Lek och skolämnen i en ny lärarroll: Temaarbete med 3-9-åringar: En aktionsforskningsstudie.

Rosenqvist, M. M.
Stockholm: Norstedts akademiska förlag.


The objective of this study is to describe and assess an age-and-theme-integrated institution for children between 3 and 9 years old. The institution is theme-oriented so that children are divided into groups on the basis of activities linked to these themes, and not according to their age. The institution is a cross between a school, a school-based leisure-time facility, a pre-school and a kindergarten.  The objective of the study is to answer two overall questions: 1) How can care and play be combined in thematic teaching? The question is approached on the basis of the concepts of inclusion, organisational integration, and integration.  2) Does the age-and-theme-integrated institution give rise to a new role for the carer and teacher with common content from the kindergarten and school. The following issues are addressed on the basis of these questions: How are themes selected and applied? What is the significance of taking the child’s interests, experience, sense of security and care as the point of departure? What work areas emerge in thematic work when child carers take their point of departure in the child?


One of the results of the study is that the age-and-theme-integrated institution provides children with rich opportunities for free play (play without adult supervision). Children often decide for themselves who they will play with and what they will play. Play is a natural part of thematic work and new groups of children of different ages are observed performing activities together (known as flexible organisational integration). The institution integrates curricula from both the daycare centre and the school, and the project calls this the “integrated curriculum”. The skills and competencies of both professional groups are important to achieve a balance between play, learning, teaching and care. This is a feasible and practicable way to unite play and subject teaching in thematic work and to implement work methods for children, irrespective of their ages. Moreover, the researcher identifies a "generative working method" as a new child carer/teacher role, where child carers listen and work to link activities to events in the group of children on the basis of dialogue with the children about their interests, concerns, ideas and experience. In the dialogue, the child carer questions his own values in the interface with the values and needs of the children. Through the generative working method, the children are co-creating activities, which they find meaningful and motivating. A new child carer/teacher role has been identified and is evolving.


The data collection comprises focus interviews and focus-group interviews, interviews with the headmaster, a logbook and questionnaires for child carers and teachers.


Rosenqvist, Mia Maria. (2006). Lek och skolämnen i en ny lärarroll: Temaarbete med 3-9-åringar: En aktionsforskningsstudie. Stockholm: Norstedts akademiska förlag.

Financed by

The project is being funded by “Stiftelsen Länsförsäkringsbolagens Forskningsfond”, Dalrna University and the University of Gävle.