A1 Journal article (refereed)
Teachers’ Perceptions of the Cultural Capital of Children and Families with Immigrant Backgrounds in Early Childhood Education (2023)

Lavanti, L., Harju-Luukkainen, H., & Kuusisto, A. (2023). Teachers’ Perceptions of the Cultural Capital of Children and Families with Immigrant Backgrounds in Early Childhood Education. Education Sciences, 13(10), Article 977. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13100977

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsLavanti, Lassi; Harju-Luukkainen, Heidi; Kuusisto, Arniika

Journal or seriesEducation Sciences


Publication year2023

Publication date25/09/2023


Issue number10

Article number977

PublisherMDPI AG

Publication countrySwitzerland

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessOpen Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/89267


Finnish society has become increasingly diverse relatively recently, notably during the past few decades. This paper explores the perceptions of early childhood education and care (ECEC) teachers (n = 11) about the cultural capital of those children and families growing up in immigrant background families and their sense of belonging in early childhood settings in Finland. We draw on curriculum frameworks to understand these constructs. The paper utilises Bourdieu’s concept of cultural capital to conceptualise the sense of belonging for children and families with an immigrant background in Finnish ECEC. The interviews consisted of two pairs and two group interviews with teachers from four ECEC centres, each including two to four ECEC teachers. The data analysis is based on a constructivist grounded theory (CGT) informed content analysis. This approach shows how ECEC teachers’ pedagogical practices guide immigrant families and children in Finland towards a national identity. The findings indicate that play and language learning facilitated the development of cultural capital. Nonetheless, it is crucial to investigate the family viewpoint in the future.

Keywordsimmigrantsimmigrant backgroundchildren (age groups)familiesnational identityearly childhood education and careearly childhood education and care teachersculturecultural capital (social assets)

Free keywordsimmigrant children; belonging; national identity; early childhood education and care; culture capital

Contributing organizations

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2023

JUFO rating1

Last updated on 2024-15-05 at 13:23