Abstract

The topic of this article is how preschool teachers understand democracy and the significance of this for children's democratic participation in kindergarten. The data set consists of 15 interviews with 32 preschool teachers. The preschool teachers refer to three different ways of understanding democracy when they talk about how they work to facilitate children's contribution in developing a democratic practice. In the article, I argue that the reference to deliberative democracy represents a higher potential than the two others because it make it possible for children to get valuable experiences taking part in the kindergarten community. The aim of this study is to contribute to the discussions about what kind of conditions have to be present in order to strengthen the kindergarten as a democratic forum.

Keywords: Children`s participation, Kindergarten, Preschool teacher, Democracy, Deliberative democracy