Spaces and Places for children covers in a broad sense the physical environment in which children live. This includes various landscapes, e.g. in the city, in rural areas, and in natural- and cultural environments, places, buildings, outdoor and indoor environments, interior design, furnishing, equipment, installations and play material.
This research network aims at creating new and research based knowledge about the physical environment’s significance for children, and will be a forum for knowledge exchange, development of joint research projects, dissemination and publication, as well as international cooperation with other partners and research groups.
The research network has members from a number of different institutions and scientific subjects, such as pedagogy/education, geography, architecture, drama/theatre, art work, physical education, language, natural science, ethics, mathematics and library science.
The research network has a particular focus on early childhood education and care institutions’ (ECEC) physical environment and its significance for children, practitioners and the pedagogical work, and how the environment is perceived, interpreted, organized, created and changed by the practitioners and children in ECEC.
The research network Spaces and places for children aims at:
- Generating new research based knowledge on the interconnection between physical environments and children’s everyday lives in general, and on ECEC physical environments and the institutions’ pedagogical work in particular.
- Generating knowledge on the physical environment which is particularly relevant for the ECEC’s societal commission as it is established within the Kindergarten Act and the Framework plan for the content and tasks of kindergartens.
- Creating knowledge of highly practical relevance for both architects/planners, educators/pedagogues, public authorities and ECEC owners; this requires an interdisciplinary cooperation between all involved partners in the ECEC field.
- Generating knowledge about children’s own perceptions, experiences, actions, learning and ‘Bildung’ in relation with their physical environment in ECEC, and through this ensure a focus on children’s right to participate.
- Generate knowledge about the practitioners’ own perceptions, experiences, actions and pedagogical practice in the ECEC’s physical environment.
- Developing knowledge on how buildings and landscape can ensure or conflict with the different users’ needs.
- Contributing to a reflective, thoughtful and critical understanding of the societal production of ECEC’s spaces and physical environments.
- Ensure dissemination of relevant knowledge about the physical environment to relevant partners, and the implementation of this knowledge in practice.
- Establish a high quality national research network within the subject ’Spaces and Places for children’
- Make relations between the national research and international research communities and –networks
- Participate and present at national and international conferences
- Arrange two-three annual workshops or thematic seminars within the network
- Apply for funding to carry out space-oriented research projects in interdisciplinary collaborations
Ellen Beate H. Sandseter, associate professor at Queen Maud University College of Early Childhood Education
Merete Lund Fasting, associate professor at Agder Univeristy
Solveig Nordtømme, assistant professor at Buskerud and Vestfold University College
Randi Evenstad, assistant professor at Oslo and Akershus University College