The Relationship between the Factors and Conditions of the Autonomy of Preschool Teachers and Fostering the Autonomy of Preschool Children in Kindergarten

  • Tatjana Devjak Faculty of Education, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Irena Janžekovič Žmauc Slovenian Traffic Safety Agency, Slovenia
  • Jože Benčina Faculty of Administration, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Keywords: preschool teacher, preschool children, autonomy, factors of autonomy, fostering the autonomy of children


In the paper, we argue that fostering the autonomy of children in kindergarten contributes to the positive effects of the individual’s autonomy later in life. Various sources substantiate the assumption that there is a relationship between the child’s autonomy and the autonomy of educators. In the paper, we identify and investigate how preschool teachers evaluate the factors of their own professional autonomy, we determine the factors and conditions that, in their opinion, foster the autonomy of preschool children, and we verify whether the assessment of both factors and conditions affects the actual state of the stimulation of the autonomy of children in kindergarten. With regard to fostering the autonomy of children, we have in mind the participation of children, enabling them to play and learn and to manipulate materials and teaching aids in their own way, so that preschool teachers can offer them a choice, take into account their feelings and perspectives, and provide them with rational feedback. The results of the research show that an evaluation of the factors and conditions for fostering the autonomy of children by preschool teachers (N = 524) has a beneficial effect on fostering the autonomy of the children, but it is not crucial. The most important factors in fostering the autonomy of children are the preschool teacher as a person and the participation of children.


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