Children's choice-making in preschool - an introduction to democracy?

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Children's choice-making in preschool - an introduction to democracy?

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Title Children's choice-making in preschool - an introduction to democracy?
Author(s) Westlund, Kristina
Date 2010
English abstract
In Swedish preschools (with children between 1 and 5 years old) there has been an increased focus on the children’s right to participation. The study, which this paper is based on, aims to describe how preschool teachers create possibilities for children to influence the preschool activities. The results show that teachers often highlight the importance of children’s own choice-making in their work for enhancing children’s participation. The teachers often encourage children to choose independently of what other children choose, and they rarely arrange opportunities for the children to discuss and make decisions together. Being dependent on the opinions of others is regarded as less desirable. Individualization of democracy is a tendency which can also be seen in society at large. But democracy includes both making decisions for oneself and together with others. One can also take it one step further and claim that democracy is not something that children should learn, but something that is practiced here and now, with the differences between people as its main driving force. By encouraging children to make independent choices, an ideal democratic citizen is sketched even among the young children. There is always a risk with defining the good citizen, in that someone will be left out. The concept of interdependence is used in this paper to discuss a possible turn to an understanding of democracy in Swedish preschools, which could be more inclusive and tolerant.
Host/Issue Abstract;435
Pages 62
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES
Note OMEP XXVI World Congress, Göteborg 11/8-13/8 2010
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