chapter  4
17 Pages

‘Doing the Right Thing’: A Moral Concern from the Perspectives of Young Preschool Children


This chapter deals with morality from the child’s perspective. The base for the discussion is two investigations of morality among children (aged one to three years) in different day care contexts in Sweden and Australia (Johansson, 1999, manuscript). The aim was to create knowledge about the children’s lived experiences of values and norms concerning treatment of, and behavior toward, each other in their every day life-world of day care. The results indicate that children defend and value their own and others rights and care for others’ well-being. The children also gave power a moral value, for instance: the power to assert their own rights and the rights of others. In the Australian study, the initial analyses of the data of children’s interactions revealed a value of ‘doing the right thing’ (Johansson, manuscript) as a specifi c moral concern among the children. This value had not been evident in the Swedish investigation of toddler’s morality (Johansson, 1999). However, on re-analysis for this chapter this value came into view. Thus, through a process of mirroring the different studies towards each other new insights on young children’s morality were gained.