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  • 1.
    Nilsson, Tor
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.
    Sundqvist, Pernilla
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.
    Gustafsson, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.
    A Pilot Study of the Technological Literacy among Primary School Teachers in Sweden2016In: PATT32: Technology Education for 21st Century skills, Utrecht, 2016Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A pilot study focused on technological literacy and the nature of technology was undertakenamong 30 Swedish primary school teachers. This research utilised a study-specificquestionnaire based on previous findings and was comprised of 62 items answered by theteachers using a Likert-type scale. The answers were analysed statistically to determineinternal consistency and for further development of the questionnaire. In addition, a group of 6teachers gave their views on why some of the items deviated. The results indicate that, in total,at least 7 of the 14 categories need further development, especially the 5 newly designedcategories covering the critical aspects of technological literacy for which no descriptivecategories were found in previous research. Factor analyses were also performed to exploredata and look for indications of how these teachers’ views of technology can be described.One 3-factor solution covered 2 dimensions (how technology is conceived and interaction withartefacts) as well as one 4-factor solution covering both of these dimensions and backgroundvariables. Although the sample size limits our conclusions, it is evident that some backgroundvariables explain more of the variation than would be possible if the sample had been larger.Even so, the analyses provide valuable input for the development of our ongoing researchproject.

  • 2.
    Nilsson, Tor
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.
    Sundqvist, Pernilla
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.
    Gustafsson, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.
    Kompetens för teknik i förskola2019In: Forum för forskningsbaserad NT-undervisning / [ed] Karin Stolpe, Gunnar Höst och Andreas Larsson, Linköping, 2019Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 3.
    Sundqvist, Pernilla
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.
    Challenges of teaching technology in the preschool2017In: Technology: An holistic approach to education / [ed] P John Williams, University of Waikato, New Zealand, 2017, p. 315-324Conference 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.

  • 4.
    Sundqvist, Pernilla
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.
    Förskolans teknikundervisning: vad och hur?2019Doctoral 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.

  • 5.
    Sundqvist, Pernilla
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication.
    Teaching Technology in Preschool: Voices from the PracticeManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 6.
    Sundqvist, Pernilla
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication.
    Technological Knowledge in Early Childhood Education: Provision by staff of learning oppor­tunitiesIn: International journal of technology and design education, ISSN 0957-7572, E-ISSN 1573-1804Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

  • 7.
    Sundqvist, Pernilla
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.
    Technology teaching in preschool: A glimpse from the practiceManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 8.
    Sundqvist, Pernilla
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.
    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 förskolan2016Licentiate 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.

  • 9.
    Sundqvist, Pernilla
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.
    Tre förskollärares undervisning i teknik – en utvecklingspedagogisk analys av det avsedda och det manifesta lärandeobjektet.2019In: NorDiNa: Nordic Studies in Science Education, ISSN 1504-4556, E-ISSN 1894-1257, Vol. 15, no 2, p. 114-127Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

  • 10.
    Sundqvist, Pernilla
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.
    Nilsson, Tor
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.
    Technology education in preschool: Providing opportunities for children to use artifacts and to create2018In: International journal of technology and design education, ISSN 0957-7572, E-ISSN 1573-1804, Vol. 28, no 1, p. 29-51Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

  • 11.
    Sundqvist, Pernilla
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.
    Nilsson, Tor
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.
    Gustafsson, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.
    Finns det ett glapp i förskolans praktik när det kommer till teknik?2018Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [sv]

    Tidigare forskning indikerar att förskolepedagogers beskrivning av teknik som område generellt inte återfinns i förskolans arbete. Här undersöks om ett sådant glapp kan påvisas. Studien har bedrivits som forskningscirklar med 19 förskolepedagoger. Utgångspunkten var en enkät vars resultat beskriver teknik i fem kategorier. Därefter har pedagogerna dokumenterat exempel med tekniklärande för barnen och angett vilken av teknikkategorierna som bäst beskriver tekniken i händelsen. I enkäten dominerade kategorierna att ”teknik är lösning på att problem” och ”processen i vilken artefakter utvecklas”. I exemplen finns omvänt aktiviteter som knyter an till att identifiera artefakter och att använda teknikord och artefakter. Skillnaden mellan pedagogernas beskrivning av teknik och praktiken ger de själva en relevant förklaring till.

  • 12.
    Sundqvist, Pernilla
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.
    Nilsson, Tor
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.
    Gustafsson, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.
    Is There a Gap to Mind in Preschool Practice When it Comes to Technology?2018In: XVIII IOSTE symposium.: Future Educational Challenges from Science and Technology Perspectives. / [ed] Anna Jobér, Maria Andrée and Malin Ideland, Malmö, 2018, p. 303-310Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Research has indicated that there may be a gap between preschool teachers’ general descriptions of technology and thetechnology content in their actual preschool practices. This study investigates this further and, if a gap is found, looks forpossible reasons for it. The study was conducted in the form of research circles in two Swedish municipalities with 19technology-minded preschool teachers. A mixed research design was used. The starting point for mapping the preschoolteachers’ descriptions of technology was an established questionnaire that placed technology into five categories. Followingthis, the teachers independently documented events at their preschools that they assessed as technology activities. The findingswere that the most commonly chosen category in the questionnaire was technology as a solution to a problem. However, intheir everyday examples the dominant activities related to the children’s attempts to use the artefacts. The preschool teacherssaid that the children had to be introduced to the artefacts, their names and functions, before moving on to more advancedlevels describing technology. There is thus a distinction between the preschool teachers’ descriptions of technology and theireveryday practices, where they themselves provide relevant explanations for the gap.

  • 13.
    Sundqvist, Pernilla
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.
    Nilsson, Tor
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.
    Gustafsson, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.
    Svensk förskolepersonals beskrivningar av teknik2015In: LUMAT: Luonnontieteiden, matematiikan ja teknologian opetuksen tutkimus ja käytäntö, ISSN 2323-7104, E-ISSN 2323-7112, Vol. 3, no 2, p. 237-257Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    With regards to previous research results on how the teacher’s/preschool teacher’s understanding of a subject effects children’s learning and apprehending of the subject combined with the difficulties for the technology subject to take place in preschool this study aims at investigating how preschool staff (including preschool teachers and day care attendants) describe technology. A qualitatively designed questionnaire was sent out to 139 preschool teachers and day care attendants in a Swedish municipality, whereof 102 answered. The open question about what technology is thought to be was analyzed using a conventional content analysis resulting in nine categories, of which six interrelated hierarchically and one contained answers witch could not be categorized. Thus the result shows eight different ways in which technology is described, from a simple and naive description to a more complex description that implicates a deeper understanding of technology. A majority describes technology according to the latter. The result also shows that it is mainly the preschool teachers who describe technology in a more complex way. Many of the respondents have trouble separating technology from science, and quite a few describes technology as technique, which is another meaning for the word in the Swedish language.

  • 14.
    Sundqvist, Pernilla
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.
    Nilsson, Tor
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.
    Gustafsson, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.
    The Purpose of Technology Education in Preschool: Swedish Preschool Staff’s Descriptions2015In: Plurality and Complementarity of Approaches in Design and Technology Education: PATT29 conference proceedings / [ed] Marjolaine Chatoney, Marseille: École supérieure du professorat et de l’éducation, Aix-Marseille Université , 2015, p. 390-396Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In 2010 technology became emphasized as a subject in the revised curriculum for the Swedish preschool. Two yearslater 42 preschools were scrutinized by the Swedish Schools Inspectorate. The resulting report revealed that thepreschool staff lacked knowledge about technology in general and felt insecure regarding the subject’s application inthe preschool practice. There is relatively little research on the area, but even so some studies have shown the sametendency. To increase the knowledge of the existing situation in the preschool the aim of this study was to investigatehow preschool staff describe the purpose of technology education in preschool. Data was collected through an openendedquestionnaire. A stratified sample of 10 % of all the preschools in the investigated municipality resulted in thequestionnaire being sent out to 139 preschool teachers and day care attendants. The return rate was 73 %. The datawas analyzed using a conventional content analysis to create categories from data. Five categories were formed todescribe the preschool staff’s descriptions of the purpose of technology education: 1) to develop children’s interestin technology, 2) to make children aware of the technology around them and through that making the technologyavailable for them, 3) to give children an awareness about how technology works, 4) for children to develop abilitiesand knowledge to be able to create, invent and solve problems using technology, 5) to prepare children for futurelearning. All together these categories cover all aims but one for sustainable development stated in the steeringdocuments for the preschool and it seems that these respondents have a more developed understanding oftechnology in preschool than the ones the Swedish Schools Inspectorate reported in 2012.

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