Moral Foundation of the Kindergarten Teacher’s Educational Approach: Self-Reflection Facilitated Educator Response to Pluralism in Educational Context
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AbstractThis paper investigates the moral foundation of Kindergarten teachers’ educational approach from the perspective of sensitivity towards religions and other worldviews. As a context for the examination, the paper presents the current situation of the Finnish multi-faith kindergartens through the empirical mixed method data gathered from five day care centres in the capital Helsinki area. The findings illustrate that at present, the multitude of religions and other worldviews in the increasingly diverse Kindergarten context causes continuous negotiations among the staff on both the educational practices and in the teachers’ educational partnership with families. In particular, there is a lot of uncertainty of how—if at all—education on religions and worldviews should be implemented in the multicultural, multi-faith kindergarten. Some of the staff members have difficulties in encountering religious diversity in a positive or neutral light, as religions are often seen through limitations to everyday practicalities and educational contents. It is argued that in order to develop a constructive, worldview sensitive educator response to pluralism, and thus to encourage the development in the moral foundation of the teachers’ work, the teachers would need supported opportunities for dialoguous self-reflection. To support this, working models for intercultural and inter-faith sensitivity are suggested.