Høgskolen i Oslo og Akershus
Master i barnehagepedagogikk
The title of this thesis is: "This will definitely be a legendary season! A microethnographic study of a culture in a preschool classroom1 consisting of three (male) employees» Through a micro-ethnographic approach and a hermeneutic inspired foundation, I have tried to describe the culture of a preschool classroom consisting of three male employees. A classroom comprised of only male employees is a rarity in today's society, where only about ten percent of all the employees of preschools are of the male gender (Statistisk sentralbyrå, 2012). My experiences as a male preschool teacher affect my preunderstanding and my interpretations. Through an insider's perspective, I try to understand and find meaning in the staff's life and culture. My micro-ethnographic work consists of observations, informal conversations in everyday conversation and scheduled conversational interviews with the staff. This thesis has two different perspectives; a cultural perspective and a gender perspective. Research questions related to the cultural perspective consist of finding out how a staff that consists of only male members works, and how they would describe themselves and their work. My interpretation of how the staff members work and how they describe themselves are combined to create a picture of the culture in the preschool classroom. The gender perspective consists of finding out whether, and in what ways, their gender may influence the culture in the preschool classroom. The staff describe themselves as professional, humorous and loving caregivers that take their time and don’t rush. They express that they are coordinated and synchronized because they are similar, and at the same time different from each other and complementary. The staff member's gender is referred to as both relevant and irrelevant, showing ambiguities and contradictions in their descriptions of themselves and the culture of the classroom. To avoid reproducing gender stereotypical perceptions and descriptions of men and women in the preschool, I have chosen to analyze the empirical basis of a cultural perspective, as later discussed on the basis of a gender perspective in a separate section after the analysis. The culture arising in this section is not intended to be generalizing about how all men are working or describe themselves and their work, but my interpretation of a culture that has arisen on the basis of three unique individuals have worked together in a particular context.