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Doing “belonging” in a Swedish preschool

Tünde Puskás

In Sweden where approximately one quarter of the children have a migrant background, preschool teachers comply with two seemingly contradictory ideas formulated in the curriculum: national cultural reproduction and intercultural awareness. The article is built on a case study that explores how a newly arrived refugee child in an ethnically diverse Swedish preschool is incorporated into a tradition that can be seen both as an ordinary preschool experience and as a means of national cultural reproduction. The article shows that the practice of a cultural tradition provides for a common integrative framework as well as development of a sense of belonging to a preschool group. At the same time, the case highlights that it is of particular importance that preschool teachers critically reflect on taken-for-granted practices and revisit their understandings of diversity and inclusion.

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