Valued Learning Topics in Kindergarten
Keywords:early literacy learning (ELL), social competence, Bildung, curriculum, Froebelian pedagogy
In the Scandinavian tradition, how children learn is of much greater importance than what children. However, this study seeks primarily to investigate “what to learn” as opposed to “how to learn.” The matter of what topics are most valued is under-researched, particularly in regard to kindergarten teachers and what they think children should learn during their time in kindergarten. In this study, the above-stated fact was investigated through focus group interviews (Halkier, 2015) in six kindergartens during January of 2020. In each kindergarten, 3-5 kindergarten teachers – 23 in total – participated in these interviews. A qualitative approach was used to obtain participants and capture their perspectives (Kvale & Brinkman, 2015). All of the responses emphasized a common theme, that focus should be placed on learning and developing social competence and early literacy learning (ELL). National Early Literacy Panel (NELP) defines ELL as learning vocabulary and developing oral language, along with becoming familiarized with the alphabet, writing letters, and obtaining phonological awareness (2008). In contrast, when asked what the most important aspect was in following the governmental curriculum, kindergarten teachers specified ELL.
The findings discussed regarded ELL as a critical topic in early childhood education and care (ECEC), both internationally and in the Scandinavian countries of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark (Børne-og Undervisningsministeriet, 2007; Kunnskapsdepartementet, 2017; Skolverket, 2019). The findings were also discussed regarding social competence as an expression of the Bildung concept (Klafki, 1997) and in regard to Froebelian pedagogy, which has greatly influenced Scandinavian kindergartens. Although this heritage may have been used, shaped and interpreted in a child-oriented direction (Brostrøm, 2004; Håberg, 2017), it has the potential to provide various input and directions.
Copyright (c) 2022 Liv Ingrid Aske Haberg
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).