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ERIC Number: ED468280
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Apr
Pages: 24
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Manifestations of Cultural Beliefs in the Daily Practice of Icelandic Preschools.
Einarsdottir, Johanna
In its 80 years in Iceland, preschool has evolved from caregiving to the first level of schooling in the nation with a national curriculum organized by the Ministry of Education. This study used a cultural psychological perspective to examine whether Icelandic core cultural beliefs such as freedom and independence are evident in the daily practices in two Icelandic preschools and to examine how Icelandic early childhood educators view these practices. Phase 1 of the study involved intensive observations of two preschool teachers over 16 months, 9 interviews with the teachers and 1 with the preschool directors, and collection of documents to explore the connection between the context of the teachers and their pedagogy. Phase 2 involved four focus groups comprised of preschool teachers, directors, and consultants and preschool teacher educators in which the two teachers pedagogy and beliefs were the basis for group discussion. The findings of this study showed that freedom is an integral concept for both teachers. Both devoted a large portion of the school day to free play and free choice. Both emphasized play and child-initiated activities. One teacher took a more active role with the children than the other teacher. Teachers' interview comments illustrated their different perspectives of the teacher role. Some focus group participants criticized one teachers practice of allowing children to play without adults present and others highlighted the importance of children having a space where they are trusted to be on their own. Participants also discussed the importance of outdoor play in the preschool setting. (Contains 32 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