Preschool Heads’ Notions of Digitalized Staff–Parent Communication: The Need to Move from Monocultural to Intercultural Communication in Multicultural Sweden

Bim Riddersporre, Jonas Stier

Abstract

Drawing on a preschool digitalization project, this article presents the findings from a survey of 75 Swedish preschool heads. One main question guided the survey: how do Swedish preschool heads describe the use and usefulness of digital tools for interaction with parents? These findings are discussed in regard to intercultural differences, intercultural communication competence, and discursive blind spots, where two additional questions are addressed: (1) what preunderstandings and discursive blind spots are found in preschool heads’ accounts of the use of digital tools for preschool staff–parent communication, and (2) what implications does the use of digital technology have for (intercultural) communication? Findings from the survey show that preschool heads take little consideration of their own or the parents’ cultural background when understanding and promoting the use of digital tools. The conclusion is that overrelience on digital communication may increase the risk of miscommunication – for all Swedes but particularly with regard to communication between native and “new” Swedes.

Keywords:
    preschool, head, preschool staff–parent communication, digitalization, intercultural communication, discursive blind spots

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Authors

Bim Riddersporre
bim.riddersporre@mau.se (Primary Contact)
Jonas Stier
Author Biographies

Bim Riddersporre, Malmö University, 20506 Malmö, Sweden

Bim Riddersporre is senior lecturer in psychology and educational science at Malmö University. She has extensive experience of research in preschool education and leadership and has written several books in this subject area. She is strongly committed to preschool teacher education.

Jonas Stier, Malmö University, 20506 Malmö, Sweden

Jonas Stier is visiting professor of intercultural studies at Malmö University. He has extensive experience in intercultural studies within a variety of contexts such as preschools, primary/secondary schools and higher education. He has written several books in this subject area. He is strongly committed to public outreach and is a popular lecturer outside academia.

Riddersporre, B., & Stier, J. (2022). Preschool Heads’ Notions of Digitalized Staff–Parent Communication: The Need to Move from Monocultural to Intercultural Communication in Multicultural Sweden. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 22(1), 1–16. https://doi.org/10.36923/jicc.v22i1.24

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