Preschool Teachers’ Role in Establishing Joint Action During Children’s Free Inquiry in STEM

Fridberg M., Redfors A.


The article analyses didactic communication between teachers and children in two Swedish pre-schools while they conducted investigative STEM activities with and without the use of robots when programming. The research question is: How do pre-school teachers promote didactic communication with children during STEM teaching, with and without digital tools? 


The activities were led by the pre-school teachers, but were centred around the children. The pre-school teachers used several useful didactic strategies to build and maintain a common awareness of and joint involvement in the activities. The strategies used by the two teachers were relatively similar, and they were not influenced by whether the programming activities involved digital tools or not. The strategies involved establishing a common platform of knowledge in the groups and practical teaching. Both teachers started by building scaffolding for the children’s knowledge and learning, before the activities transitioned into building on the children’s open-ended questions and investigating the children’s ideas with the support of the teachers, both on an individual and group level. 


The activities were observed and recorded on video. The analyses were conducted using Joint Action Theory of Didactics (JATD). 


Fridberg, M. & Redfors, A. (2019). “Preschool Teachers’ Role in Establishing Joint Action During Children’s Free Inquiry in STEM”. Journal of Research in STEM Education, 5(2), 151–169.

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