Exploring explorative play, through the lenses of the practitioners

1.2 Children’s development and childhood
Paper in a Symposium (Symp)
3:50 PM, Tuesday 29 Aug 2017 (30 minutes)
There is a growing political interest in early childhood education in Norway. From being a desired option for few, there is now kindergartens available for most of the Norwegian children. In some areas, there are even competitions among the owners of kindergartens to attract parents. In addition, early interventions to provide for a better future, point at early childhood education as an arena for mending a variety of contemporary problem. Politicians and parents are thereby strong agents to define the content and methods of early childhood education. Research depicts that practitioner’s approaches to education are often not conceptualized and constituted, and are thereby easily colonialized by strong economic and politic intensives. The Nordic kindergartens have a historical tradition to emphasize play in kindergarten’s curriculum and practices. Play is also regarded as the most important source for children’s learning and development (Vygotsky, 1967). This study, therefore, takes departure from the practitioner’s point of view, by their videos of children in playing activities which they find of specific interest, followed by conversations of why they find this particular activity of interest. This material is to be analyzed drawing on Hedegaard’s (2009) concepts of development as individual, institutional and societal processes, seeking to understand what the practitioners see as valuable activities among children. The aim is to straighten their voices in the choir of agents that constitute the content and methods of early childhood education in Norway. My paper can be associated with the sub-theme transforming agency. 
Western Norway University of Applied Science
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