Publications

  • Johanna Einarsdottir
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The aim of the study was to examine critically the roles and pedaogogy of preschool teachers from the perspectives of five- to six–year-old children who had extensive experience of being full day preschool children from the age of two. The participants were 32 children in the oldest preschool group in two preschools in Reykjavik. Data was gathered through photo supported interviews with the children. Photos that the children took themselves were used as a motivation and basis for conversations. The theoretical foundations of the study were the ideology of childhood studies in which childhood is viewed as an important period, contingent on culture, time, and context. The findings of the study show that according to children's conversations about the photos they took in their preschools, their views on the roles of preschool teachers can be divided into; on one hand their interaction with the children, such as: (1) interacting with the children; (2) watching them; (3) supporting; (4) teaching; and (5) helping them. On the other hand, other duties (involving interactions with others) were mentioned. When the children were asked what they liked and did not like about their preschool teachers many of them talked about things that they did or did not do in terms of activities. Some children mentioned also their behaviors or personal traits.
    European Early Childhood Education Research Journal 10/2014; 22(5). · 0.46 Impact Factor
  • Kristín Norðdahl, and Jóhanna Einarsdóttir
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study aims to enhance awareness of what young children want to do outside and their preferences regarding their outdoor environment. Views of children as active participants, the affordance of the environment and the importance of place for children’s learning constitute the theoretical background of the study. The study was part of a research and development project on education for sustainable development in which preschool children and compulsory school children participated in decision-making about how their common school ground should be constructed. Data were gathered through observations and interviews with children and teachers. The findings show that the children wanted to challenge themselves as well as to be secure, explore things, be in contact with others, find or create nests and enjoy beautiful things outdoors. The children highly valued the natural environment and liked diversity in playground equipment.
    Journal of Adventure Education & Outdoor Learning 03/2014;
  • Susanna Kinnunen, Johanna Einarsdottir
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This paper explores the nature of young children’s aesthetic experience and the ways in which they narrate their life changes within spontaneous drawing stories. The drawing stories were generated during a period of close to 1 year in the home of a mother with two young children. The theoretical and methodological basis of this study is narrative research and the view of children is as competent participants, constructing the knowledge of their childhood. The study highlights the importance of taking young children’s holistic and embodied way of living into account. It also emphasizes that young children’s aesthetic experience, often arising in action, is a vital part of their construction of knowledge. Methodologically and theoretically, this study points out the importance of listening to children’s multimodal narrating as a tool for understanding young children’s processes of responding to life changes, and for enabling young children’s voices in supportive ways.
    International Journal of Early Childhood 01/2013;
  • Johanna Einarsdottir
    European Early Childhood Education Research Journal 01/2013; 21(3). · 0.46 Impact Factor
  • Jóhanna Einarsdóttir
    Childhood Education 08/2012; 72(6).
  • Sue Dockett, Johanna Einarsdóttir, Bob Perry
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Participatory approaches to engaging in research with young children place a great deal of emphasis on children's rights to choose whether or not they wish to be involved. A number of recent studies have reported a range of strategies both to inform children of their research rights and to establish options for checking children's understanding of these rights throughout the research process. This paper seeks to move the debate around children's informed agreement to participate forward by considering the ways in which children might indicate their dissent – their desire not to participate – at various stages of the research process. Drawing on examples from Iceland and Australia, involving children aged two–six years, the paper explores children's verbal and non-verbal interactions and the ways in which these have been used, and interpreted, to indicate dissent. Reflection on these examples raises a number of questions and identifies several tensions, as well as offering some suggestions for ways in which researchers can recognise children's decisions to opt out of research participation.
    International Journal of Early Years Education 01/2012; 20(3).
  • Johanna Einarsdottir
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The article describes a collaborative action research in a preschool in Reykjavik. The participants were two preschool teachers who collaborated with researchers at the University of Iceland. The project was set up as a professional development course for the teachers. Emphasis was placed on continuity in children's education, integration of play and learning, and the connection between play and emerging literacy. Data were gathered using video recordings, photos, interviews, observations, notes from meetings, documents, and diaries. The findings indicate that participation in this action research empowered the preschool teachers and influenced their practices and ideas. They became more aware of the value of play in children's learning. They did not, however, change their former practices in which they worked on literacy during specific, well-defined periods: their beliefs and practices in this regard seemed to be constrained by traditions in which play and learning are separate entities.
    Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research 01/2012; · 0.27 Impact Factor
  • Johanna Einarsdottir
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The current study was conducted with groups of first grade children (aged six years) in two primary schools in Reykjavik in an endeavour to ascertain how they recalled and reconstructed their playschool experiences. The children's playschool teachers were co-researchers participating in the data generation; they were, at the same time participants in the study. The teachers' views on their encounters with the children during the research and on how the children recollected their playschool lives were also recorded. The study is based on a view of childhood as a social construction, and children as active participants and subjects constructing their own learning. Young children are viewed as competent and capable of not only participating and expressing their views, but also influencing their own lives and environment. Through group interviews and drawings, the children expressed their likes and dislikes in playschool. The most memorable activity was generally outdoor play, and relations with other children were the main source of happiness and sorrow. Children's lives are affected by the social context and key adults. The results of this study show that the participating playschool teachers and children co-constructed the playschool experience. By listening to multiple voices and perspectives the study endeavours to inform and challenge practice. RÉSUMÉ: Cette étude a été menée avec des groupes d'enfants de 6 ans (CP) dans deux écoles de Reykjavik, dans le but de comprendre comment ils se rappellent leurs expériences d'école maternelle et les reconstruisent. Les enseignants de maternelle de ces enfants ont participé à l'étude et ont contribué, comme chercheurs associés, à la collecte des données. Nous avons également enregistré l'opinion des enseignants sur leurs rencontres avec les enfants au cours de l'étude et sur la façon dont ces derniers se souviennent de leur vie préscolaire. L'étude est basée sur une conception de l'enfance comme construction sociale et des enfants comme participants actifs et sujets constructeurs de leur propre apprentissage. Les jeunes enfants sont considérés comme compétents et capables non seulement de participer et d'exprimer leur opinion, mais également d'avoir une influence sur leur propre vie et leur environnement. A travers des entretiens collectifs et des dessins, les enfants disent ce qu'ils aiment et n'aiment pas à l'école maternelle. Leur activité la plus mémorable est généralement les jeux à l'extérieur, et les relations avec les autres enfants sont leur principale source de bonheur et de tristesse. La vie des enfants est affectée par le contexte social et des adultes clés. Les résultats de cette étude montrent que les enseignants et les enfants construisent ensemble leur expérience d'école maternelle. Par l'écoute des opinions et perspectives multiples, l'étude permet d'informer et d'améliorer la pratique. ZUSAMMENFASSUNG: Die Studie wurde in zwei Primarschulen in Reykjavik mit Gruppen von Erstklässlern (6 Jahre alt) durchgeführt. Sie versucht herauszufinden, wie sich Kinder an ihre Kindergartenerfahrungen erinnern und diese bewerten. Die Erzieherinnen waren als Ko-Forscherinnen an der Sammlung der Daten beteiligt. Gleichzeitig waren sie auch Studienteilnehmerinnen. Während der Studie wurden auch die Ansichten der Erzieherinnen aufgezeichnet, sowohl darüber, wie sie den Kindern während der Untersuchung begegnet sind, als auch darüber, wie die Kinder sich an ihre Kindergartenzeit erinnern. Die Studie geht von einem Menschenbild aus, welches die Kindheit als soziale Konstruktion sieht und die Kinder selbst als aktive Teilnehmer und Individuen, welche ihr eigenes Lernen gestalten. Auch kleine Kinder werden als fähig angesehen, sowohl ihre Meinung einzubringen und auszudrücken, als auch ihr eigenes Leben und ihre Umgebung zu beeinflussen. In Gruppengesprächen und Zeichnungen drückten die Kinder aus, was sie an ihrer Kindergartenzeit gut fanden und was nicht. Am liebsten erinnerten sich die meisten ans Spielen draußen, während die Beziehung zu anderen Kindern die Hauptursache sowohl von Freude, als auch von Kummer war. Das Leben der Kinder wird vom sozialen Kontext und von Schlüsselfiguren unter den Erwachsenen beeinflusst. Die Resultate dieser Studie zeigen, dass Kindergartenerfahrungen im Zusammenspiel von Erzieherinnen und Kindern entstehen. Indem sie viele Stimmen und Gesichtspunkte berücksichtigt, strebt diese Studie an, die Praxis aufzuklären und herauszufordern. RESUMEN: El presente estudio se llevó a cabo con grupos de niños de primer grado (6 años), en dos escuelas primarias en Reykjavik en un esfuerzo por determinar cómo se recuerdan y reconstruyen sus experiencias en la guardería. Los profesores de los niños en la guardería fueron co-investigadores que participan en la generación de datos y, al mismo tiempo, participantes del estudio. Las opiniones de los profesores sobre sus encuentros con los niños durante la investigación, y sobre cómo los niños recuerdan la vida en la guardería, también se registraron. El estudio se basa en una visión de la infancia como una construcción social, y los niños como participantes activos y sujetos en la construcción de su propio aprendizaje. Los niños pequeños son vistos como sujetos competentes y capaces no sólo de participar y expresar sus puntos de vista, sino también influir en sus propias vidas y medio ambiente. A través de entrevistas en grupo y de dibujos, los niños expresan sus gustos y disgustos en la guardería. La actividad más recordada fue, en general, juego al aire libre, y las relaciones con otros niños son la principal fuente de felicidad y tristeza. Las vidas de los niños se ven afectadas por el contexto social y en relación con adultos clave. Los resultados de este estudio muestran que los profesores participantes y los niños co-construyen la experiencia de la guardería. Al escuchar múltiples voces y perspectivas el estudio se esfuerza por informar y desafiar a la práctica.
    European Early Childhood Education Research Journal 09/2011; 19(3):387-402. · 0.46 Impact Factor
  • Deborah Harcourt, Johanna Einarsdottir
    European Early Childhood Education Research Journal 09/2011; 19(3):301. · 0.46 Impact Factor
  • Johanna Einarsdottir
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Research Findings: The aim of this study was to shed light on how children perceive the differences between their early childhood setting and primary school and what they felt they learned when they started primary school. The children's playschool teachers were co-researchers, participating in the data generation, as well as participants in the study. The study was premised on a view of children as strong and competent actors in their own lives and a belief that the voices of children should be heard and taken seriously. Children's perspectives were elicited through group interviews and children's drawings a few months after they started primary school. Practice or Policy: The results of this study indicate that the children had the experience, knowledge, and ability to reflect on both their playschool experience and the transition to primary school and therefore that their voices should be heard and listened to by adults, thereby enabling children's perspectives to influence policy and practice.
    Early Education and Development 09/2011; 22(5):737-756. · 0.84 Impact Factor
  • Deborah Harcourt, Johanna Einarsdottir
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Over recent years, there has been increasing attention to the importance of involving children and listening to their voices and perspectives in research. The purpose of this monograph is to draw upon exemplary research with young children that is being undertaken in partnership with academics across the globe. The articles also seek to examine some of the critical issues and ethical dilemmas in this unique research paradigm. We are pleased to present discussion from a diverse range of research settings which includes Sweden, Iceland, Italy, Northern Ireland, the United Kingdom and Australia. The underlying philosophy of each article is that all young children have the competence to engage in research as sophisticated thinkers and communicators and that the inclusion of children's views are pivotal if we are to understand their life worlds.
    European Early Childhood Education Research Journal 01/2011; 19(3):301-307. · 0.46 Impact Factor
  • Johanna Einarsdóttir
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Considerable change has taken place in Icelandic early childhood education during the past few decades. Preschool, from being geared primarily towards children with evident social needs, has become all but universal. The aim of this study was to shed light on Icelandic parents' views on their children's preschool education and to examine how their views harmonize with the nation's preschool policy. The participants in this study, 43 parents of five‐ and six‐year‐old children in three preschools in Reykjavík, participated in focus‐group interviews concerning the preschool curriculum. The results indicate that the parents' main expectation of the preschools was that they should support the children's social development; the way in which the preschool day was organized, and the content of the curriculum seemed to be less important to them. Parents wanted their children to have the opportunity not only to enjoy themselves as individuals, but to learn self‐reliance and respect for other people. Care‐giving and attentiveness of the staff were more important than the teaching of knowledge and skills. These views are compatible with the social pedagogical tradition, the Icelandic Preschool Act, and the National Curriculum Guidelines for Preschools.
    Early Years 10/2010; 30(3):229-242.
  • Johanna Einarsdottir
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This article describes a study with first grade children and their views on the primary school curriculum, as well as their influence on decision‐making in school. The study was conducted with 20 six‐ and seven‐year‐old children in one primary school in Reykjavik, Iceland. The data gathered includes varied research methods such as group interviews, children's photographs and children's drawings to elicit the children's perspectives and opinions. Findings indicated that most of the children saw reading and mathematics as the main function of the first grade curriculum and the main role of the teachers is to teach these subjects. There were individual differences among the children in regards to their likes and dislikes in school. However, many children mentioned free time, recess and playing with other children as the most enjoyable part of school, while reading and mathematics were singled out as the most difficult and boring parts. The participating children did not experience democracy in school and did not find that they had any influence on the school curriculum.RÉSUMÉ: L'article propose une analyse réalisée avec des enfants en première année d'école primaire sur le regard qu'ils portent sur le programme scolaire ainsi que sur leur influence dans la prise de décision à l'école. L'étude a été effectuée dans une école primaire de Reykjavik en Islande avec 20 enfants âgés de six et sept ans. Les données ont été recueillies à l'aide de méthodes variées: des entretiens de groupe, des photographies et des dessins d'enfants, afin de stimuler l'expression des opinions et points de vue des enfants. Les résultats montrent que la plupart des enfants considèrent la lecture et les mathématiques comme la fonction principale de la première année de primaire CP et que le rôle principal des professeurs est d'enseigner ces matières. Bien que ce qui est considéré comme intéressant et inintéressant à l'école varie d'un enfant à l'autre, la lecture et les mathématiques apparaissent comme les matières les plus difficiles et ennuyeuses pour la majorité des enfants qui décrivent le temps libre, la récréation et le jeu avec les autres enfants comme les activités les plus agréables. Les enfants qui ont participé ne pensent pas avoir d'impact sur le curriculum ni vivre une expérience démocratique à l'école.ZUSAMMENFASUNG: In dem Artikel wird die Erforschung der Ansicht von Kindern der ersten Grundschulklasse über den Schulanfang und die Lehrpläne behandelt. Die Untersuchung wurde in zwei Grundschulen im Hauptstadtgebiet von Reykjavik, Island, durchgeführt und es nahmen 20 sechs‐ und siebenjährige Kinder teil. Die genutzten Methoden waren Gruppeninterviews und von den Kindern angefertigte Zeichnungen und Fotos, um die Perpektiven und Meinungen der Kinder zu erheben. Die Ergebnisse zeigen, dass die Kinder der Ansicht waren, dass Lesen und Rechnen die Hauptfächer in der ersten Klasse seien, und dass die Hauptaufgabe der Lehrer vor Allem sei, diese Fächer zu lehren. Es gab einige individuelle Ansichten darüber, was die Kinder als interessant oder langweilig in der Schule erachteten. Viele waren derselben Meinung, welche Teile des Lese‐ und Rechenunterrichtes langweilig seien, wärend andere Kinder genau diese Teile als interessant beschrieben. Viele Kinder nannten besonders Gymnastik‐ und Schwimmunterricht als bevorzugte Fächer, auch die Pausen und Schulstunden mit freier Arbeitswahl und Spielen mit anderen wurden von vielen als interessant beschrieben. Soziale Faktoren waren wichig für die Kinder und Probleme im menschlichen Umgang waren schwierig zu bewältigen und erschienen als langweilig. Die Kinder, die an der Untersuchung teilnahmen, waren der Meinung, dass sie wenig Einfluss und Macht hatten und dass sie wenig Demokratie in der Schule erlebten.RESUMEN: El artículo trata de una investigación sobre las actitudes de los niños del primer grado de la escuela primaria tanto hacia el programa de estudios de la escuela primaria, como hacia sus posibilidades de influir en la toma de decisiones en la escuela. La investigación fue realizada en una escuela primaria de Reykjavik, Islandia, siendo los participantes 20 niños, de seis y siete años de edad. Los métodos usados consistieron en entrevistas con grupos de niños, dibujos hechos por los niños y fotos sacadas por ellos, para obtener sus opiniones y perspectivas. Las resultados indican que los niños consideran la lectura y las matemáticas como las principales materias del primer curso de la enseñanza primaria y que el papel del profesor es principalmente el de enseñar estas materias. Aunque hay diferencias personales acerca de lo que a los niños les parecía interesante y aburrido, muchos niños mencionaron el tiempo libre, los recreos y el juego con otros niños como lo que más les gusta de la escuela, mientras que la lectura y la matemática fueron nombradas como las partes más difíciles y aburridas. Muchos niños mencionaron la educación fisica y la natación como interesantes, asimismo como las actividades de libre elección. Los niños participantes en la investigación consideraron que ellos mismos ejercían poca influencia sobre las actividades escolares y aparentemente no vivían la democracia en la escuela.
    European Early Childhood Education Research Journal 06/2010; 18(2):163-180. · 0.46 Impact Factor
  • Wendy Schiller, Johanna Einarsdottir
    Early Child Development and Care 02/2009; 179(2):125-130.
  • Sue Dockett, Johanna Einarsdottir, Bob Perry
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: There is a need to reflect on both the processes and outcomes of the range of approaches aimed at promoting children’s engagement in research, with the specific intent of listening to children’s voices. This article considers some of the ethical tensions we have experienced when engaging children in research about their prior-to-school and school environments and their perspectives of the transitions between these environments. Examples from projects conducted in Iceland and Australia are drawn upon to illustrate these tensions and, to reflect on the strategies and questions we have developed to guide our engagement with children. This article raises issues rather than offering simple solutions. We suggest that there are a number of contextual and relational variables that guide our research interactions, and no ‘one best solution’ applicable to all contexts. Our aim in sharing these tensions is to stimulate further debate and discussions around children’s participation in research.
    Journal of Early Childhood Research 01/2009; 7(3):283-298.
  • Johanna Einarsdottir, Sue Dockett, Bob Perry
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The importance of listening to children’s perspectives has been emphasised in a wide range of recent research, using a variety of strategies. This paper explores the use of drawing as a strategy to engage with young children around the topic of starting school. It describes the approaches we have used, examines the benefits and challenges we have encountered and discusses implications of using drawings as a strategy for engaging with young children (aged 4–6 years) in research.
    Early Child Development and Care 01/2009; 179(2):217-232.
  • Johanna Einarsdottir
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Twenty-two 5- and 6-year-old children and their parents in one playschool in Reykjavik participated in this study designed to shed light on children's and parents’ views about their early childhood program. Group interviews, children's photographs, children's drawings, and a questionnaire administered as a game were used to elicit children's perspectives and opinions. Findings revealed considerable agreement between parents and their children about playschool as a safe haven for children and about the importance of playschool in education and life-long learning. Both groups reported that playschool emphasised learning rules for behaviour, communication, and play. Of their playschool experiences, children placed highest value on friendships with peers, freedom to choose what to do, and playing. Parents’ priorities included having their children learn to interact well with others; show respect, affection, and honesty; and gain self-confidence and positive self-image. Both parents and children viewed playing and outdoor activities as important parts of playschool life.
    International Journal of Educational Research 01/2008; 47(5):283-291. · 0.51 Impact Factor
  • Johanna Einarsdottir, Bob Perry, Sue Dockett
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This paper is the result of collaboration among early childhood education researchers from different cultures on opposite sides of the globe. The project sought to identify what practitioners in both preschool and primary school settings in Iceland and Australia regarded as successful transition to school practices. Independently developed surveys of these practitioners, both based on earlier work in the USA, gathered data on what the practitioners identified as ‘good ideas’ in transition practices. There were similarities across the countries: popular practices included children visiting primary schools prior to the start of the school year and informational meetings for parents. There were also differences: Icelandic primary school teachers were, for instance, more likely than Australian teachers to write to their prospective students before they started school.
    Early Years. 01/2008; 28(1):47-60.
  • Judith T. Wagner, Johanna Einarsdottir
    International Journal of Educational Research 01/2008; 47(5):265-269. · 0.51 Impact Factor
  • Johanna Einarsdottir
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Medication for the treatment of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has increased tremendously in Iceland during the last decade and the country has now the highest prescription rates for methylphenidate in the world. This study examines Icelandic early childhood teachers’ experiences and perspectives of children with behavioural problems and ADHD‐associated behaviour as well as the support and conditions they feel these children need in schools. Interviews were conducted with eight playschool teachers and eight first‐grade teachers in three playschools and three compulsory schools in Reykjavík. The results indicate that children’s behaviour and teachers’ views of the children’s behaviour cannot be understood without considering their social, cultural and historical contexts. Furthermore, the increase of diagnoses and medication for treatment of ADHD must be seen in relation to the Icelandic cultural and educational context where enormous changes have occurred in a short time.
    Early Child Development and Care 01/2008; 178(4):375-397.

44 Following View all

38 Followers View all