An aesthetic dimension of children’s experienced world? Paper presented at NERA’s 37th Congress, Trondheim, Norway 5-7 March

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


    During preschool history a large number important points of departures regarding children’s learning and development have been brought to attention. In this paper we want to spread some light on two of them. One of these is children’s own experiences and the other is an aesthetic dimension of learning. In this presentation we want describe this topic, to analyse and discuss it. In modern education children’s experiences are considered to be a starting point for their learning and development. A difficulty then is that children arrive to pre-school with different experiences and expectations against which they relate new knowledge of their surrounding world (Pramling Samuelsson & Asplund Carlsson, 2003). Therefore, to take advantage of and make use of each child’s knowledge seems to be a pedagogical consequence in the learning processes. The concept of aesthetics has often got a one-sided interpretation as a methodical support for learning and development about different contents (Pramling et al, 2008). Children have been viewed as creative individuals, who through their own will, actions and practices learn to develop into human beings. At present the Swedish curriculum points out the importance of, as it says: “Creating and communicating by means of different forms of expression…/” (Utbildningsdepartementet, 1998. s. 10). The tendency, thus,  is to view aesthetic expressions as a method closely related to children’s development and acquisition of knowledge. The purpose of this study is to find out how aesthetics can be seen as one dimension of children’s experienced world. The research question is how children’s experienced world appear in verbal communication and how will those experiences be used in a learning situation. The study took place in a pre-school setting with children 3-5 year of age. The data consist of video observations in situations where teachers and children work with science content or more specifically they investigated; “What is soil?” The data are analyzed qualitatively (see Sinclair (2001) and Hohr and Lorenzer (1975) in Austring (2006)). The outcome of the analysis shows that three categories of children’s experienced world can be discerned, which we like Sinclair label: “Pathfinder”, “Track-Taker” and “Floater” (Sinclair 2001). The outcome also shows that the children’s use of their experiences is related to these three categories. When the children are dealing with the science content in focus another result points out that there are three different ways of acting present: empirical, aesthetic and discursive way. On a general level one conclusion is, that aesthetics is a natural part of children’s experienced world and that it is of importance for children in their meaning making. Strong or weak aesthetics in a learning situation will be further discussed and problemized.

    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2009
    EventNERA’s 37th Congress Trondheim, Norway 5-7 March, 2009 -
    Duration: 1980-Jan-01 → …


    ConferenceNERA’s 37th Congress Trondheim, Norway 5-7 March, 2009
    Period80-01-01 → …

    Swedish Standard Keywords

    • Pedagogy (50301)


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