„Þeir leika saman og eru glaðir, það er bara svo gott“: Félagsleg tengsl og vinátta leikskólabarna af erlendum uppruna

Eyrún María Rúnarsdóttir, Svava Rán Valgeirsdóttir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Niðurstöður rannsókna benda til þess að vina- og félagatengsl grunnskólabarna og unglinga af erlendum uppruna séu brothættari en tengsl sem íslenskir félagar þeirra njóta. Á leikskólastiginu skortir sambærilegar rannsóknir en þar er viðurkennt að samskipti barna og frjáls leikur sé einn þýðingarmesti þáttur námsins. Markmið eigindlegrar rannsóknar sem hér er kynnt er að skyggnast í samskipti, leik og vinatengsl leikskólabarna af erlendum uppruna. Rannsóknin var gerð í leikskóla í sjávarbyggð. Alls tóku 21 barn af einni leikskóladeild þátt í rannsókninni en lykilþátttakendur voru fjögur 5-6 ára gömul börn, tvær stúlkur og tveir drengir. Tvö þeirra áttu tælenska foreldra og tvö áttu pólska foreldra. Gögnum var safnað með hópviðtölum, paraviðtölum og einstaklingsviðtölum, myndbandsupptökum og vettvangsathugunum. Að auki teiknuðu börnin myndir af vinum sínum og tóku ljósmyndir í leikskólastarfinu. Félagsleg staða barnanna fjögurra reyndist viðkvæm en þó nutu þau flest gagnkvæmrar vináttu. Takmörkuð færni í íslensku og fá tækifæri til samskipta utan leikskóla höfðu hamlandi áhrif á félagsleg tengsl þeirra innan barnahópsins og fram komu dæmi um höfnun og útilokun. Niðurstöður benda til að stuðningur leikskólakennara í samskiptum þeirra við önnur börn hefði getað tryggt betur virka þátttöku þeirra í skólastarfinu. Í þessu skyni er mikilvægt að þekkja aðferðir barnanna til að komast inn í leik og stofna til kynna. Skerpa mætti jafnframt hlutverk skólans og kennara við að styðja og leiðbeina foreldrum barna af erlendum uppruna og hvetja þannig til aukinna tengsla við önnur börn í leikskólanum. Markmiðum skóla án aðgreiningar verður aðeins náð ef öll börn hafa jafnan aðgang að lærdómsferli leikskólans.
Icelandic studies focusing on foreign-origin compulsory school children and adolescents have shown that they face challenging peer relations. They perceive their classmates as less supportive than Icelandic adolescents do (Eyrún María Rúnarsdóttir & Rúnar Vilhjálmsson, 2015), they have fewer friends, are teased, feel excluded (Hrefna Guðmundsdóttir & Hanna Ragnarsdóttir, 2013), and are more exposed to bullying (Þóroddur Bjarnason, 2006). According to Statistics Iceland 12% of preschool children are currently of foreign-origin (Hagstofa Íslands, 2018), but comparable studies investigating their social relations in the pre-school are not available. Available studies, however, suggest that lack of Icelandic language skills and conflicts between home-culture and school-culture limit the participation of foreign-origin pre-school children in the education practices taking place through free play, social interactions, and friendship relations (Brooker, 2002; Hanna Ragnarsdóttir, 2002). Respecting and meeting the needs of all children irrespective of their origin is emphasized at all school levels in line with the inclusive education policy of the Icelandic school system. Furthermore, in the National Curriculum Guide for Preschools (Mennta- og menningarmálaráðuneytið, 2011) social interactions and free play are presented as vital parts of pre-school children’s education. Also, to promote social skills and competences, developing understanding, respect and consideration for others. In this paper, a study conducted in pre-school with 5-6-year-old children of foreignorigin is presented. Providing insight into how foreign-origin children establish and navigate friendships, peer relations, and social interactions is a valuable tool in developing multicultural teaching and proper support. The aim of this qualitative research is to explore the social relations, play, and friendships of pre-school children of foreign-origin. The research questions are: How do children of foreign-origin experience social relations and friendships with their peers? How are these relationships demonstrated in everyday circumstances in the school? What encourages positive relations and social interactions of foreign-origin children with peers and what may deter such relations? The research took place in one department of a pre-school in a small town in the countryside. In total, 21 children participated in the study, the key participants being four 5-6-year-old foreign-origin children, two girls and two boys. Two had parents born in Thailand and two had parents born in Poland. Varied and child-friendly methods were used to collect data: group interviews, paired interviews, individual interviews, videos and field observations. The children took photographs in the pre-school and drew pictures of their friends. A sociogram was created according to friend nominations and the key participants created their friend web. Thematic data analysis revealed three main themes: friendship and social relations, interests, play and social interaction, and finally, language, home culture and school culture. Results indicate that while the key participant children enjoyed reciprocal friendships or displayed interest in having many friends, their social relations with peers and friends were delicate. Social interactions with friends and peers were important to them but they had different levels of skills establishing relations and entering their peers’ free play. In the group of four we found a likeable, friendly and sociable child, a withdrawn child that seemed to enjoy having just one good friend, a child that did not always read the situation and got into conflicts with other children and a child that preferred playing with other children, but they did not always welcome her. All four children preferred play that did not require much verbal communication and their lack of Icelandic language skills restricted them, for example when needing to make a point and stand their ground in conflicts with peers. Furthermore, there were signs of rejection towards these children. Hierarchy structures and pecking order in social interactions among the children did not favor the foreign-origin children. Some of the children did not have the opportunity to meet friends from school after school hours. It is our conclusion that the four children would have benefitted from better support from their pre-school teachers to ensure their active participation in school activities requiring social interactions. In this regard, it is important to understand which methods foreign-origin children deploy to access play and establish relations. Furthermore, we argue that the pre-school should provide support and guidance to parents to encourage relationship building. Implementing the principles of inclusive education requires special effort to ensure equal access of all children to the learning processes.
Original languageIcelandic
Pages (from-to)1-17
JournalNetla
Volume2019 Sérrit - Menntun barna í leikskóla og á yngsta stigi í grunnskóla
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Nov 2019

Other keywords

  • Börn af erlendum uppruna
  • Skóli án aðgreiningar
  • Vinátta
  • Leikskólar
  • Félagsleg tengsl

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