Preschool teachers lay the foundation for lifelong learning
In Sweden, the duty of the preschool is to lay the foundation for lifelong learning for our children. This is why the preschool teacher’s role is so vital to get positive results, according to Anette Sandberg and Eva Ärlemalm-Hagsér, Professors of Education with a focus on preschools at MDH.
“Many of the skills in young children are formed during the first five years of their lives, which is why it’s important to give children as good a start in life as possible. A child’s learning and development in preschool is completely dependent on skilled and well-educated preschool staff,” says Anette Sandberg, Professor of Education with a focus on preschool teaching at MDH. She is one of the co-authors of the book
”Förskollärarkompetens i förändring” (Changing skills in preschool teachers) and states that this is also highlighted in Eva Ärlemalm-Hagsérs book ”Att bli förskollärare” (Becoming a preschool teacher).
Preschool should stimulate a child’s development and learning
Preschool should stimulate a child’s development and learning, which is a teaching assignment that has been enhanced in conjunction with the revision of the preschool curriculum in 2018. All those working in a preschool should organise their operations so that children can develop their skills in the following areas: language, mathematics, science, technology, esthetical awareness, sustainable development, norms, values, democratic and social capabilities. Being a preschool teacher means that one is continuously ready to pick up the specific skills and knowledge needed at a particular time and in a particular situation.
“In order to give children the opportunity to develop within the various domains in the curriculum, specific skills are required in many different fields. For instance, the preschool teacher needs to know how younger children learn through play, have pure subject skills and how they can help children to develop their skills in the various areas. But they also need to know how they can build relationships and communicate with children, parents and colleagues,” concludes Anette Sandberg.
Currently, a lot of research is being carried out at MDH in the domain of Children and Young People in School and Society. The research focuses on teaching and education in the preschools and compulsory schools and also concerns parental collaboration in the preschool, transitions, digital tools in preschool and sustainable development. A majority of the research is done in collaboration with regional, national and international partners. Research in this field can also be linked to the Fourth Goal, Quality Education which is goal number 4 of the UN’s sustainable development goals.