European Early Childhood Education Research Association

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesConference


Oral presentation: Exploring preschool children's perceptions of teacher roles
The aim of the paper is to explore child-adult relationships in a preschool setting from a child perspective. What characterises the interaction behaviour of preschool professionals? A previous study shows that adults professionals are only rarely mentioned by preschool children interviewed on what they find important in order to experience joy in preschool (Koch 2013). The study is performed with base in phenomenology, and teacher roles are explored with inspiration from narrative theory. 11 young children were invited to photograph places that reminded them of previous activity with preschool adults in their former preschool. Child interviews were carried out while showing the photos on a slideshow, encouraging the children to tell stories of preschool activities involving adults. Research with children must be based on informed consent and voluntary participation. Child interviews were performed after exit from preschool in order to minimize the risk of harm by information given. Young children point to two empirical categories of adult professionals that are either nice and funnyor strict and angry. Their stories, though, reveal more nuances in adult characteristics and 4 metaphors (Playmate, Supporter, Constructor and Director) are constructed as analytical tools in order to tell an expanded story of child-adult relations in a preschool setting. Each teacher role relates to children on a continuum of a responsive-directive or nurturing- play-stimulating interaction behaviour. Educating young children is complex, and preschool professionals should choose the most appropriate role for each situation. Nevertheless, professionals tend to prefer one role over another, which affects children in various ways.
PeriodSep 2014
Event typeConference
Conference number24th
OrganiserEuropean Early Childhood Education Research Association
LocationCrete, GreeceShow on map