Readings of Media Accounts of Transition to School in Iceland
The transition to school marks a significant change in the lives of today’s children and their families. In the Nordic countries, almost all children attend preschool for several years before they start primary school, and in Iceland, preschool is the first level of schooling. Although preschool attendance is nearly universal today, there is a considerable difference between preschool and primary school levels. They have very different histories, traditions, and organization, and the laws and national curricula governing them have different emphases. Starting primary school in Iceland is still a major event in the lives of children and their families. This chapter gives an account of a recent study on how starting primary school is presented in the Icelandic media. A special emphasis is placed on how theory influences the study, in terms of the design, selection of the research questions, and interpretation of the findings of the study. This chapter starts by discussing the role of theory in educational research and how different theories can be applied when analyzing the same data.
KeywordsPrimary School Preschool Teacher Familiar Phenomenon Preschool Attendance Early Childhood Practice
- Albon, D. (2011). Postmodern and post-structuralist perspectives on early childhood education. In L. Miller & L. Pound (Eds.), Theories and approaches to learning in the early years (pp. 38–52). Los Angeles/London: Sage.Google Scholar
- Alford, R. R. (1998). The craft of inquiry. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Ball, S. J. (1995). Intellectuals or technicians? The urgent role of theory in educational studies. British Journal of Educational Studies, 43(3), 255–271.Google Scholar
- Bronfenbrenner, U., & Morris, P. A. (1998). The ecology of developmental processes. In W. Damon & R. M. Lerner (Eds.), Handbook of child psychology: Theoretical models of human development (pp. 993–1029). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Cannella, G. S., & Viruru, R. (2004). Childhood and postcolonization: Power, education, and contemporary practice. New York/London: Routledge/Falmer.Google Scholar
- Christensen, P. M., & James, A. (2000). Researching children and childhood: Cultures of communication. In P. Christensen & A. James (Eds.), Research with children: Perspectives and practices (pp. 1–8). New York: Falmer Press.Google Scholar
- Corsaro, W. A. (1997). The sociology of childhood. Thousand Oaks: Pine Forge Press.Google Scholar
- Dahlberg, G., Moss, P., & Pence, A. R. (1999). Beyond quality in early childhood education and care: Postmodern perspectives. London: Falmer Press.Google Scholar
- Dockett, S., & Perry, B. (2007). Transitions to school: Perceptions, expectations, experiences. Sydney: UNSW Press.Google Scholar
- Dunlop, A.-W., & Fabian, H. (2002). Conclusion: Debating, transitions, continuity and progression in the early years. In H. Fabian & A.-W. Dunlop (Eds.), Transitions in the early years: Debating continuity and progression for children in early education (pp. 146–154). London: Routledge/Falmer.Google Scholar
- Einarsdóttir, J. (2009). “Frábær skólaföt á hressa krakka!“Rannsókn á umfjöllun fjölmiðla um börn við upphaf grunnskólagöngu” [Great school clothes for lively children! “Study on media discussion about children starting primary school]. Netla – Veftímarit um uppeldi og menntun. http://netla.khi.is/greinar/ritrynt.asp. Accessed 9 July 2012.
- Elkind, D. (1997). The death of child nature: Education in the postmodern world. Phi Delta Kappan, 79(3), 241–245.Google Scholar
- Fabian, H., & Dunlop, A.-W. (2002). Transitions in the early years: Debating continuity and progression for children in early education. London: Routledge/Falmer.Google Scholar
- Gill, R. (2005). Discourse analysis. In M. W. Bauer & G. Gaskell (Eds.), Qualitative researching with text, image and sound (pp. 172–190). London: Sage.Google Scholar
- Graue, E. M., & Walsh, D. J. (1998). Studying children in context: Theories, methods and ethics. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
- James, A., Jenks, C., & Prout, A. (1998). Theorizing childhood. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
- Kernan, M., Singer, E., & Swinnen, R. (2011). Introduction. In M. Kernan & E. Singer (Eds.), Peer relationships in early childhood education and care (pp. 1–14). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Lankshear, C., & Knobel, M. (2005). A handbook for teacher research: From design to implementation (2nd ed.). Maidenhead: Open University Press.Google Scholar
- Lenz Taguchi, H. (2006). Reconceptualizing early childhood education: Challenging taken-for-granted ideas. In J. Einarsdóttir & J. Wagner (Eds.), Nordic childhoods and early education: Philosophy, research, policy, and practice in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden (pp. 257–288). Connecticut: Information Age.Google Scholar
- Lowe, A. R. (2004). Childhood through the ages. In T. Maynard & N. Thomas (Eds.), An introduction to early childhood studies (pp. 65–74). Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
- McLuhan, M. (2002). The medium is the message. In K. Askew & R. W. Richard (Eds.), The anthropology of media (pp. 18–27). Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
- Mertz, N. T., & Anfara, V. A. (2006). Conclusion: Coming full circle. In V. A. Anfara & N. T. Mertz (Eds.), Theoretical frameworks in qualitative research (pp. 189–196). Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
- Myhre, R. (2001). Stefnur og straumar í uppeldissögu (trans: Bjarni Bjarnason.). Reykjavík: Rannsóknarstofnun Kennaraháskóla Íslands.Google Scholar
- Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). (2001). Starting strong: Early education and care. Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
- Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). (2006). Starting strong II: Early childhood education and care. Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
- Rhedding-Jones, J. (2005). What is research? Oslo: Universitetsforlaget.Google Scholar
- Statistics Iceland. (2011). http://www.hagstofa.is/Hagtolur/Mannfjoldi. Accessed 11 June 2011.
- Trowler, P. (2010). Wicked issues in situating theory in close up research. Higher education close up. http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/staff/trowler/Wicked%20Issues%20-%20Trowler.pdf. Accessed 28 Aug 2011.
- United Nations. (1989). Convention on the rights of the child. http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/crc.htm. Accessed 3 July 2011.