An analysis of teacher’s didactical activity in the context of children’s preconception usage

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Abstract

Introduction: This paper presents the results of research focused on identification of preschool teachers’ progress in relation to the use of children’s preconceptions in formal pre-elementary education. It represents the theoretical concepts that are applied in the work with children’s preconceptions in schools. It analyses them and creates a platform for their own empirical investigation. This research was carried out in the Czech Republic. Methods: The empirical part of the study was conducted in the form of a qualitative research. Participant observation and interviews with preschool teachers were used for the data collection. The research findings were analysed and a model for using children’s preconceptions was created and interpreted subsequently. Results: The presence of children’s preconception in educational activities in preschool was found in the realised participant observation. The ways and types of practice of preschool teachers in relation to using children’s preconception are interpreted based on the research findings. Afterwards, based on the participant observation, in-depth interviews were carried out. From the collected data, it was observed that the practices of the teachers in connection to using children’s preconceptions are determined by the agency of the child, the experience of the teacher and the overall philosophy of the preschool. Limitations: This research was realised in the Zlín region in the spring of 2017. Data from the research cannot be generalised for the whole population. However, the following research will address agency theory in connection with children’s preconceptions. Discussion and conclusions: The practices of teachers in relation to using children’s preconceptions in formal education in preschools. The results show that the approach of teachers in connection with using children’s preconceptions differs. There are three ways interpreted out of the research findings: 1. A preschool teacher notices the preconception but does not react to it. 2. A preschool teacher notices the preconception and reacts to it. 3. A preschool teacher intentionally identifies the preconception and uses it further during the educational activity. The results show that a child’s agency plays an important role in relation to using children’s preconception. Additionally, they show that the decision to use or not to use children’s preconceptions is influenced by the preschool teacher’s experience and the philosophy of the preschool

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