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Challenges of teaching technology in the preschool
Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics. (MNT)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4559-3500
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. p. 315-324
Keywords [en]
technology education, early childhood education, preschool, preschool staff, challenges
National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-37168ISBN: 978-0-9951039-0-0 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-37168DiVA, id: diva2:1153874
Conference
TENZ – ICTE Conference
Available from: 2017-10-31 Created: 2017-10-31 Last updated: 2019-03-07Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Förskolans teknikundervisning: vad och hur?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Förskolans teknikundervisning: vad och hur?
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:nbn:se:mdh:diva-42880 (URN)978-91-7485-423-7 (ISBN)
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

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https://tenzcon.org/2017-conference/

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Sundqvist, Pernilla

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Citation style
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