What does a competent child look like? How do we identify a competent child? What does an incompetent child look like? Who determines whether a child is competent or not? What is included within the concept of "competent" or "competence" and what kind of values are projected here? What consequences does this have for the child? These are some of the questions Maria will focus on during her research degree at Jönköping University. In pre-school, one is encouraged to see all children as competent, and this is automatically seen as something positive. However, it can be a double-edged sword; when talking about competent children, we may also identify children viewed as incompetent. Maria’s research will be positioned within social practices and “practice architectures” with a focus on language to investigate different definitions of competence and how pre-school children can be positioned within these dichotomies.
Maria has a background in media and communication and has previously worked with communication and project management within academia, think tanks and media agencies in both the UK and Sweden. Maria has now added pedagogy to this skillset, having made a career change and retrained as a pre-school teacher, working primarily in Södertälje (Stockholm county). Venturing into research became the next natural step as Maria is keen to challenge different perspectives, assumptions and common practices.