An Investment in Research with a Focus on School-Age Educare

In 2022, LiU funded a four-year investment in research on School-Age Educare (SAEC). This aims to raise the SAEC profession scientifically through research and other efforts and thereby increase the research anchoring in education towards SAEC.

In 2022, in an effort to increase the number of qualified teachers and knowledge about School-Age Educare (SAEC), Linköping University initiated to scientifically raise the profile of the SAEC profession. An annual investment of SEK 2.2 million over four years will contribute to a stronger research anchoring for the profession, as well as the education for primary school teachers in SAEC.

Great shortage of trained educators

Around half a million children aged 6–12 are enrolled in Swedish SAEC, which corresponds to almost half of all children in that age group – a figure that has increased steadily over the past ten years. However, there is a great shortage of trained educators in SAEC, and the research that forms the basis of today's teacher education in SAEC needs strengthening. Primary teacher education for SAEC has been strong at LiU since 2011, which is why a special investment is now being made in further strengthening research in the field of SAEC.

SAEC an important part of lifelong learning 

The SAEC is an important arena for children's social, emotional and cognitive development, with a particular focus on social relationships, well-being, diversity and integration. SAEC centres are an important part of lifelong learning and have an important compensatory mission in relation to school and home. Education at LiU requires a high level of scientific quality, which is further enhanced by this investment in new doctoral students and research projects. In this way, researchers at LiU can contribute to building a stronger field of research on SAEC, which is a good investment for the future.

A broad interdisciplinary ambition

With a broad interdisciplinary ambition, the initiative is made in collaboration between researchers and staff from IBL and Child Studies. The initiative is administered by the Section for Pedagogic Practices in Norrköping (PAN) and the Division of Learning, Aesthetics and Natural Sciences (LEN). Guest Professor Lena Boström from Mid Sweden University and Visiting Professor Patricia Schuler from Pädagogische Hochshule Zürich also participate in the initiative, and there is a strong international network with participants from Switzerland, Austria, Australia, Norway, and more.

Focus on children's and educators' experience

The starting point of the research is children's and educators' experiences of SAEC. Researchers in the initiative study young children's conditions in, and perspectives on, SAEC centres and are, for example, interested in tensions between concepts such as learning and meaningful leisure time, children's culture, and conditions for children's everyday lives.