Den kvalitativa diskursen? : En essä om makt, New Public Management och frågan om kvalitet i förskolan
Sammanfattning: The aim of this text is to critically analyse which discursive power dynamics have been o fimportance in the evolution of the modern preschool. What are the underlying motives that led to the systematisation that has become so prevalent in our profession, and what changes has this led to in the preschool organization over time? From the 1990’s there has been a shift in the discourse concerning general welfare in Sweden, of which preschools are a part. With the introduction of New Public Management concepts such as quality, systematisation and competitiveness have become a part of the vocabulary in preschools. The introduction of these concepts has been instrumental in the creation of growt hand higher quality through a market-based approach and through systematic quality assurance. I wish to show through this text that this has largely been counterproductive. This shift in the discourse has not only created a new conceptual starting point but it also led to a differentiation in the roles associated with preschools as a workplace where the preschool teachers are given more and more responsibilities while the childcare workers are being made more invisible both in legislature and the curriculum. There has been an elevation in status for preschool teachers, however at the expense of both the organization and the childcare workerprofession. With the introduction of market orientation in Swedish education we are today expected to act according to a competitive approach where we are vying with others to attract custodians to our preschool. This has in turn led to a general view of custodians as customers. However, with the usage of the word customer there is an expectation of adaptability in orderto maintain our competitiveness in relation to the wishes of the customer. In this text I thereby discuss if this is an applicable terminology in the context of preschools and whether we are able to maintain the purpose of our profession when confronted with custodians as customers. This essay also discusses the importance of resisting and reclaiming the discourse occurring in preschools. We are constantly being influenced in our approach of ourselves through the societal view of our profession and I wish to show how we through trust, a sense of community and peer learning could create a scientific foundation for our continued work. We should create our own legitimacy and professional identity. It is through this communal identity and approach that we can resist and reclaim the preschool discourse.
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