Climbing, Hiding and Having Fun: Schoolchildren’s Memories of Holistic Learning in a Norwegian Kindergarten

  • Teresa Katherine Aslanian Department of Educational Science, University of South-Eastern Norway
  • Anne Kristin Andresen Department of Educational Science, University of South-Eastern Norway
  • Turid Baasland Department of Educational Science, University of South-Eastern Norway

Abstract

Firmly planted in the Nordic tradition, policies that guide practice in Norwegian kindergartens emphasize a holistic approach that integrates care, play and learning and promotes well-being and development through relationships and experiences in the natural environment. While the holistic approach enjoys support both politically and within the profession, a political call for increased learning has resulted in a number of programs embracing school-based methods of learning infusing the field. The aim to increase learning has increasingly relied on a concept of learning that is the result of intentional pedagogic practice and high quality engagement between educators and children. This understanding of learning does not embrace learning related to children as biological beings in a vital phase of growth; that occurs outside of situations crafted to be learning situations. In this article, we address learning as a biological and social phenomenon, and consider how schoolchildren’s recollections of life in kindergarten can shed light on how and what children learn in the unique learning environments of Norwegian kindergartens. Our approach offers an opportunity to understand what holistic learning in ECEC can mean for children as biosocial beings.

Published
2020-08-24
Section
Articles
Keywords
holistic learning, ECEC, biosocial education, play, retrospective