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För och mot könskvoteringen till förskollärarutbildningen: Argument i tidskriften Förskolan 1970-1981
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education and Teacher's Practice.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6016-4416
2018 (Swedish)In: Pedagogisk forskning i Sverige, ISSN 1401-6788, E-ISSN 2001-3345, Vol. 23, no 1-2Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The preschool teacher is a profession that is highly associated with femininity, and a very large majority of staff in preschools are women. Due to the current high recruitment needs in Swedish preschools, SKL (the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions) has stated that it is important that both women and men see the preschool as a possible workplace for themselves. Therefore it might be worthwhile to take a look at the discussions that took place during the 1970s, being perhaps the period during which men in preschools were discussed the most. When the Swedish preschool was developing in the 1970s, it was a political aim to have both men and women work in the preschools. In order for more men to be admitted to preschool teacher education, a quota policy that favoured male applicants was introduced. The preschool teachers’ trade union, Sveriges Förskollärares Riksförbund (SFR) defended the quota policy and argued in support of it in the union journal Förskolan (The Preschool) for several years. In 1976 the organization changed its position and argued instead that the admissions policy should be abolished. This study investigates the discussions that were held in the union journal Förskolan, both for and against the quota procedure for preschool teacher education in the years 1971-1980. The research questions are as follows: What arguments were put forward in the discussions? In what way can these arguments be said to challenge or sustain the unequal relationship between women and men?

 

A qualitative analysis of the years 1970-1981 has been conducted. The journal in its entirety has been reviewed and analyzed for arguments, regardless of whether the statement came from the trade union, a letter to the editor, someone interviewed in a report, etc. Three arguments for the quota policy and two arguments against were found. An argument for the quota policy was, To achieve higher values, which meant a higher goal was assumed to be achieved by applying the quota measure. The higher values intended were a more even gender distribution, justice and a more versatile workforce. This reasoning was not specific to preschool teacher education, but could have been aimed at all education programmes that have an uneven gender distribution, both male-dominated and female-dominated. Another argument was, Compensation for the absence of men, which meant that the male preschool teachers would make up for the fathers who did not participate in their children's lives. The third argument was, Men are better preschool teachers than women, which meant that men were depicted as more committed and flexible workers. In some cases, the arguments can be linked to historical discussions about women and men and their place in society. An argument against the quota policy was, A gender quota policy sustains outdated attitudes, which meant that the expectations that gender role thinking within preschools would change, had not been fulfilled. The second argument against the quota policy was, Men and women should be admitted on equal terms, which meant that a female qualified applicant should not have to stand back for a less qualified man.

 

Only one of the arguments challenged the unequal relationship between women and men; Men and women should be admitted on equal terms. In the 1970s debate, it was not an uncommon premise that men would contribute something that the women lacked. They would take the place as men, not primarily as preschool teachers. Today, when preschool is facing major recruitment needs and SKL's ambition is to broaden recruitments, SKL emphasizes that it wants men to be recruited not so that they work in preschool to fulfill a specific ’male function’, rather gender should not be an obstacle.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 23, no 1-2
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Pedagogics and Educational Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-74493OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-74493DiVA, id: diva2:1209440
Available from: 2018-05-23 Created: 2018-05-23 Last updated: 2018-05-23

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CiteExportLink to record
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