Sofia Frankenberg. Foto: Niklas Björling.

Sofia Frankenberg


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Arbetar vid Barn- och ungdomsvetenskapliga institutionen
Telefon 08-120 766 71
Besöksadress Svante Arrhenius väg 21A
Rum 327
Postadress Barn- och ungdomsvetenskapliga institutionen 106 91 Stockholm

Om mig


Avdelningen för förskollärarutbildning och förskoleforskning


Jag är filosofie doktor i psykologi och docent i förskoledidaktik. Mitt forskningsintresse handlar om barns utveckling och lärande i olika miljöer. Jag är förnärvarande involverad i flera interventionsstudier som syftar till att utveckla och undersöka effekten av olika förskolepedagogiska metoder i svensk förskola. 

Jag disputerade i psykologi 2012 med avhandlingen "Caregiving Dilemmas: Ideology and Social Interaction in Tanzanian Family Life" vid Linköpings universitet. Jag har även forskat vid Karolinska Institutet om villkor för utveckling och lärande under naturkatastofer i nordvästra Kina. Jag är legitimerad psykolog och har arbetat som klinisk psykolog.



1) Measuring Effects of Interactional Quality in Early Childhood Education with the Early Childhood Scaffolding Scale

2) Digitala verktyg som metod för lärande och formativ återkoppling i samband med tidiga förmågor och grundläggande färdigheter i matematik.

3) Förstärkning av förskolebarns uppmärksamhets, språk och kommunikationsförmågor: En interdisciplinär studie av socio-emotionellt lärande och datoriserad uppmärksamhetsträning


I urval från Stockholms universitets publikationsdatabas
  • 2019. Tove Gerholm (et al.). BMC Psychology 7


    During the preschool years, children’s development of skills like language and communication, executive functions, and socioemotional comprehension undergo dramatic development. Still, our knowledge of how these skills are enhanced is limited. The preschool contexts constitute a well-suited arena for investigating these skills and hold the potential for giving children an equal opportunity preparing for the school years to come. The present study compared two pedagogical methods in the Swedish preschool context as to their effect on language and communication, executive functions, socioemotional comprehension, and early math. The study targeted children in the age span four-to-six-year-old, with an additional focus on these children’s backgrounds in terms of socioeconomic status, age, gender, number of languages, time spent at preschool, and preschool start. An additional goal of the study was to add to prior research by aiming at disentangling the relationship between the investigated variables.


    The study constitutes a randomized controlled trial including 18 preschools and 29 preschool units, with a total of 431 children, and 98 teachers. The interventions lasted for 6 weeks, preceded by pre-testing and followed by post-testing of the children. Randomization was conducted on the level of preschool unit, to either of the two interventions or to control. The interventions consisted of a socioemotional and material learning paradigm (SEMLA) and a digitally implemented attention and math training paradigm (DIL). The preschools were further evaluated with ECERS-3. The main analysis was a series of univariate mixed regression models, where the nested structure of individuals, preschool units and preschools were modeled using random variables.


    The result of the intervention shows that neither of the two intervention paradigms had measurable effects on the targeted skills. However, there were results as to the follow-up questions, such as executive functions predicting all other variables (language and communication, socioemotional comprehension, and math). Background variables were related to each other in patterns congruent with earlier findings, such as socioeconomic status predicting outcome measures across the board. The results are discussed in relation to intervention fidelity, length of intervention, preschool quality, and the impact of background variables on children’s developmental trajectories and life prospects.

  • 2019. Sofia J. Frankenberg (et al.). Journal of Cognition and Development 20 (2), 182-202

    Within the field of developmental science, there is a general agreement of the need to work together across academic disciplinary boundaries in order to advance the understandings of how to optimize child development and learning. However, experience also shows that such collaborations may be challenging. This paper reports on the experiences of bidirectional collaboration between researchers in a multidisciplinary research team and between researchers and stakeholders, in the first randomized controlled trial in Swedish preschool. The objective of the trial was to investigate the effects of two pedagogical learning strategies evaluating language, communication, attention, executive functions and early math. The interdisciplinary team includes researchers from early childhood education, linguistics, developmental psychology and cognitive neuro science. Educational researchers and theorists within the field of early childhood education in Sweden have during the last two decades mainly undertaken small-scale qualitative praxis-oriented and participative research. There is a widespread skepticism with regards to some of the core principles in controlled intervention methodologies, including a strong resistance towards individual testing of children. Consequently unanticipated disagreements and conflicts arose within the research team, as RCT methodology requires the measurement of effects pre and post the intervention. The aim of this article is to discuss the conditions for bidirectional collaboration both between researchers and stakeholders and between researchers in the research team. The findings illustrate strategies and negotiations that emerged in order to address ontological and epistemological controversies and disagreements. These include (a) the negotiation of research ethics, (b) making divergences visible and learning from each other, (c) using a multi-epistemological and methodological approach as a complement to the RCT design and (d) the negotiation of research problems that are shared between educators and researchers.

  • 2019. Anna Palmer (et al.). Digitalisering i en förskolan på vetenskaplig grund, 270-287
  • 2019. Sofia Grunditz, Anne-Li Lindgren, Sofia Frankenberg. Educare - Vetenskapliga skrifter (1), 116-142

    In previous historical studies on preschools, the main sources are texts; photos are used merely as illustrations. Inspired by the idea to use visual materials to study the look of the past by scrutinising historical photos and films of naptime in preschool, this article will shed light on preschool as an institution and on the materiality of naptime practices. The data comprise of historical photographs and films from the period 1900–1970 (in total 14 films and approximately 200 photographs that, in one way or the other, depict naptime: adult and child interaction, the beds' constructions, the material organization of rooms and naptime routines). By using visual analyses, visualizations and the notion of path dependence, the article shows how the everyday practice of napping was carried out in the historical preschool in relation to questions of continuity and change. The results suggest that the design of beds, as child-sized and easy to move and store, can be understood as defining the institution as a preschool with play and educational practices as its main purpose. At the same time, however, the beds themselves indicate that care, as sleep or napping, was an essential practice in historic preschools.

  • 2018. Tove Gerholm (et al.). BMC Psychology 6


    During the preschool years, children develop abilities and skills in areas crucial for later success in life. These abilities include language, executive functions, attention, and socioemotional skills. The pedagogical methods used in preschools hold the potential to enhance these abilities, but our knowledge of which pedagogical practices aid which abilities, and for which children, is limited. The aim of this paper is to describe an intervention study designed to evaluate and compare two pedagogical methodologies in terms of their effect on the above-mentioned skills in Swedish preschool children.


    The study is a randomized control trial (RCT) where two pedagogical methodologies were tested to evaluate how they enhanced children’s language, executive functions and attention, socioemotional skills, and early maths skills during an intensive 6-week intervention. Eighteen preschools including 28 units and 432 children were enrolled in a municipality close to Stockholm, Sweden. The children were between 4;0 and 6;0 years old and each preschool unit was randomly assigned to either of the interventions or to the control group. Background information on all children was collected via questionnaires completed by parents and preschools. Pre- and post-intervention testing consisted of a test battery including tests on language, executive functions, selective auditive attention, socioemotional skills and early maths skills. The interventions consisted of 6 weeks of intensive practice of either a socioemotional and material learning paradigm (SEMLA), for which group-based activities and interactional structures were the main focus, or an individual, digitally implemented attention and math training paradigm, which also included a set of self-regulation practices (DIL). All preschools were evaluated with the ECERS-3.


    If this intervention study shows evidence of a difference between group-based learning paradigms and individual training of specific skills in terms of enhancing children’s abilities in fundamental areas like language, executive functions and attention, socioemotional skills and early math, this will have big impact on the preschool agenda in the future. The potential for different pedagogical methodologies to have different impacts on children of different ages and with different backgrounds invites a wider discussion within the field of how to develop a preschool curriculum suited for all children.

  • 2018. Susanne Kjällander, Sofia Johnsson Frankenberg. International Journal of Research and Method in Education 41 (4), 433-446

    This article takes its point of departure in the research methodology of a comprehensive and multi-disciplinary innovative intervention study in Swedish preschools with preschoolers aged 3–5, involving two digital learning games focusing early math and executive functions. Based on a combination of video-ethnography, focus groups, field notes and digital progression log data, the analysis of a pilot study of the pedagogical intervention challenges and extends theoretical and methodological perspectives on what it means to undertake an intervention study in this context. The aim is to discuss what a mixed-methods research approach may provide for the understanding of intervention methodology by illustrating how different types of data provide understandings of how and to what extent the intervention components are functional in the pedagogical setting. The conclusion the analysis supports is that unless children’s and preschool teachers’ meaning making of the unfolding actions in the digital interface make them engage in the activity and dynamically fits within the institutional preschool system, the intervention will not be functional. A pilot study can provide detailed understandings of why, how and in what contexts interventions as part of the dynamic preschool systems can be implemented with adherence and fidelity.

  • 2018. Sofia J. Frankenberg. Mind, Brain, and Education 12 (1), 2-11

    The Digital Maps Metaphor (DMM) is suggested as a transdisciplinary research tool to overcome some of the challenges that are potentially inherent in research projects that involve multiple aims, objectives, knowledge claims, and methodologies. Based on the understanding of metaphors as embodied concepts, it is argued that the DMM can be used to structure mappings of the different rationalities within transdisciplinary projects. The advantage of the DMM is illustrated by the metaphor's application to a comprehensive transdisciplinary intervention study in Swedish preschools. The structural mapping brings forth a number of contradictions between the Childhood Map, the Critical and Micro‐political map, and the Developmental map. Potentials for new emergent understandings, facilitated by the metaphor, are suggested for the benefit of children's learning and development. Empirical studies of the effectiveness of the metaphor should be the next step in order to assess its usefulness in different educational and scientific contexts.

  • 2018. Christian Eidevald (et al.). Undervisning i förskolan, 81-91
  • 2014. Sofia Johnson Frankenberg, Rolf Holmqvist, Birgitta Rubenson. Journal of Community and Applied Social Phychology 24 (3), 191-204

    Caregiving practices in Tanzania are potentially affected by socio-demographic change such as urbanization and globalization. The aim of this study is to explore adult caregivers' discourses regarding the responsibility of caregiving, related to guidance and control of children in Tanzania. Data was collected in focus group discussions with parents and grandparents in an urban area of Tanzania. The analysis found two interpretative repertoires: guidance and control as a community matter and guidance and control as a family matter. These repertoires are related to responsibility and to an ideological dilemma regarding parental authority and individual's rights. The findings are discussed in relation to the tendency to polarize between ideologically traditional versus modern societies. This illustrates how lived ideology of caregiving responsibility is historically and socially situated, in the local context and how the spread of Children's Rights ideology needs to be understood in this context.

  • 2013. Sofia Johnson Frankenberg (et al.). Childhood 20 (4), 487-506

    This study explores how siblings in Tanzania actively engage in their own socialization through the negotiation and local design of caregiving practices and control between younger siblings (age 1-3), older siblings (age 3-13) and adults. Analyses of moment-to-moment embodied, multimodal sequences of interaction illustrate how caregiving responsibility is negotiated. The analysis is multidisciplinary drawing on concepts developed in the traditions of sociology, language socialization and applied linguistics. The findings highlight the usefulness of a concept of socialization which recognizes the agency of the child and are discussed in relation to constructions of the caregiving child as both being and becoming.

Visa alla publikationer av Sofia Frankenberg vid Stockholms universitet

Senast uppdaterad: 12 oktober 2020

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