Barnehagelærerprofesjonen i og med jakten på «kvalitet» - En Foucault-inspirert analyse
In this thesis, I have focused on the early childhood education teacher profession in and with the pursuit of «quality». I have chosen this topic as I experience that the focus on quality has been vast in the recent years, and that my professional knowledge is not as important as it used to be. The research question in this thesis is as follows: In what ways are the early childhood education teacher discursively inscribed in a professional dilemma between the demands from their employer and their professional knowledge? My methodological approach is genealogical analysis, inspired by Foucault. I have used Foucault as theoretical inspiration, and his concepts of discourse, power and knowledge, governmentality and truths. The data material is taken from St.meld. nr. 41 (2008-2009), the project mandate and different standards of/for the Prosjekt Oslobarnehagen, feature articles, newspaper articles, blog posts and other websites I have found interesting for my theses. I present the early childhood education teacher profession, criticism of the early education teaching as a profession, as well as the early childhood education teachers’ «freedom» in using different methods, which I argue is about to disappear. I explain the complexity of the concept of quality and how it is understood in public documents. Here it’s interpreted as to satisfy users’ demands and expectations, while educational quality as something other than how it’s understood in public documents. It’s giving children opportunities to develop the skills which are needed as humans, to become active participants in the society they grow up in and are a part of. New Public Management is presented, and how it affects the field of early childhood education. Prosjekt Oslobarnehagen is also thoroughly described, with its scorecards, project targets, efficacy targets and its success criterias. In chapter 4, I describe genealogy as methodology, and present my analysis questions. Genealogy is characterized as using history for discussing todays’ truisms, and not seeing the past as an alternative to the present. In this way, new stories will create alternative ways of understanding history. I also discuss my research position, with ethical reflections, especially the fact that I am being critical to Prosjekt Oslobarnehagen, and at the same time being an employee in Oslo commune. 6 In chapter 5, I present my analyses. I have analysed three different discourses: learning discourse, profession discourse and ideology discourse. I have chosen these dicourses based on the topic of my thesis. Also, by reading St.meld. nr. 41, they caught my attention, and I therefore wanted to research this further. I describe dichotomies that occur in these discourses, disqualified knowledge and power production.