Does group size matter in preschool teacher’s work? The skills teachers emphasise for children in preschool groups of different size

Does group size matter in preschool teacher’s work? The skills teachers emphasise for children in preschool groups of different size

Author(s): Pia Williamsa (pia.williams@gu.se), Sonja Sheridanb, Heidi Harju-Luukkainenc & Ingrid Pramling Samuelssond

Source: Journal of Early Childhood Education Research; Vol 4(2), p. 93-108.

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Abstract: In recent years there has been a debate in the Nordic countries about group size in preschool and how it affects preschool teachers’ work and children’s wellbeing and learning. The aim of this article is to analyse and discuss how preschool teachers’ working with child groups of different sizes view the conditions for children’s learning and development related to different abilities and skills. The survey data consists of preschool teachers’ (N=698) responses to a questionnaire. The results indicated no statistically significant differences between preschool teachers’ views and emphases in groups of different sizes as regards the type of abilities in children’s learning. In all group categories, preschool teachers seem to emphasise a similar set of characteristics and social skills in children’s personal development; to be collaborative, to have respect, to have empathy and a good self-esteem or understanding of oneself.

Author-Supplied Keywords: Preschool, group size

ISSN: 2323-7414

ISSN-L: 2323-7414 online

Author Affiliation: aUniversity of Gothenburg, Sweden, bUniversity of Gothenburg, Sweden, cUniversity of Gothenburg, Sweden, University of Jyväskylä, Finland, University of Helsinki, Finland, dUniversity of Gothenburg, Sweden