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This paper is the first in a series of three studies that explore the pedagogy used in the Norwegian and Russian early childhood settings by examining texts that are part of the syllabus in two early childhood teacher education programs that participated in our project with student international exchanges. The study explores how Mikhail Bakhtin’s notion of dialogue relates to the concept of ‘learning’ in the context of early childhood teacher educations in Northern Norway and Northern Russia. The data sources are textbooks used as syllabi for kindergarten teacher education in those countries. These national dialogues are understood as authoritative discourses on the concepts of learning to which the students in both countries have to relate. By being inspired by Bakhtin’s notion of dialogue, we consider that the ideas in textbooks areas are in a dialogic relationship as they are parts of a regulating battle between centrifugal and centripetal forces. A constructivist perspective on learning and the division of the learning process into subject, knowledge and education areas are identified as the centripetal forces in the dialogue on learning. Activities, tools, and the role of adults are identified as centrifugal forces. Based on the hypothetical premise that textbooks influence practices and that practice may unfold as textbooks describe, we have created hypothetical discussions between educators and students in these countries. The study provides better insight on the premises for the dialogue about learning across international borders which can be useful in internalization and exchange programs in kindergarten teacher educations in different countries.
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