The Educational Review, USA

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Understanding educational conditions in preschool – Preparing student teachers for social justice during practicum placements

Laila Niklasson

Mälardalen University, Eskilstuna, Sweden.

*Corresponding author: Laila Niklasson, PhD, Professor in education, School of education, culture and communication; Email:

Published: August 23,2019


The expectations placed on practice teaching in initial teacher education are high. During practice, student teachers should combine theory with practice, make themselves familiar with multicultural classrooms in general, and become aware of different factors that affect learning and teaching. The aim of this study is to increase our knowledge about how work is carried out within practicum placements to help student teachers to understand differing cultural and socioeconomic characteristics of educational settings as a basis for discussing social justice. Staff at practice schools, the practicum team at a university and student teachers were asked about their definitions of different factors that condition learning and teaching, and routines for visiting preschools characterized by different educational conditions. Staff at practice school and university gave examples of different factors, but there was a general lack of organized work with this issue, such as visiting different preschools and holding discussions afterwards. This was confirmed by student teachers, few of whom had visited other preschools and had subsequent discussions. Instead some had experienced variation in work routines, children with special needs and multilingual groups in different sections of their own unit. Experiencing educational environments with different cultural and socioeconomic conditions was considered valuable by the student teachers but was not always given priority. It is concluded that individual variations and needs are understood and formulated by staff and student teachers, but less attention is given to how group belongings and structural frameworks such as socioeconomics are affecting social justice.


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How to cite this paper

Understanding educational conditions in preschool – Preparing student teachers for social justice during practicum placements

How to cite this paper: Niklasson, L. (2019). Understanding educational conditions in preschool – Preparing student teachers for social justice during practicum placements. The Educational Review, USA, 3(8), 106-112.