Being and Becoming: A phenomenological perspective on formative dimensions of pre-­school education in Sweden and Germany





This project investigates how participants in contemporary preschool education – teachers and children – are formed by and are able to form their educational processes. We are combining a
phenomenological-philosophical perspective on the concept of “Bildung” with empirical studies in Stockholm, Södertälje and Berlin. Doing this it contributes to an urgently needed dialogue between philosophical and empirical research on education. In five different sub-projects we are exploring pre-school education as interplay of different perspectives (teacher, teacher
students and children), but also of embodied experience and reflection,
practice and theory.

Pre-school education is currently in a decisive phase of transformation from a space of childcare to a place of education and learning and is thus increasingly incorporated into the education system. Yet, according to its curricula, preschool education aims to be more than a place
that forms subjects with regard to certain external standards and ideas. It should not only form efficient pupils, teachers or future employees but enable persons to become “themselves”. How do (becoming) preschool teachers and children deal with this ambivalence? How do they interpret their roles as teaching and learning subjects? In which sense is contemporary pre-school education able to provide a space where educational goals are not only formulated and achieved but can become meaningful to the subjects involved?

Project A, Lotte Alsterdal: Being and becoming a preschool teacher

The subproject is investigating how becoming preschool teachers at career-based teacher training programs at SH and in Berlin reflect upon their changes of professional identity.

Project B, Eva Schwarz, Being and becoming a learning subject at preschool

The subproject focuses on the children’s self-understanding as both learning subject and social person at their first years at pre-school in Stockholm and Berlin asking for the ways children acquire their role as a learning subject and social persons in relation to other subjects. In a second step, the project asks for the educational significance of this “role-taking” focusing on the dimensions of intersubjectivity and community.

Project C, Beatriz Lindqvist, Being and becoming in and outside preschool

The subproject investigates the interaction between preschool teachers and children focusing on the concepts of “situation” and “culture”. Looking at two groups in Stockholm and Södertälje and two in
Berlin, the project explores of how children and teachers in their everyday practice relate to the public space and what this means for their being and becoming of (future) citizen in an intercultural and urban milieu.

Project D, Jonna Bornemark, Being and Becoming as Bildung

The subproject develops the concept of “Bildung” as a relation between being and becoming, experience and reflection, theory and ideology, private and public from the perspective of phenomenology. It builds on the results from the other projects, reflecting upon them in dialogue with the philosophical tradition.

Projekt E, Maria Pröckl, Being a body at preschool

The study would focus on the practical knowledge preschool pedagogues have in their profession and how that knowledge is managed both during the academic studies to become preschool teachers and also their new professional role as a preschool teacher. Preschool teachers need to frame, balance and safe situations both for individual children and groups of children in interaction with each other and children. Trusting and close relationships are important. My purpose is to a phenomenological approach to draw attention to the preschool teacher's embodiment as part of their practical knowledge.

Beatriz Lindqvist - Professor
School of Historical and Contemporary Studies

Jonna Bornemark - Senior Lecturer, Associate Professor
School of Culture and Education

Maria Pröckl - Doctoral Student
School of Culture and Education

Eva Schwartz

Lotte Alsterdal

Forskningsområde / geografiskt område

Institutionen för kultur och lärande Den praktiska kunskapens teori Etnologi CBEES Centrum för praktisk kunskap Kritisk kulturteori Människans villkor Sverige Östersjö


2014 — 2017


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