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Technology education in preschool: Providing opportunities for children to use artifacts and to create
Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4559-3500
Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5823-1472
2018 (English)In: International journal of technology and design education, ISSN 0957-7572, E-ISSN 1573-1804, Vol. 28, no 1, p. 29-51Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In recent years, technology has been emphasized as an important area in earlychildhood curricula; however, in many countries preschool does not have the tradition ofteaching specific subjects, and research shows that many preschool staff members areunsure about what teaching technology should include and how it should be taught.Therefore, with the ambition of outlining recommendations for both preschool practice andthe preschool-teacher program, we investigated what elements staff members include ineducating preschool children in technology. We investigated the research question What dopreschool staff members include as elements of technology education in preschool?through open-ended items on a questionnaire completed by 102 preschool teachers anddaycare attendants in Sweden. The answers were analyzed inductively, resulting in a set ofseven categories: Artifacts and systems in children’s environments, Create, Problemsolving, The concept of technology, Experiments, Techniques/Motor skills, and Naturalscience. Some key results emerged. First, artifacts have a central place in preschooltechnology education, and at least three verbs relate to how these artifacts are addressed:use, create, and understand. Second, the content of technology education in governmentregulatory documents is described to varying extents by the participants, and sometimesnot at all. Third, expected elements like play and the important role of the staff are notexpressed in the answers. Possible explanations and implications for the results arediscussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 28, no 1, p. 29-51
Keywords [en]
Technology education Preschool; Early childhood education; Preschool teacher; Preschool staff; Conventional content analysis
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-31423DOI: 10.1007/s10798-016-9375-yISI: 000425323800002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-31423DiVA, id: diva2:919523
Available from: 2016-04-14 Created: 2016-04-14 Last updated: 2018-03-08Bibliographically approved
In thesis
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: 2016-04-27Bibliographically approved

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Sundqvist, PernillaNilsson, Tor

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