Det kompetenta barnet : En essä om olika sätt att uppfatta vad barns ”kompetens” är
In this essay, we have investigated the concept of the “competent child”. Our dilemma is grounded in the fact that we adults have different opinions regarding what a “competent child” is. By this we, Audrey and Nada, mean that the term “competens” means different things depending on the context in which it occurs. Using Montessori pedagogy and Reggio Emilia educational philosophy, we have analyzed how adults view children's “skills”. We have investigated how the concept of the “competent child” can be explained by the concepts of influence and participation. By using two different stories we have highlighted the dilemma we have experienced regarding what a “competent child” is. Throughout our investigation of these stories we have used two different perspectives regarding how adults view children. The first story is about Frank, and raises the issue of how teachers' approach to preschool children can differ. The second story about Erik, looks at how a parent’s stress can negatively affect an everyday situation and result in a conflict with their child. These different approaches and opinions on children's skills can cause conflicts between adults. When such conflicts arise, they become problematic for us educators. With this essay, our goal is to understand why these conflicts occur and the reasons for our different views on what a “competent child” is.
We have used the following questions as the starting point for our investigation:
What is meant by the term "The competent child"?
What is a competent child in practice?
How is a child's development and self-image affected by their teachers and parents views of their skills?
Our goal is to explore various aspects of how our adult world affects children and the possible consequences our actions can have on them. In this essay we have used the method of writing and reflection over two stories which are taken from our practical experience within preschool and working with children. We have reflected over the dilemma in our stories and pondered over which skills or knowledge are seen as crucial in today's society for children to possess, if they are to be seen as competent.
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