New study on the understanding of religion and different world views in Swedish pre-school education programmes2024-02-02
In a more complex and troubled world, future pre-school teachers need to be better equipped to teach about norms related to the contemporary world, religion and world views. What does their own world view look like compared to that of society based on knowledge and research? Do they feel included in the way pre-school education programmes approach these matters? A new national study is looking at the content and norms related to religion and world views in Swedish pre-school education programmes.
Swedish pre-school research shows a need for increased intercultural skills among pre-school teachers, especially when it comes to religion and world view literacy, that is, the ability to understand and approach people from different cultures and religions. At the same time, research in higher education shows that there are problematic attitudes and approaches related to ethnicity and culture in various teacher education programmes both in Sweden and internationally.
"This will be the first comprehensive Swedish study of its kind, which feels both exciting and important, says Magdalena Raivio, Senior Lecturer in Educational Work with a specialisation in pre-school education at Karlstad University and project leader of the study."
Inclusion in classroom discussions regardless of ethnicity or background
Together with Ellinor Skaremyr from the University of Borås and Arniika Kuusisto from the University of Helsinki, she will conduct a three-year national study where they look at content and norms related to religion and world views in Swedish pre-school education programmes.
"We will study documents such as course syllabi and teaching materials, but also how teacher educators and students experience issues related to religion and world views in their teaching. Everyone in the classroom should feel included in a discussion, regardless of their origin and religion. We look at social sustainability at different levels, and the idea for the project to contribute to more socially sustainable education both at universities and in pre-schools, and a more inclusive view of the children’s own outlook on life. We hope that it can provide tools for pre-school teachers to use in dialogue with the children and that it will allow for an approach where you look at these issues from different perspectives even when conflicts arise, both in the classroom during the teacher training and in the future professional role as a pre-school teacher."
The project “Religion och världsbilder i svensk förskollärarutbildning” will run 2024-2026 and has been granted SEK 3,993,000 in funding from the Swedish Research Council.