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Don’t Ask Me Why : Preschool Teachers’ Knowledge in Technology as a Determinant of Leadership Behavior
Öqvist, Anna, Högström, Per
Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
In the Swedish preschool curriculum, technology education is emphasized as one of the most significant pedagogical areas. Particularly, the teacher’s role is emphasized: It is the preschool teacher’s responsibility to stimulate and challenge children’s interest in science and technology. Unfortunately, prior research indicates that preschool teachers feel uncertain about what technology is and the extent of their knowledge on the topic. Based on the path–goal theory, this article will explore how preschool teachers’ knowledge of technology influence how they act toward children in different learning activities. Using a qualitative research design, this study collected data comprising 15 interviews with preschool teachers. The result provide insights for how teachers limited knowledge in technology influence their leadership behavior toward children both in planned activities initiated by teachers and in unplanned activities initiated by children during free play. The core of how teachers’ knowledge in technology influences their leadership behavior in these two types of activities is their ability to deal with children’s why questions. The results also show that a compensatory approach becomes evident in teachers’ leadership behavior toward children in planned activities and that an avoidance approach is evident in unplanned activities. Our findings suggest that the development of a problem-solving approach in unplanned activities could enable teachers to create learning environments for children in which technology becomes something natural. Moreover, enhanced knowledge and understanding of technology will in turn make teachers better able to explain and clarify concepts and various technical phenomena.