The value of efficiency – conflicting discourses in educators’ talk about everyday practices in the cloakroom & The valuable index-finger

Førsteamanuensis Anita Berge, University of Stavanger and førsteamanuensis Berit Tofteland, University of Stavanger

The presented studies are part of the NordForsk funded project Values education in Nordic preschools: Basis of education for tomorrow (ValuEd). The aim was to deepen the understanding of values education in early childhood settings both at theoretical, methodological, and empirical levels. Researchers and preschool practitioners from the five Nordic countries participated in close collaboration.

The two studies to be presented are:

The value of efficiency – conflicting discourses in educators’ talk about everyday practices in the cloakroom

Anita Berge, University of Stavanger

The aim of this study is to identify how different discourses struggle to create meaning of efficiency as a value in educators’ talk about pedagogical practices in the cloakroom. The theoretical frame and methodological tool for the analysis is based on Fairclough’s critical discourse theory.

Data consists of group interviews with educators in preschools from five Nordic countries. The analysis shed light on metaphors in the educators’ utterance, and how they represent conflicting discourses in the educators' talk about practices in the cloakroom.

The valuable index-finger

Førsteamanuensis Berit Tofteland, University of Stavanger

This study explores children’s pointing as a way to participate in the mealtime communication. Data consists of twelve video-observations from meals in four Norwegian preschools with children 1-3 years. The study reveals that when children point, they communicate conflicting values relating both to their own desire and passion and to collective values connected to caring, discipline, justice and responsibility for others.

With Chantal Mouffe's theory of the radical democracy as a theoretical framework, the study illuminates that children’s small utterances like pointing are important, and that participation in everyday life as the meal community can promote democracy in early childhood education and care.