London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

The power is in the hand of the beholder

Author(s) Kristín Dýrfjörð  
Publisher CiCe Publications  
Year 2004  
Editor A. Ross, The Experience of Citizenship  
Language English  
Age group -  
The aim of the study is to understand how preschool teachers in Iceland value democratic behaviour in preschools. How, through their own pedagogical work, preschool teachers can scaffold or build up a democratic society within the preschools, in order to help children to realize that they are citizens with both rights and duties. Sigrún Aðalbjarnardóttir (2000) says that surprisingly few studies have focused on teachers' professional assessment of the importance of working on citizenship issues. She claims however, that teachers have a key role in organising constructive and meaningful experiences for their students in citizenship education. I agree with Aðalbjarnadóttir's statement, and think it is important for all teachers to acknowledge their role in citizenship education. In my research one of the participants says 'The power is in the hand of the beholder' meaning that the teacher is a crucial figure in every school and the civic education depends on her views and skills. Aðalbjarnardóttir (2000) did a qualitative study on primary school teachers' perspective on citizen's education in Iceland. Her preliminary findings revealed that an insightful teacher has an understanding of the importance of promoting children's socio-moral growth. She claims that the teachers looked both within and beyond the classroom, with long-term concerns for students' active participation in society. In other words the teachers connected theirs teaching to; here and now, but also to the future of our society. At last it must be mentioned that in the preschool teacher education in Iceland it has been stressed that the humanistic understanding one has governs his or her pedagogical action. Therefore it must be important to get to know the ideas the teacher base there pedagogic on.

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