Page: 502-515 Author: Wiegerová, A., Gavora, P. Key words: the child, childhood, childhood theories, conceptualisations, the pre-school, student teachers
This study investigates how university students of pre-primary education conceptualise the child and childhood, as well as some associated concepts. Empirical data were gathered by thematic writing, a text-generating procedure used with 22 pre-primary education students who were enrolled in their last year of the bachelor’s programme. The rich conceptualisations of the students were condensed into four topics: (a) the child’s developmental progression; (b) specific capabilities of the child; (c) the decency of the child, and (d) the learning environment. The study demonstrated that investigation of the conceptualisations of key concepts is a useful analytical tool which leads us to a better understanding of the thinking and acting of our students. This, in turn, made it possible to suggest instructional strategies for working further with the students’ conceptualisations in the undergraduate programme.