Rantala, A., Heikkilä, M.
Agency, guidance and gender–interrelated aspects of early childhood education settings (2020) Education 3-13, 48 (4), pp. 483-493.
Social interaction is one of the many things what preschool life is about, and how social life is constituted is of importance to understand. In early childhood education settings, children are guided and fostered by teachers and by each other in different directions. The overall aim of the article is to make a contribution to a deeper understanding of how children’s agency is performed as a constantly gendered social activity and how this is affected by the guidance they receive from teachers. The relationship between agency, gender and guidance is scrutinised. By using Foucault’s concepts discipline and power in combination with understandings of childhood and gender order this is explored. The empirical material consists of ethnographic observations in two preschools, and the results show how agency, gender and guidance need to be understood as relational processes when highlighting aspects of children’s social life in ECE. © 2019, © 2019 ASPE.
children’s agency; early childhood education; ethnography; gender; guidance; Preschool