Intellectually inspiring collaborative writing on gender and social class in early childhood education

Collaborative writing is “effective, fun and intellectually inspiring” says university lecturer Sirpa Lappalainen (University of Helsinki) who recently presented a joint paper together with associate professor Ylva Odenbring (University of Gothenburg). In their recent joint work these two JustEd members explore how gender and class are researched in early childhood education. The focus is on ethnographic research conducted in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

Sirpa Lappalainen and Ylva Odenbring

Sirpa Lappalainen and Ylva Odenbring presented a joint paper “Classed and gendered childhoods in the Nordic countries – an ethnographic gaze” at the Oxford Ethnography and Education Conference in September 2017.

“Our preliminary analysis suggests that research on gender and class in the field of early childhood education is still quite limited and psycho pedagogical approach is still prominent. When comparing the number of studies, research on gender aspects in early childhood education is more frequent. When investigating research with an ethnographic approach, our analysis show that there are a few studies on gender in early childhood education. Ethnographic studies focusing on children’s class position is, however, still lacking. The existing and very limited research on social class and early childhood education are mainly based on interview studies. With this background we argue that more ethnographic research on gender as well as social class in the field of early childhood education is necessary.”

The joint Nordic research work originates from an earlier collaboration, the Nordic Research Network on Critical Perspectives on Children, Young People, Welfare and Education (NordCrit, 2010-2012) which was started by JustEd members Anne-Lise Arnesen, Elina Lahelma, Lisbeth Lundahl and Elisabet Öhrn.

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About the Author: Coordinator of JustEd. .

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