content. Examples of the former were content such as natural science, non-technological skills and tech­niques and the use of technology as a means of learning in other subject areas. Examples of the latter were content such as how a specific technology works, for instance what parts an object is made of and how they are joined together, as well as knowledge of technological systems. The descriptions revealed var­ying levels of competence in the teaching of technology to preschool children, with some staff showing adequate knowledge and confidence and others showing a lower level of knowledge as well as insecurity. It also becomes clear that the intended equality in preschool education had not been achieved in respect of technology education. From the part of this study that was based on an ethnographically inspired perspective it is clear that when preschool staff have the interest and the knowledge needed to teach technology to chil­dren, such teaching can be meaningful to the children and contribute to their learning in accordance with the stated mission of the preschool. The study has relevance for preschool practice as well as for the research community.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Västerås: Mälardalen University , 2019.
Series
Mälardalen University Press Dissertations, ISSN 1651-4238 ; 287Mälardalen Studies in Educational Sciences ; 42
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Didactics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-42880ISBN: 978-91-7485-423-7 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-42880DiVA, id: diva2:1294426
Public defence
2019-04-26, Kappa, Mälardalens högskola, Västerås, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-03-07 Created: 2019-03-07 Last updated: 2019-03-19Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Teknik i förskolan är inte något nytt, men idag är vi mera medvetna om vad vi kallar teknik: Personalens beskrivningar av teknik som innehållsområde i förskolan
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Teknik i förskolan är inte något nytt, men idag är vi mera medvetna om vad vi kallar teknik: Personalens beskrivningar av teknik som innehållsområde i förskolan
2016 (Swedish)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This study investigates what preschool staff include in the technology subject in preschool education, what content they view as relevant and how the teaching of this content can be organized. This is motivated by the fact that technology as subject have not been clearly defined, leaving the teachers insecure and unconfident about what to teach and how to teach it. In addition, preschool do not have a tradition of addressing teaching and learning the way they are now obliged to do according to the curriculum and many studies have shown subject teaching to be a challenge in preschool. Thus, the preschool staff’s challenge is twofold regarding the teaching of technology.

The aim is addressed by a mixed methods design, starting with questionnaires and followed by interviews with preschool staff (daycare attendants and preschool teachers). The questionnaire was completed by 102 preschool staff members and interviews were held with seven of these participants.

A key results is that technology in preschool involves building and creating. Emphasized is that children should be offered much and varied materials and that it should be available in the environment and inspire creative activities. Another key result is that every-day use of artifacts is viewed as part of technology education. Children should learn to handle artifacts by using them, e.g. pulling up the zipper to close the jacket or cut with scissors. These are activities preschool have always engaged children in, which the staff now name technology. However, there are variations in the result and there are preschool staff members who express a more conscious teaching where children are able to learn about things like the purpose of technology, what parts an object consist of and how these parts are connected, and about technological systems, e.g. how the water get from the lake to the tap and how it is purified on the way. But there are also examples where technology activities are used as a means for working towards the striving goals of other areas, such as math, science and social behavior.

Implications are that preschool staff need to develop their teaching in order to work in accordance with the curriculum. A relevant first step is to strengthen their content competence in technology, but also, they need tools for how to teach subject matter like technology in a practice characterized by children’s own choice and influence.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Västerås: Mälardalen University, 2016
Series
Mälardalen University Press Licentiate Theses, ISSN 1651-9256 ; 233
Series
Mälardalen Studies in Educational Sciences ; 24
Keywords
technology, technology education, preschool, preschool staff, early childhood education, teknik, teknikundervisning, förskola, förskolepersonal
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-31383 (URN)978-91-7485-259-2 (ISBN)
Presentation
2016-05-27, Lambda, Mälardalens högskola, Västerås, 09:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-04-07 Created: 2016-04-06 Last updated: 2019-03-07Bibliographically approved
2. Teaching Technology in Preschool: Voices from the Practice
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Teaching Technology in Preschool: Voices from the Practice
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Keywords
technology education, preschool, early childhood education, preschool staff, preschool teacher
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-42877 (URN)
Available from: 2019-03-07 Created: 2019-03-07 Last updated: 2019-08-15Bibliographically approved
3. Challenges of teaching technology in the preschool
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Challenges of teaching technology in the preschool
2017 (English)In: Technology: An holistic approach to education / [ed] P John Williams, University of Waikato, New Zealand, 2017, p. 315-324Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In many countries over the last decade early childhood education (ECE) has leaned towards a more learning-oriented pedagogy. This is also the case in the Swedish preschool. Preschool staff in Sweden are now commissioned to teach specific subjects, including technology. Previous research has shown that collectively, preschool staff have a broad and diverse view of what technology education is or should be. At the same time, other studies show that what is actually taught appears to be much less. Thus, something seems to be preventing educators from providing the technology education they regard as essential. The research question is: What challenges exist for the teaching and learning of technology in the Swedish preschool? The statements made by seven preschool staff are used to illustrate these challenges. The statements are analysed using a qualitative content analysis, which results in a set of categories. One of the challenges to the teaching of technology is educators’ lack competence in the subject. This obstacle includes a view of technology as a means for learning rather than the object of learning. Another obstacle is a traditional view of the preschool and learning, namely that children should explore things on their own and that it is more important to follow their interests than the pedagogical plan. In order for teaching to happen in preschool the commission of the preschool along with its inclusion of subject teaching must be clear to all preschool staff. In order for teaching to happen in accordance with the curriculum in-service and pre-service training that focus on how subject teaching that allows children’s participation and influence is performed need to be provided. And finally, in order for technology teaching to happen all preschool staff need adequate training in technology. In-service training for a few is not enough.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
University of Waikato, New Zealand: , 2017
Keywords
technology education, early childhood education, preschool, preschool staff, challenges
National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-37168 (URN)978-0-9951039-0-0 (ISBN)
Conference
TENZ – ICTE Conference
Available from: 2017-10-31 Created: 2017-10-31 Last updated: 2019-03-07Bibliographically approved
4. Technological Knowledge in Early Childhood Education: Provision by staff of learning oppor­tunities
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Technological Knowledge in Early Childhood Education: Provision by staff of learning oppor­tunities
(English)In: International journal of technology and design education, ISSN 0957-7572, E-ISSN 1573-1804Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Developments in early childhood education (ECE) over the last two decades have for many countries meant a change towards a more subject-oriented pedagogy in which preschool staff are commissioned to teach technology to young children. This has been proved to be a challenge to the staff. Through analysis of activities at two preschool units, this study shows how technology education can be provided in ECE, and what kind of knowledge-learning by children can be facilitated in different activities and depending on the actions of the staff. An ethnographically inspired perspective was employed, using methods such as participant observation and formal and informal interviews, in order to investigate the technological knowledge encouraged by the staff at two preschool units in Sweden. The results show that staff promote children’s learning of a variety of technological content, mainly relating to technological objects and creative processes. This range from simple knowledge of how to handle a knife or a pair of scissors to more complex knowledge of how to build something to be fit for purpose and how different tools or materials are more or less adequate for a specific activity or design. The result also show that the way in which the staff address these contents effect which abilities and skills children are promoted to develop.

Keywords
Technology education, technological knowledge, early childhood education, preschool, preschool teacher, preschool staff
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-42875 (URN)10.1007/s10798-019-09500-0 (DOI)
Available from: 2019-03-07 Created: 2019-03-07 Last updated: 2019-05-15Bibliographically approved
5. Tre förskollärares undervisning i teknik – en utvecklingspedagogisk analys av det avsedda och det manifesta lärandeobjektet.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Tre förskollärares undervisning i teknik – en utvecklingspedagogisk analys av det avsedda och det manifesta lärandeobjektet.
2019 (Swedish)In: NorDiNa: Nordic Studies in Science Education, ISSN 1504-4556, E-ISSN 1894-1257, Vol. 15, no 2, p. 114-127Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The analysis of three activities from two different preschool units is presented. The aim is to show how the actions of the preschool teachers affect children’s learning possibilities in each activity with regard to the technology in children’s surrounding world. The aim is chosen because previous research have shown the intentions of preschool teachers are not always realized, and that teaching about the technology in the surrounding world is rare. The analysis uses a developmental pedagogy perspective and shows the relation between the intended and the enacted object of learning in each activity. The study shows that the participating preschool teachers are active in children’s learning, have a pedagogical plan where children’s perspectives are observed and regarded, and perform teaching where the technology in the surrounding world is treated and made visible. To what degree the intended object of learning is enacted varies, and possible causes for this are discussed.

Keywords
preschool, preschool teacher, early childhood education, technology education, developmental pedagogy, förskola, förskollärare, teknik, teknikundervisning, utvecklingspedagogik
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-42876 (URN)2-s2.0-85064629712 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2019-03-07 Created: 2019-03-07 Last updated: 2019-10-01Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
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  • en-GB
  • en-US
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  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
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Output format
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