Parents’ Ideal Type Approaches to Early Education Pathways: Life Stories from Sweden
In this study, parents told their story about their children; their children’s preschool and preschool class; their children’s educational transitions; and their own cooperation with staff. The views of parents (N=27) were collected by way of life story interviews. The bioecological model for human development was adopted as a theoretical, conceptual and analytical frame. A qualitative bioecological content analysis and a quantitative content analysis were performed. More than half of the children were described as typical in terms of development, while a few were described as being gifted and talented by their parents, and about a third had special educational needs. More preschools than preschool classes were considered to be high in quality, and more preschoolhome collaboration than preschool class-home collaboration was felt to be high in quality. The following ideal type approaches of the parents emerged: (1) involved and concerned parents; (2) involved but unconcerned parents; and (3) uninvolved and unconcerned parents. The number of involved and concerned parents increased from preschool to preschool class. This study has relevance for preschool and preschool class teachers, special educators, policy-makers and researchers in inclusive and special education.
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