Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/17418
Markmiðið með þeirri rannsókn, sem hér er kynnt, er að skoða sýn, hlutverk og starfshætti leikskólakennara og leiðbeinenda. Rannsóknin er samvinnuverkefni milli Rannsóknarstofu í menntunarfræðum ungra barna (RannUng) hjá Menntavísindasviði Háskóla Íslands, Háskólans í Volda og Háskólans í Ósló. Gögnum
fyrir íslenskan hluta rannsóknarinnar var safnað með spurningakönnun sem send var í alla leikskóla hér á landi veturinn 2011–2012. Í þessari grein er leitast við að
varpa ljósi á hvort munur er á því hvernig leikskólakennarar annars vegar og leiðbeinendur hins vegar lýsa áherslum sínum og
daglegum verkum í leikskólanum.
Niðurstöður leiða í ljós að óljós verkaskipting
virðist vera milli leikskólakennara og
leiðbeinenda í íslenskum leikskólum hvað varðar dagleg störf. Báðir hópar segjast sinna jafnt daglegri umönnun barnanna og taka þátt í leik þeirra og hreyfingu. Báðir hópar segjast leggja mikla áherslu á virka þátttöku, tjáningu, félagsfærni, leik og uppeldi barnanna. Hins vegar sögðust fleiri leikskólakennarar en leiðbeinendur leggja áherslu á nám og afmarkaða þætti tengda námssviðum leikskólans. Það sem
einkum greindi hópana að voru samskipti við foreldra og umönnun og menntun barna með sérþarfir sem leikskólakennarar báru
á ábyrgð í ríkari mæli. Niðurstöður eru ræddar í ljósi fagmennsku leikskólakennara og menntastefnu sem sett er fram
í Aðalnámskrá leikskóla.
Roughly 96% of Icelandic children between the ages of two and five attend preschool, and approximately 28% of them are two years old (Statistics Iceland, 2013). Despite the law that stipulates that educated preschool teachers should account for at least two-thirds of the staff that handle the care and education of children in each preschool (Laws on Education and Appointment of Teachers and Principals in Preschool, Elementary School and Secondary School nr. 87/2008), only 38% of the preschool staff had received preschool teacher education in the year 2011. The aim of this study is to examine the views, roles, and pedagogy of preschool
teachers and preschool assistants in Iceland. This is a part of a collaborative
study between the University of Iceland, the University of Volda and the University
of Oslo. Research that compares the work of preschool teachers and assistants
is rare, and the present study is the first of its kind in Iceland. In order to
ensure the quality education of preschool children, it is important to gain insight
into how those working in preschools view their own work. This research examined
the ways in which preschool teachers and preschool assistants described
their daily work and emphases.
This article seeks to answer the following questions:
1. Is there a difference in how preschool teachers and preschool assistants
describe what they emphasize in their work with preschool children?
2. Is there a difference in how preschool teachers and preschool assistants
describe their daily work with preschool children?
Data were gathered through a questionnaire sent to all preschools in Iceland during
the 2011–2012 school year. Two questionnaires were used, one for the preschool
teachers and another for the assistants. Staff without preschool teacher
education were categorized as assistants. The questionnaires that were translated
from Norwegian had the same questions, aside from those relating to background
information. The questions were ranked on the Likert scale including 5–7
values. The answers of the preschool teachers and assistants were compared.
The findings indicate a vague division of labour between the two groups, which
suggests that the specialized knowledge of preschool teachers faces considerable
difficulties, as has been corroborated in other Nordic research (Aasen, 2000;
Arna H. Jónsdóttir, 2012; Grimsæth, Nordvik and Bergsvik, 2008; Haug, 2010;
Lövgren, 2012; Olsen, 2011). Both preschool teachers and preschool assistants
emphasized play, caregiving, movement, social development, and the active
participation of all children. However, the preschool teachers indicated to a greater
extent that they emphasized learning, specifically those learning areas presented
in the National Curriculum Guidelines (Mennta- og menningarráðuneytið,
2012). Mathematical concepts and nature and science, among other areas, fall
under the field sustainability and science. More preschool teachers than assistants
claimed to emphasize these areas. Preschool teachers also placed more
stress upon aspects categorized as culture and arts. They indicated more frequently
that they supervised arts, music and creative expression and generally
emphasized culture and arts to a higher degree than the assistants. Concerning
literacy and communication, the preschool teachers also reported teaching the
children about numbers and letters and read for them on a more frequent basis
than the assistant teachers did. There was also a noticeable difference between
the groups in relation to the supervision of circle-time or group-activities, which
the preschool teachers attended to more frequently. The main difference between
the groups, however, was that preschool teachers were more responsible for cooperating
with parents and working with children with special needs.
The preschool national curriculum (Mennta- og menningarráðuneytið, 2012)
states that preschool teachers should take on a leadership position in guiding
and strengthening the role of the preschool by, among other things, becoming
exemplary in their work with children and bolstering the professional role of the
preschool. The findings of the research pose questions concerning the extent to
which preschool teachers are able to fulfil this obligation. Further research is
required in order to investigate further the work and division of labour of preschool
teachers and assistant teachers. It is important to shed light on how and
where the preschool teachers’ specialized knowledge is fruitfully applied and
what aspects prevent them from utilizing their professional knowledge.