London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

Sharing Values and Doing Democracy: Children, Educators, Companies, and Local Municipality in Collaboration for Sustainable Development - a narrative study

Author(s) Lindahl, I.  
Publisher London: CiCe  
Year 2010  
Editor P. Cunningham & N. Fretwell, Lifelong Learning and Active Citizenship  
Age group -  
This study is about two educators (tutors) responsible for management and development in a preschool, and their accounts in connection with the project “Metamorphosis: children, educators, companies and local municipality in collaboration for a sustainable development”. The project is based on a philosophy concerning children, citizenship, and the preschool as a place of sharing values and doing democracy, which posits that cooperation within a local municipality could be a way to contribute towards sustainable development. Surplus material from companies is being put to use, and work done in co-operative efforts among participants of varying ages seen as a part of “lifelong learning”. The objective of this study is to highlight the meaning and importance the educators place on themselves, their “conveying of identity”, in their work as tutors in doing democracy. Ultimately, the study is expected to contribute to the knowledge of the tutorial work of educators in connection with this project. It is a narrative study, taking a social constructional perspective, based on the principle that meaning and significance are created through linguistic communication in a certain cultural and historical context. The empirical material consists of the educators’ own “reflecting diaries” and interviews focusing on the significance the pedagogues put on themselves in this context. Data collection was carried out over the course of one year. The preliminary result of the study is a meta-story titled “Wanting to achieve something together with others”, which relates Sara’s accounts, and “The cooperation and I”, based on Annika’s story. The educators’ shared philosophy concerning children, citizenship, and doing democracy seems to play an important part in their reflections and in the significance they attribute to themselves. Key words: Citizenship, lifelong learning, tutor, doing democracy

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