How do kindergartens best provide an enriching everyday life for the youngest children? And how do they facilitate the children's ability to be active, express themselves and develop interpersonal relationships? These are central questions addressed by the research group" Everyday life in ECEC". We focuse on the relationship between institutional frameworks, everyday life dynamics and children's quality of life.
This research group belongs to the Faculty of Education and International Studies.
Head of Research Group
More about the Research Group
Building on Research on Quality in Pre-Schools
The research group Everyday life in ECEC was established in the autumn of 2017, after several years of collaborating on research on institutional day-care for children, most recently in the FINNUT project Searching for Quality, funded by The Research Council of Norway. The project revealed that the sector faces challenges with regard to the service provided for the youngest children in day-care. In order to meet these challenges, more knowledge about institutionalized childhood for children under three years is required.
These results form the starting point for the research group Everyday life in ECEC . In this group, we aim to contribute to good pedagogic services for children under three years in kindergartens. The research will in particular focus on the opportunity for children to experience belonging, community and identity. The research will also focus on the intersection between artistic form and aesthetic content in kindergartens, as well as contribute to the development of new and existing research methodology.
In our previous research, we have investigated children’s experiences, learning processes and conditions in different day-care centres. Moving forward we are now expanding our focus to the sector as such, with a special emphasis on the pedagogic content in day-care centres, the professional practice of early childhood teachers and their education, and the relationship between education and practice.
Norwegian Day Care Sector in Transition
The Norwegian day care sector is undergoing an extensive reorganization process, with new requirements and new frameworks. This type of structural change creates new conditions and challenges for every day operations. The research group Everyday life in ECEC researches important challenges for Norwegian day-care for children in a period of transition for the sector.
- Ideology and policy – new challenges for the sector
- Education of early childhood teachers – emphasis on children under the age of 3 years
- Early childhood teachers as a profession – experience, attitudes and reflections
- Day care centres as institutions – service quality
- Children’s everyday lives – participation, belonging, community in everyday situations
- Contemporary art for the youngest
- Aesthetic content for the youngest children in day-care – opportunities and challenges
Everyday life in ECEC is an interdisciplinary research group with a strong link to ethnographic and art-based research methodologies. As the research group represents different academic positions, primarily in pedagogy and arts and culture, dialogue across different professions will be central. The aim is to deepen the knowledge about various aspects of everyday life for children in day-care through fieldwork, observations, conversations and aesthetic research strategies. Exploring different methods and developing a broad theoretical platform as a starting point for understanding everyday life in day-care are important aims. Proximity to, respect for, and continuous dialogue with the field of practice is an important premise.
Method complexity and combination of methods are important to identify and reflect on key issues related to the daily life of the youngest children in day-care. Further development of relevant research methods, method exploration and methodological criticism will be important objectives in the further work.
Specifically, we will use the following methods:
Observation ; both structured and open / ethnographically inspired observation methods.
Observations will be based on fieldwork over time. This may include further developing observation of "guide children" as a method, i.e. observing activities, artefacts and relationships that a child experience over a given period.
Aesthetic research ; The research group members include performing artists who through their artistic practice study artistic form and aesthetic content in education and in everyday life in day-care centres. Research on aesthetic learning concerns itself with the expression of lived experience as an aesthetic process. Interaction with children gives us first-hand indications of children's aesthetic processes and artistic meetings. The method is inspired by arts-based research and artistic research developed in the Searching for Quality (2017), and will be further developed in this research group.
Focus interviews ; will be used to investigate different aspects of childcare for children under three years. Focus interviews may be complemented with mobile methods, such as walking-along interviews, where the informant tell about experiences from practice while at work.
Document analysis/cultural analysis of policy documents and curricula will be a relevant method. In addition, further analysis of video material and other data generated through the Searching for Qualities project (2017) will be conducted.
Surveys ; aimed at various informant groups to investigate attitudes and experiences, both in the work place and in education. Target groups could be early childhood teachers, owners and educators/students.
The research group bases our work on a number of research projects conducted by the group members:
- Searching for Qualities (Blikk for barn) (2012-2017) The Research Council of Norway: Prakut/Finnut.
- Be Extended (app.cristin.no) (2014-). Art installation for children. Arts Council Norway.
- Creating University and Community Partnerships to Improve the Quality of Teacher Education (app.cristin.no) (2016-2017) Norwegian Agency for International Cooperation and Quality Enhancement in Higher Education (Diku).
- Be Cubed (2007). Art installation for children. Arts Council Norway.
- Glitterbird – Art for the very young (kulturradet.no)(2003-2006) EU’s Culture 2000 Programme.