“Not in Our Daycare”? Commitments and Obstacles to Antiracism in Finnish ECEC

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The aim of this article is to contribute to the under-researched topic of racism in Finnish early childhood education and care (ECEC) by posing three questions: What kind of racism do ECEC teachers recognize in ECEC? How are teachers committed to opposing racism in their work? What kind of obstacles to committing to antiracism are recognized in ECEC? These questions are answered through discourse analysis on interviews with six Finnish ECEC teachers. This article demonstrates how racism is evident in many forms in early education, such as racist assumptions, all-White learning material and structures. The teachers recognized the urgency to resist racism in their work. They committed to antiracism through conscious pedagogical solutions, e.g., broadening representations in learning materials and critically reflecting on their privileges and racialised stereotypes. Yet adopting an antiracist approach in ECEC faces obstacles, such as the hectic everyday work, difficulty intervening in racist situations, and co-workers' lack of self-reflection in multi-professional teams. Thus, it is vital to find ways to recognize racism in multi-professional teams, to improve the ability for self-reflection, and to ensure that teachers have the resources to continue their work against racism.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEarly Childhood Education Journal
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 14 Aug 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • Antiracism
  • Critical education
  • Early childhood education
  • Racism
  • White normativity
  • 516 Educational sciences

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