14 SES 06 B, Family Education and Parenting – Parental Involvement in Perspective I
Parallel Paper Session
The presentation reports the results of the first steps of a study focusing on how different areas of responsibility for children’s lives at after-school settings are allocated among parents, children and teachers in Finland and in Sweden.
After-school care for school children have been organized in different ways in the Finnish and Swedish societies. In Finland the way how and where children spend after-school time while parents are still working became an issue after the mid 1990s. The time young school-age children spent time at home without the supervision of adults began to be seen as a risk to the child (Forsberg & Strandell 2006). After-school settings has been available for most children since 2004 and today the Act on children’s morning and after-school care (2003) guarantees municipal after school care for all Finnish first and second graders. In most cases this care has been arranged in the school premises. In Sweden on the other hand, after-school settings is part of the compulsory school system. They have been available in different forms during the 20th century. The number of attending children have increased since the early 1990s and today 80 % of all school children aged 6-10 attend. The after-school settings are often located in school buildings and share curriculum with the compulsory school. Furthermore, the teachers have a high school education and often work in school classes during parts of their work days. We argue that these differences are interesting as they tell us something about the societal conditions structuring parenthood and the institutionalization of childhood.
Scholars suggest that the concern about risks in children daily lives is linked to the processes of childhood institutionalization. Two stages in the institutionalization on childhood can be differentiated (see e.g.Kampmann 2004). The first stage is characterized by concentration on the quantity of care and control. The second stage of institutionalization of childhood can be characterized as a turn towards questions of content and quality. In Finland both stages appear at the same time while Sweden can be said to move from stage one (a concern for quantity) to stage two (a concern for quality).
Responsibility seems to be one of the key concepts in discussions concerning the lives of children (Such & Walker,2004). After-school settings provide an interesting context in which to study the ways in which responsibility is negotiated between parents, teachers and children in different national contexts (Edwards & Alldred, 2000), including European countries.
Bamberg, M. 1997. Positioning between structure and performance. Journal of Narrative and Life History 7: 335-342. Edwards & Alldred .2000 . A Typology of Parental Involvement in Education Centring on Children and Young People: Negotiating familialisation, institutionalisation and individualization. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 21(3), 435-455. Forsberg, H. & Strandell, H. (2006) “After-school hours: a risk of being alone? Plenary lecture. In A. Oksanen, E. Paavilainen & T. Pösö (eds.) Comparing children, families and risk. Childhood and Family Research Unit Net Series. Tampere University Press. http://tampub.uta.fi/childhood/951-44-6654-3.pdf Gibson, W.J. & Brown,A. 2009. Working with Qualitative Data. London:Sage Kapmann, J. 2004. Societalization of Childhood: New opportunities? New demands? In H., Brembek, B. Johansson, and J. Kampmaan (Eds.) Beyond the competent child. Exploring contemporary childhood in the Nordic welfare societies. Roskilde: Roskilde university press, Denmark (pp. 127 -152) Such, E, & Walker, R. 2004. Being responsible and responsible beings: Children’s understanding of responsibility. Children & Society 18(3), 231–242.
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