Språkutvecklande arbetssätt i förskolan : language development approach in preschool
The purpose of this study was to investigate into the praxis based sociocultural tools that are utilized to enhance language development in early childhood education. Four pre-school teachers were involved in this study. Two were recruited from an independent pre-school "Maria Montessori", practicing the pedagogical philosophy developed by Maria Montessori. Two were from a public pre-school herein named "Kvasten", which has no official philosophy but where the teachers (like in many Swedish pre-schools) work in a general alignment with the principles of Reggio Emilia pedagogics. The theoretical fundament of the study lies in the general theories of language development and education of Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotskij, and the comparative element mainly concerns the variations in pedagogical praxis between the two pre-schools, and the way the teachers reason about language development. No attempt is made to systematically compare the general merits of the Maria Montessori method and the Reggio Emilia philosophy in enhancing early childhood language development.
The empirical material consists of interviews and observations. The research method used draws on qualitative methodology in the observations and in the interviews with pre-school teachers. The study confirms that language is considered to be an important part of early development by all teachers interviewed, and this was also confirmed by the observations conducted in the two pre-school settings. The early childhood teachers in this study work actively and consciously to stimulate the children’s language development. The data analysis demonstrates that the pedagogues used various working methods and different educational materials in order to stimulate the children’s language development skills. At the same time the study shows that the teachers’ methods of education differed slightly depending on the varying possibilities and opportunities provided in the two pre-schools.
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