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Managing the unmanageable: curriculum challenges and teacher strategies in multicultural preschools in Sweden
Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7832-2155
Mälardalens högskola.
2018 (English)In: Journal of Intercultural Communication, ISSN 1404-1634, E-ISSN 1404-1634, Vol. 48Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In its political ambitions and pedagogical spirit to address an increasingly diverse population, the Swedish national curriculum for the preschool contains contradictory or even conflicting goals. On the one hand, the curriculum stipulates openness to, tolerance for and appreciation of cultural, ethnic, religious and social differences, and respect for the unique background of children. On the other hand, it stresses universal human rights and the fundamental values of Swedish society. How preschool teachers work with and make sense of such contradictory or even conflicting goals in everyday practice is the focus of this text. The research questions are: (1) How do preschool teachers describe the challenges they face in their daily work when they attempt to honour the stipulations of the curriculum? (2) Which strategies do they describe as using to manage these challenges? The empirical material consists of 14 focus group interviews with 41 preschool teachers from two highly ethnically and culturally diverse urban areas of metropolitan Stockholm. Results suggest that there are a number of recurring preschool situations where cultural and religious differences lead to dilemmas and potential friction between children, preschool teachers and parents. Results also show that the preschool curriculum provides little guidance and instead the preschool teachers must develop their own strategies to handle children’s and parents’ expectations and demands, for instance by using the children as cultural intermediaries. Overall, the preschool teachers adopt strategies that enable them to avoid “difficult” situations, which in effect risks placing the challenges on the shoulders of the children.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 48
Keywords [en]
Sweden, multicultural preschools, curriculum, preschool teacher strategies
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Intercultural Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-29136Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85070812908OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-29136DiVA, id: diva2:1272415
Available from: 2018-12-19 Created: 2018-12-19 Last updated: 2019-08-26Bibliographically approved

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Scopushttps://www.immi.se/intercultural/

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Stier, Jonas

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • chicago-author-date
  • chicago-note-bibliography
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf