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Thinking with the concept of preschool-naturing
Malmö universitet, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för naturvetenskap, matematik och samhälle (NMS).
2023 (Engelska)Konferensbidrag, Muntlig presentation med publicerat abstract (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Abstract [en]

Abstract

In a time when humans relationship to nature is high on the agenda, we need to look beyond categories that shape preschool practice and investigate how nature is done. In a hybrid understanding of the world where everything is nature and culture, also constantly connecting, disconnecting, and reconnecting, this is a try to use a concept for investigating taken for granted assumptions concerning nature and preschool. When it comes to practice, we enact with the world to create meaning and actions. How can the concept of preschool-naturing be used as an analytical tool to investigate nature’s role in preschool?

Thinking with the concept of preschool-naturing

This study takes an interest in how nature is enacted with preschool practices. Through an ethnographic approach inspired by actor-network theory (ANT) the purpose is to disrupt taken for granted assumptions concerning relations between nature and preschool. The departure is that we live in a time where humans relationship to nature is high on the agenda and that these troubling times connect to early childhood education (ECE) in different ways.In Sweden “nature” can be seen as a part of preschools aim and practice in several ways. This is stemming from a long tradition of connecting children to nature through natural environments but also as a part of the educational system, articulated in the curricula connected to science education, sustainable development, health and wellbeing (Halldén, 2011; National Agency of Education, 2018). According to Nxumalo (2015) nature cannot be separated from culture, nature is not separated from the children out there to be “discovered”. The romantic idealization of both childhood and nature depends on the binary logic of nature/culture and one of the problems with presenting childhood with an idealized manifestation of nature is that the real world gets lost (Taylor, 2013). This paper is structured around a concept created with inspiration from actor-network theory (Latour, 2005; Law, 2004; Mol, 2002) with an ambition to try to investigate how nature and preschool are assembled together in various preschool practices. By creating the concept of preschool-naturing the idea is to investigate how networks that involve preschool and nature are upheld, broken down and translated. Mol (1999) discusses how decisions can be made invisible by pushing them out of sight making them appear as if they are not decisions, but facts. This makes it interesting to understand where these facts, associated with preschool-naturing are made and which places, and actors are involved. These decisions are not only intellectually made but occurs in practice involving both human and other-than-human actors. This is a practical and necessary stabilization of the actor-network that enable practicians to handle reality and the idea is to try to understand where decisions are made sincethey often are taken for granted as facts when they rather could be reconstructed into other understandings of reality (Mol, 1999). By joining these words (preschool and nature) into one, also making them into a verb, the idea is to move away from the dualistic views of thinking that nature is enacted in preschool, or that preschool is enacted in nature and rather think of this preschool-naturing as something that enacts different ontologies. By empirically studying how these assemblages are made possible (or impossible) the idea is to further understand nature’s role in preschool practices. Materials collected with an ethnographic method includes fieldnotes from observations at two different preschools, photographs of preschools physical environments, documents, and interviews. In this session I will present some preliminary results and discus how nature is enacted with preschool practices with the help of the concept of preschool-naturing.

References

Halldén, G. (2011). Barndomens skogar : om barn i natur och barns natur. Carlsson Bokförlag.Latour, B. (2005). Reassembling the Social. An introduction to Actor-Network-Theory. Oxford University Press.Law, J. (2004). After method : mess in social science research. Routledge.Mol, A. (1999). Ontological politics. A word and some questions. In J. H. John Law (Ed.), Actor Network Theory and after. Blachwell Publishing.Mol, A. (2002). The body multiple: Ontology in medical practice. Duke University Press.National Agency of Education. (2018). Curriculum for the Preschool. Lpfö 18. In. Stockholm: Norstedts Juridik.Nxumalo, F. (2015). Forest stories. Restorying Encounters with “Natural” Places in Early Childhood Education. In V. Pacini-Ketchabaw & A. Taylor (Eds.), Unsettling the colonial places and spaces of early childhood education. Routledge.Taylor, A. (2013). Reconfiguring the natures of childhood. Routledge.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
2023.
Nationell ämneskategori
Utbildningsvetenskap
Forskningsämne
Naturvetenskapernas didaktik
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-59324OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mau-59324DiVA, id: diva2:1752339
Konferens
Reconceptualizing Early Childhood Education (RECE). Manchester, England.
Tillgänglig från: 2023-04-21 Skapad: 2023-04-21 Senast uppdaterad: 2024-06-11Bibliografiskt granskad

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Björklund, Sanne

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