ERIC Number: EJ891478
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Nov
Reference Count: 30
Documenting Development and Pedagogy in the Swedish Preschool: The Portfolio as a Vehicle for Reflection, Learning, and Democracy
McKenna, Devon E.
Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, v12 p161-184 Nov 2005
In Sweden, governmental decision-making is based on a social-democratic ideology and a system of representative democracy. In citizens' meetings, the democratic values and norms, that are both a requirement and goal, at are formed. This concept of democracy, and the value system behind it, permeates Swedish culture, and its institutions and policies. It plays an especially significant role in Swedish early childhood education and care (ECEC), a system that is part of a comprehensive network of family policies and services. It is considered paramount that democracy is upheld in the child-care setting, so that children acquire these values on which the Swedish society is so fundamentally based. Documentation brings democracy into the pedagogical activities and decision making of the preschool by offering a means for those within, along with those outside the preschool, to observe and reflect on its activities and development. In Swedish ECEC, the individualized portfolio method has become an increasingly popular way to record learning. A portfolio is a profile of a child's work and interests which is built up gradually with representative components of a child's educational experience. This article discusses how portfolios illustrate the pedagogical activities in the classroom, and allow the student, teacher, and parent, and the community at large, to reflect on the practice and progress of the preschool. It discusses how this concrete display of work gives outside stakeholders and community members a clearer understanding of the everyday methods and pedagogy in the early childhood facilities.
Descriptors: Portfolio Assessment, Early Childhood Education, Democracy, Young Children, Foreign Countries, Democratic Values, Educational Experience, Teaching Methods, Decision Making, Citizenship, Child Care, Preschool Education, Child Care Centers, Child Development, Reflection, Reggio Emilia Approach, Constructivism (Learning), Standardized Tests
Frontiers Journal. Dickinson College P.O. Box 1773, Carlisle, PA 17013. Tel: 717-254-8858; Fax: 717-245-1677; Web site: http://www.frontiersjournal.com
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Preschool Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Sweden