International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Construction of Citizenship at Swedish Preschools
Dr. Lisbeth Lindström

The purpose of my research is to make visible, highlight and illuminate preschool teachers’ perception of what abilities they perceive children have possibilities to develop during their stay at preschools. Theories of citizenship are used as a theoretical framework. The research was conducted by using a questionnaire that was sent out to 13 local municipalities in the region of Norrbotten in the north of Sweden. Five in-depth interviews were also held. The results from the questionnaire showed an overall positive response from the respondents to almost all of the statements presented in the questionnaire. The positive responses that the preschool teachers and other staff gave to most of the statements in the questionnaire will be an important platform of knowledge for the development of active citizenship, although these positive responses still need to be critically analyzed and further investigated. The results from the in-depth interviews gave, in some parts, the same results as the questionnaire did. However, in the interviews, some critical aspects were highlighted such as: preschool teachers’ lacking time for the pedagogical mission stated in the curriculum; larger groups of children enrolled in the preschools can develop stress among children; and, finally, difficulties to get replacement staff to some preschools, which can be perceived as stressful by ordinary staff. Based on the research results, it is argued that children enrolled in Swedish preschools have the possibilities to develop as active citizens, and consequently develop active citizenship. However, a critical factor is the tendencies of the amount of larger groups of enrolled children in preschools, which, in turn, can delay the possibilities for the children to negotiate their citizenship on a daily basis.

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