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ERIC Number: ED453945
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Apr
Pages: 26
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Principles Underlying the Work of Icelandic Preschool Teachers.
Einarsdottir, Johanna
This study examined the teaching methods of two Icelandic preschool teachers, their beliefs about early childhood curriculum, and the goals of their programs, emphasizing the connection between the context of the preschool teachers and their pedagogical work. Participating in the qualitative study were two preschool teachers from the city of Reykjavik: Helga, with 25 years of teaching experience, and Kristin, with 6 years of teaching experience. Data were gathered through observations in various locations, nine semi-structured interviews, and examination of artifacts such as letters to parents, guidelines, and planning sheets. The findings showed that the two preschool teachers' methods, goals, and beliefs had similar main assumptions, with pedagogical work characterized by informal teaching, play, and child- initiated activities. The two teachers found it difficult to explain reasons for their practices and to articulate their beliefs about pedagogical issues. Teachers' beliefs regarding goals, what children should learn in preschool, how children learn and develop, the role of play and outdoor play, the teacher's role, and teaching were compared and contrasted. Differences in the teachers' beliefs were found to be consistent with differences in their practice. Findings were examined in relation to the national curriculum and the cultural context. A cultural tension was found between traditional Scandinavian and Icelandic preschool traditions and more current trends in early childhood education mainly coming from the United States. The results suggest that the cultural context is influential in molding the attitudes and beliefs of preschool teachers and thus influencing the nature of the early childhood program. (Contains 53 references.) (KB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Iceland