Science in the pre-school teacher education: Trajectories of child minders becoming pre-school teachers with a scientific profile
2010 (English)Conference paper (Refereed)
This paper has a biographical perspective and analyses the learning trajectories of child minders participating in a teacher education to become qualified pre-school teachers. These child minders have worked full-time and are working part-time in pre-schools during the teacher education. The focus of the paper is on the scientific profile in their teacher education, and how their prior experiences and prior learning from working in pre-school and from everyday life are related to and acknowledged in this profile.
Lager-Nyqvist (2003) has studied student teachers’ experience of science education during their teacher training. The findings are that early school experiences and own opinions on science education in school affect the teacher’s role. In a previous study of child minders participating in a teacher education (Andersson & Hellberg, 2009) it was found that the child minders are initially peripheral participants, and change from within might require a more central position in the community of practice. The results show how these students become less peripheral fairly quickly. Their prior experiences and prior learning help them in their trajectory into university studies and in the shift of identity. Not least their participation in the practice of work, where part of the education program is situated, could to a large extent be seen as full.
The data in the present study are collected through narrative interviews with seven teacher students with a background as child minders. The interviews are conducted in a way outlined by Horsdal (2002). The interview starts with a more or less extensive narrative of the interviewee’s life with focus on aspects relevant (from the interviewee’s perspective) in relation to the choice to become a pre-school teacher. This narrative is followed by a number of follow-up questions focusing on the scientific profile in relation to prior and present experiences particularly from the pre-school practice. In the analysis of interviews, a central guiding concept is trajectory, and particularly learning trajectory. Other concepts that guide our analysis in this approach are critical incidents, critical persons, turning points, and identity, which help us identify the structures of and central themes in the narratives. This theoretical perspective is based on the idea of situated learning (Lave & Wenger, 1991).
The preliminary results presented here indicate how and in what ways these teacher students learn scientific knowledge, and how this learning is related to the practice of the pre-school, and the students’ prior experiences and prior learning within this community of practice. The analysis provides implications for how learning in scientific subjects could be understood, and particularly how learning among students with prior experiences from the community of practice for which they are trained could be understood.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Pre-school teacher education, science, learning trajectory, prior learning, prior experience
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-59863OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-59863DiVA: diva2:353713
6th European Research Conference. Adult Learning in Europe - understanding diverse meanings and contexts