Finnish and Greek early childhood teachers’ perspectives and practices in supporting children’s autonomy
Koivula, M., Gregoriadis, A., Rautamies, E., & Grammatikopoulos, V. (2019). Finnish and Greek early childhood teachers’ perspectives and practices in supporting children’s autonomy. Early Child Development and Care, 189 (6), 990-1003. doi:10.1080/03004430.2017.1359583
Published inEarly Child Development and Care
© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Kindergarten teachers from different cultural backgrounds attribute various meanings to children’s autonomy. There seems to be cultural differences in early childhood education curricula with regard to how a child’s autonomy is described and how it is supported. This qualitative study asks: how do teachers narrate their perspective and pedagogical support of children’s autonomy, and what kinds of similarities and differences in the pedagogy and practices can be found in Finnish and Greek early childhood education (ECEC) contexts? The data of this qualitative study consist of a semi-structured questionnaire of 14 kindergarten teachers and observations of their pedagogical practices in the day care groups of 4- to 5-year-old children. The results suggest that teachers’ overall conception of autonomy was identical, but the different cultural contexts and curriculums affected the way the teachers emphasized and valued different dimensions of autonomy.
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