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Preschool teachers and caregivers’ lack of repositioning in response to changed responsibilities in policy documents

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Cervantes, S. & Öqvist, A.
Publication Date: 
30 Jan 2021

Excerpted from abstract

Preschool teachers and caregivers have a close working relationship as part of a working team to benefit the children in Swedish preschools. In 2011, a new educational reform was introduced according to which preschools became a school form in their own right within the overall educational system in Sweden. The objective of the policy was to strengthen the profession of preschool teachers by affording them clearer responsibility over the quality of educational practices and curriculum work. It also entailed a division of labour between the preschool teachers and caregivers in the working team. The current study explored how Swedish preschool teachers and caregivers positioned themselves in response to these changes in responsibility. In this qualitative study, data were collected from 17 preschool teachers and caregivers via an open-ended questionnaire. Preschool teachers and caregivers viewed themselves as having equal responsibility in the working team. Specifically, preschool teachers upgraded the competence and position of caregivers while downgrading their own professional competence and position. Caregivers downgraded the profession and position of preschool teachers and upgraded their own competence and position to be equal to that of preschool teachers.