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Browsing by Author "Saarelainen, Hanna"

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  • Saarelainen, Hanna (2020)
    The aim of this study is to examine the views and experiences of four early childhood education teachers to understand by which means they try to prevent feelings of unsafety in the pre-school education group, and thereby strengthen the feeling of emotional safety. Emotional safety is a group’s or an individual’s emotional state protected from factors including fear, shame, quilt or worthlessness, that threaten the human self. Awareness of being accepted is also needed. This qualitative study was conducted by interviewing four early childhood education teachers currently working or that had previously worked in a pre-school education group. The interviews were conducted through thematic interviews. The research data was collected from three southern Finnish municipalities in early 2019. The interviews were transcribed and analysed using theoretical content analysis. The results of the study show that all interviewees use their practices to support a safe learning environment. Protection from feelings of unsafety was implemented in different ways: 1) developing acceptance in the group, 2) ensuring experiences of success, 3) open and positive interaction, 4) encouragement, 5) structure, 6) unhurried learning environment, 7) voluntary participation, 8) sensitivity, 9) avoidance of stigmatisation, 10) prevention of the group’s internal cliques and 11) avoiding competition. The importance of the child having a feeling of being heard and seen was emphasized in the answers as well as the importance of nonverbal communication of the teacher. However, the teachers felt that in the busy everyday life, the teacher does not have enough time for a peaceful presence with children, and some children may not be seen and heard throughout the day.