- Eidal.pdf (9M)
Høgskolen i Oslo og Akershus
Master i barnehagepedagogikk
This master project is a qualitative study of how the concept of prevention is understood and interpreted in the field of early childhood education. Prevention is a popular term used in many contexts and in many areas, but what exactly does prevention mean? And what are we doing when we prevent? What does the childcare worker or childcare nurse mean when they say they do “preventive” work? The term shows up in many contexts, and often we regard these terms as synonymous. Three key areas of children's public care are daycare, kindergarten, child welfare service, and the health clinic. In this project, these areas are defined as early childhood education and healthcare. The goal of the project is to shed light on how the concept of prevention is understood and interpreted, and how the concept is moving within the discourses on the small children's field. To obtain how the concept of prevention is understood and interpreted in early childhood, I have chosen to conduct focus group interviews of three groups: kindergarten teachers, nurses and child welfare services. The focus groups were made up of three to five people, and a total of 12 individuals participated in the study. Initially the task presents a theoretical framework and some reflections on the concept, which seeks to give the concept a meaning. Then the tasks method is introduced. Furthermore, I have made a critical discourse analysis (CDA) of the material using a three-dimensional model developed by the Briton Norman Fairclough. Here the interviews are analyzed through three dimensions: text, discursive practice, and social practice. This is an interesting work that gave me the opportunity to study the concept by entering the discourses on the three areas through a thorough analysis. Here I look for what characterizes the practice field and creates discourse on prevention within these three areas. The areas of understanding and interpretation of the concept of prevention may at first glance seem the same. Upon closer inspection, it turns out, however, that the phraseology and what influences their understanding and interpretation of the concept, is very different. It appears that some use many words and describe their understanding of the term as ambiguous and difficult to define. Others may appear to have a clear definition of the term, but their understanding of the concept is strongly influenced by their mandate and their professional discipline. Furthermore one can gain insight into what influences and creates their understanding and how their understanding and interpretation again leads the concept even further.
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