"Alla har väl pengar?" : Konsten att fostra demokratiälskande medborgare
Sammanfattning: This scientific essay examines the practical actions of preschool educators during democracy teaching sessions with a group of children ages three to five in a communal preschool in southern Sweden. The aims of democracy teaching in the Swedish preschool curriculum are complex and can be interpreted in multiple ways. The curriculum aims go beyond teaching knowledge and democratic skills to the children – the educators are also expected to affect the children’s feelings and ideas of values. With the educators’ actions as a starting point, this thesis aims to examine how the educators’ professional judgement, their handling of emotions and how they counter children’s agency, have effects on the democracy teaching sessions. The aim of this scientific study is to identify how the educators practically steer, manoeuvre and counter everything that occurs in the teaching session, with the objective of reaching the democracy goals of the preschool curriculum. The essay starts with two short stories where challenging situations within the democratic teaching in preschools are displayed. The study is based on three observations and one interview with the two educators who took part in the observations, all took place in autumn 2020 and spring 2021. The empirical material of the study is analysed through the theoretical perspectives on authority and rearing by Hannah Arendt and the theoretical perspectives on emotions, freedom and agency by Sara Ahmed. The results of the study highlight the complexity of the practical skills of preschool educators where their abilities of professional judgements and their goal aiming strategies are weaved together. The educators’ practical skills to create positive feelings surrounding the teaching session creates a sense of community and have positive effects on learning. But the positive joint feelings can also be used against others who are considered outside of the group, which can lead to potential conflicts. This study shows that the educators’ practical skills of teaching and their ability of professional judgement plays a crucial role for the possibility to reach the democracy aims in the curriculum. Remaining difficulties in the democracy teaching can be connected to the challenge to counter the children’s experiences of an unequal society and the task to balance transmittance of democratic rules and values and at the same time promote children’s agency.
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