NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ811298
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jun
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 45
ISSN: ISSN-1745-7823
School as "Survival Game": Representations of School in Transition from Preschool to Primary School
Lappalainen, Sirpa
Ethnography and Education, v3 n2 p115-127 Jun 2008
In children's lives the start of school is a turning point: compulsory education is their first encounter with civil duties. This important step in the process of becoming individual citizens is permeated with strong emotions and ambivalent expectations. However, the representations of school are created, established and negotiated in educational experiences preceding the start of school. In this article I explore the ways in which school is constructed in a Finnish preschool context. I build on ethnographic data generated in two preschool classes. First, I focus on how school is constructed in the social practices of teaching and in the physical space of preschool. Second, I analyse how children construct themselves as future school children and citizens by taking up available discourses and cultural practices. I argue that in official preschool, an ethos of individual survival characterises representations of school. Psychological, social and physical challenges are emphasised. Although preschool teachers in interviews and informal discussions sometimes problematise the ways in which school operates, in their teaching school practices are represented as natural. However, children actively exhibit their agency by collectively reworking of discourses and cultural practices and by renegotiating their informal relationships. (Contains 5 notes.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Finland