Observation – A Part of Kindergarten Teachers' Professional Skill Set
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionBirkeland, J. (2019). Observation – a part of kindergarten teachers' professional skill set. Universal Journal of Educational Research, 7(3A), 50-59. 10.13189/ujer.2019.071306
Knowledge and skills in observation form part of the qualifications a kindergarten teacher needs to become a professional. In this article, I will focus on the theme of observation in kindergarten teacher education (KTE) in Norway. One of the largest educational institutions in the country is used as reference for this study. By means of document analysis, the intended learning outcomes in observation are studied at a societal and institutional level. The purpose of the study is to gain insight into the rationale for observation in the educational context, to identify which observational methods are emphasized, and what students should focus on in their observation work. The results reveal that the intended learning outcomes in observation vary depending on the disciplinary profiles the students have chosen. The study also reveals shortcomings between the societal and institutional levels, as well as a need for discussion and clarification of key observation methods in a profession-oriented education, in line with recent perspectives on children, where children are seen as participants. The results might raise questions about the organization of KTE and whether the theme of observation is research-based and profession-oriented.