The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Cultural Diversity as a Means of Promoting Inclusion in Preschools?

Anna Katharina Jacobsson, Nord University (Norway)


The Nordic countries have developed a model that often is called the universal welfare model (Røn Larsen, 2017) Universal welfare is built on the assumption that it is in society`s best interest to provide qualified and widely available child care, with the idea of creating an essential arena for learning and development for all children. The teachers at Nordic preschools work with activities that is emphasized in governing documents for preschools; to communicate and be able to interact with other children and with teachers (Garvis, Harju-Luukkainen, Williams, Sheridan, 2019). There has been an immigration of children from foreign backgrounds to Sweden; Syrians, Eritreans, and families without the state. The number of children at Swedish preschools that have a foreign background is around 20% (Skolverket, 2017). Language is the vehicle for identifying, understand and create relations between individuals  (Corson, 2001)  and the Swedish preschools are expected to offer at a place where children have opportunities to care and interact with other children (Hellman, 2019). The national curriculum for Swedish preschools expresses that diversity is a resource that enables the children to broaden their insights into different cultures, which include social and linguistic habits and cultural traditions, for example, food and holidays. The study aims to explore how the professionals in preschool plan and organize pedagogical and social activities so that immigrant children can be included in the preschool environment. In what way can the diversity among the children be focused and used to improve the learning environment to include all children?

Methodology, Methods, Research Instruments, or Sources Used

The data consist of interviews from four Swedish preschools with preschool teachers and principals. The analysis was done by content analysis, and the theoretically interpreted narratives were inspired by Pentlands (1999) structural levels based on narrative theory.

Conclusions, Expected Outcomes, or Findings

The result provides essential information of which intentions the preschool teachers and the principal for the organization have with pedagogical and social work to include immigrant children into the preschool environment and how their work is put into practice in order to include the children and combine cultures. 

Keywords: cultural diversity, inclusion, preschool.


  • Corson, D. (2001). Language diversity and education. Mahwah, N.J.: L. Erlbaum Associates.Garvis, S.,
  • Luukkainen, H,. Sheridan, S. & Williams, P. (eds). (2019). Nordic Families Children and Early Childhood Education. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Hellman, A. (2019). Negoating ´Real Families´ in Swedish Preschools. In Garvis, Harju-Luukkainen, Sheridan & Williams (Ed). Nordic Families, Children and Early Childhood Education.(p. 101-117). Springer International Publishing AG. 2010-01-02.
  • Røn Larsen, M. (2017). Collaboration Between Child Care and Parents: Dilemmas and Contradictory Conditions in the Institutional Arrangement of Child Care. Nordic Social Approach to Early Years. Ringmose, C. & Kragh- Müller, G. (eds.). Springer, p. 219-236.
  • Skolverket (Swedish National Agency for Education). (2017). PM – barn och personal I förskolan hösten 2016. Stockholm: Skolverket.

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