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The Need for speed: Identification of the deviant as the ultimate goal for high returns in ECEC
Malmö University, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Childhood, Education and Society (BUS).ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1549-9900
2023 (English)In: Paperpresentation vid symposium: Documentation as a technology of power in early childhood education and care, 2023Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The need for speed: Identification of “the deviant” as the ultimate goal for high returns in ECEC

Linda Palla Malmö University

Swedish early childhood education and care (ECEC) is part of an educational system which has a prominent and widespread culture of documentation. Documentation can be viewed as a tool for achieving high quality but can also be considered a technology of power where the primary purpose of education is seen as providing guidance on and assessment of childhood performance based on predetermined goals and outcomes (Moss, 2017). One could call it an investment of early intervention, intended to produce high returns. At the core of these intervention efforts are those who do not live up to the expectations placed upon them. In line with this reasoning, these children need to be identified; and the earlier, the better. Consequently, extra emphasis is put on documentation and assessment of certain children who, for various reasons, are identified as being in need of special education.

Special education is often preceded by some kind of identification process using specific documents; for example, mapping materials. Previous studies (e.g., Heiskanen et al., 2019; Franck, 2021Palla 2018) show multiple challenges, uncertainty, and resistance around special-education-related documents. The studies show that This type of documentation focuses primarily on the individual, rather than on how the education can contribute to development and learning, or how such strategies evolve. Instead, the (perceived lack of) performance of certain preschoolers tends to be assessed and evaluated in the documentation built upon specific norms.

However, there is a limited body of research regarding the mapping material used in the identification processes related to special education. The purpose of this project is therefore to develop knowledge about how “the deviant” is portrayed through the mapping materials that Swedish preschools use in their daily practice. The project is limited to identifying and critically reviewing a base of individual mapping materials commonly used in Swedish ECEC today. Drawing on ideas from Michel Foucault (e.g., 1977), the documentation can be viewed as a technology of power, where the mapping materials are used for making normalizing judgments. The mapping materials will be scrutinized with a particular focus on how the social categories of gender, ethnicity, age, and function appear, and possibly intersect with each other.

References

Foucault, Michel. (1977). Discipline and punish: The birth of the prison. Penguin Books.

Franck, K. (2021). The educational context in expert assessments: A study of special education documents of children in ECEC institutions. European Journal of Special Needs Education. 37(5), 819–833.

Heiskanen, N., Alasuutari, M., & Vehkakoski, T. (2019). Recording support measures in sequential pedagogical documents of children with special educational needs. Journal of Early Intervention, 41(4), 321–339.

Moss, P. (2017). Power and resistance in early childhood education: From dominant discourse to democratic experimentalism. Journal of Pedagogy – Pedagogický časopis, 8(1), 11–32.

Palla, L. (2018). Individcentrerad prestation och måluppfyllelse i förskolan?: När åtgärdsprogram blir examinerande dokument och verktyg i specialpedagogiska processer. [Individual centered achievement and goal attainment in pres-chool? When assessment plans become examining document and tools in special educational processes] Pedagogisk forskning i Sverige,

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2023.
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Child and youth studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-59190OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mau-59190DiVA, id: diva2:1750325
Conference
The Nordic Educational Research Association (NERA) Conference 2023, Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway, 15-17 March 2023
Available from: 2023-04-13 Created: 2023-04-13 Last updated: 2023-11-23Bibliographically approved

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