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Biosketch: Professor Niklas Pramling

Pramling has a background in studies in Psychology and Literature History, and a PhD in Educational Science. He is Professor at the Department of Education, Communication and Learning at the University of Gothenburg and a member of LinCS. He is Director of the Swedish National Research School on Communication and Relations as Foundations for Early Childhood Education (FoRFa), funded by the Swedish Research Council (2014-2018).

Research interests

In his research, and supervision of PhD students, he is engaged in a number of research fields:

Metaphors in learning and knowledge formation

One of his primary and continuous interests concerns the role of metaphor in learning and knowledge formation. This interest is pursued through studies of metaphors in scientific knowledge building (Pramling, 2011), the popularization of scientific knowledge to lay audiences (Pramling & Säljö, 2007), in students learning science (Pramling, 2009; Pramling & Säljö, 2014), how children make known that they speak non-literally (Pramling, 2006; Pramling & Säljö, 2015), and how metaphors are used in communication between teachers and children (Fleer & Pramling, 2015; Pramling, 2010; Thulin & Pramling, 2009). This research is carried out within the project Metaphors We Learn By, funded by the Swedish Research Council.

Translanguaging and the promotion of linguistic and meta-linguistic awareness in children

His most recent research interest, pursued together with Anne Kultti, focuses on developing ways of promoting linguistic and meta-linguistic awareness through translation activities in preschool. In an on-going study he and his collaborator investigate how learners negotiate meaning and explain linguistic features that come into play when translating song lyrics, particularly features of figurative language (Jidai, Kultti & Pramling, in press; Kultti & Pramling, 2016a, in press). This research is in part funded by Svenska kulturfonden. This research could also be seen as part of an interest concerning how to promote cultural and social sustainability in terms of intercultural teaching and learning (Kultti & Pramling, 2016b).

Play-based early childhood education and digitalization

Pramling is the Director of the Swedish National Research School on Communication and Relations as Foundations for Early Childhood Education (FoRFa), funded by the Swedish Research Council. FoRFa is a research school for preschool teachers and teachers in primary school to carry out PhD studies part-time while working in preschool/school part-time. In line with the research school, Pramling pursues an interest in developing, on the basis of empirical research, ways of organizing for children’s learning and development in the institutional setting of preschool with its play-based tradition. For some publications, see Pramling, Doverborg and Pramling Samuelsson (in press), Pramling and Pramling Samuelsson (in press), and Wallerstedt and Pramling (2012). One strand of this research interest concerns how digital technologies may transform how children experience, learn and develop (see e.g., Lagerlöf, Wallerstedt & Pramling, 2013, 2014; Nilsen, Lundin, Wallerstedt & Pramling, 2015; Skantz Åberg, Lantz-Andersson & Pramling, 2014, 2015). Pramling and his colleagues’ research into play-based ECE will be further pursued through funds received from Skolforskningsinstitutet (2017-2018).

Learning in the arts

A recurring interest is in children’s learning in the arts in ECE (Pramling & Wallerstedt, 2009; Wallerstedt, Lagerlöf & Pramling, 2014; Wallerstedt & Pramling, 2012). This interest includes the development of informed listening (Pramling & Wallerstedt, 2009; Wallerstedt, Pramling & Säljö, 2014), the development and pedagogical scaffolding of timing (Wallerstedt, Pramling & Säljö, 2015), learning and knowing songs (Kullenberg & Pramling, 2016), and how digital technologies transform music learning processes (Wallerstedt & Pramling, 2015; poetry and language play (Pramling, 2009, 2010; Pramling & Asplund Carlsson, 2008; Pramling & Pramling Samuelsson, 2013); learning to dance (Pramling & Wallerstedt, 2011).

Pramling’s work has been translated into French, Spanish, Russian, German, and Norwegian. In extension to frequently publishing in international peer-review journals he publishes with Oxford University Press, Springer, Sage, and Routledge. 

Some recent publications

Pramling, N., & Pramling Samuelsson, I. (in press). Pedagogies in early childhood education. In M. Fleer & B. van Oers (Eds.), International handbook on early childhood education. Dordrecht, the Netherlands: Springer.

Pramling, N., Doverborg, E., & Pramling Samuelsson, I. (in press). Re-metaphorizing teaching and learning in early childhood education beyond the instruction – social fostering divide. In C. Ringsmose & G. Kragh Müller (Eds.), The Nordic social pedagogical approach to early years learning. Dordrecht, the Netherlands: Springer.

Jidai, Y., Kultti, A., & Pramling, N. (in press). In the order of words: Teachers-children negotiation about how to translate song lyrics in bilingual early childhood education. Research on Children and Social Interaction.

Kultti, A., & Pramling, N. (in press). Translation activities in bilingual early childhood education: Children’s perspectives and teachers’ scaffolding. Multilingua: Journal of Cross-Cultural and Interlanguage Communication.

Kultti, A., & Pramling, N. (2016). ”Behind the words”: Children and teachers in bilingual preschool negotiating literal/figurative sense when translating the lyrics to a children’s song. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research.

Kultti, A., & Pramling, N. (2016). Teaching and learning in early childhood education for social and cultural sustainability. In A. Farrell & I. Pramling Samuelsson (Eds.), Diversity: Intercultural learning and teaching in the early years (pp. 17–34). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Wallerstedt, C., & Pramling, N. (2016). Responsive teaching, informal learning and cultural tools in year nine ensemble practice: A lost opportunity. Instructional Science.

Kullenberg, T., & Pramling, N. (2016). Learning and knowing songs: A study of children as music teachers. Instructional Science, 44, 1–23.

Magnusson, M., & Pramling, N. (2016). Sign making, coordination of perspectives, and conceptual development. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal.

Wallerstedt, C., Pramling, N., & Säljö, R. (2015). Micro-genetic development of timing in a child. Mind, Culture, and Activity, 22, 251–268.

Pramling, N., & Säljö, R. (2015). The clinical interview: The child as a partner in conversations vs. the child as an object of research. In S. Robson & S. F. Quinn (Eds.), International handbook of young children’s thinking and understanding. London: Routledge.

Wallerstedt, C., Pramling Samuelsson, I., & Pramling, N. (2015). Technological design and children’s perspectives. In S. Robson & S. F. Quinn (Eds.), International handbook of young children’s thinking and understanding. London: Routledge.

Fleer, M., & Pramling, N. (2015). A cultural-historical study of children learning science: Foregrounding affective imagination in play-based settings (Cultural Studies of Science Education). Dordrecht, the Netherlands: Springer.

Wallerstedt, C., & Pramling, N. (2015). Playing by ‘the connected ear’: An empirical study of adolescents learning to play a pop song using Internet-accessed resources. Research Studies in Music Education, 37(2), 195–213.

Skantz Åberg, E., Lantz-Andersson, A., & Pramling, N. (in press). Children’s digital storymaking: The negotiated nature of instructional literacy events. Nordic Journal of Digital Literacy, 10(3), 170–189.

Lagerlöf, P., Wallerstedt, C., & Pramling, N. (2014). Playing, new music technology and the struggle with achieving intersubjectivity. Journal of Music, Technology & Education, 7(2), 199–216.

Wallerstedt, C., Pramling, N., & Säljö, R. (2014). Learning to discern and account: The trajectory of a listening skill in an institutional setting. Psychology of Music, 42(3), 366–385.

Björklund, C., & Pramling, N. (2014). Pattern discernment and pseudo-conceptual development in early childhood mathematics education. International Journal of Early Years Education, 22(1), 89–104.

Pramling, N., & Säljö, R. (2014). Reasoning about evolution: Metaphors in teacher students’ rendering of Darwinian ideas. In T. Zittoun & A. Iannaccone (Ed.), Activities of thinking in social spaces (pp. 99–120). New York: Nova Science.

Pramling, N., & Säljö, R. (2014). À propos de terre et de toutes sortes d’autres choses… L’apprentissage de la catégorisation chez de jeunes enfants en classe de sciences. In C. Moro, N. Muller Mirza & P. Roman (Eds.), L’intersubjectivité en questions: Agrégat ou nouveau concept fédérateur pour la psychologie? (pp. 185–210). Lausanne: Editions Antipodes.


Niklas Pramling

Ph.D., Professor, Senior Lecturer

Page Manager: Elin Johansson|Last update: 11/16/2016

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