University of Oulu

Juutinen, Jaana; Kess, Riikka (2019) Educators narratives about belonging and diversity in northern Finland early childhood education. Education in the North 26(2): 37-50.

Educators’ narratives about belonging and diversity in northern Finland early childhood education

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Author: Juutinen, Jaana1; Kess, Riikka1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: University of Aberdeen, 2019
Publish Date: 2020-05-05


This study focuses on belonging and diversity in early childhood education (ECE) in northern Finland. The concept of belonging is understood as involving dynamic processes that are constructed in the multiple relations of everyday life (Juutinen, 2018; Yuval-Davis, 2011). The concept of cultural diversity can be seen through various factors, such as language, ethnicity, nationality, but also socioeconomic background, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age and ability. The study aims to deepen the understanding about belonging and diversity by asking this question: How do educators co-create the understanding about belonging and diversity in the northern ECE settings? The research material consists of peer interviews between 24 educators (Devotta et al., 2016). Each peer interview was recorded, where a pair of educators shared their experiences about belonging and diversity in ECE. The peer interviews were analysed using the three-sphere context model (Zilber, Tuval-Mashiach, and Lieblich, 2008). The findings indicated that educators approached their conceptual understanding by encountering others, intertwining various perspectives and mapping belonging and diversity. The study contributes to the scientific discussion on the conceptualisation of belonging and diversity in ECE. The ethical issues and researchers’ roles are discussed.

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Series: Education in the north
ISSN: 0424-5512
ISSN-E: 2398-0184
ISSN-L: 0424-5512
Volume: 26
Issue: 2
Pages: 37 - 50
DOI: 10.26203/jt1s-3b77
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 516 Educational sciences
Copyright information: © 2019 The Authors and the University of Aberdeen. This article may be used for research, teaching and private study.