Participation in communities in ECEC expressed in child-educator interactions

Marianne Ree, Anette Emilson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The aim of this study is to contribute to knowledge about children’s
opportunities to participate in early childhood education and care
(ECEC) communities. The study focuses on the communication between
educators and children in ECEC settings and how the communication
forms condition children’s opportunities to participate in the community.
The research questions are: What kind of communication patterns occur
in educator and child interactions and how do these influence children’s
opportunities to participate in the ECEC community? How can the
communication patterns and the opportunities for participation in a
community be understood from a lifeworld and a system perspective?
Theoretically, the study is based on Habermas’s (1995) social
philosophical perspective and the way he views the world from both a
lifeworld and a system perspective. His concepts of communicative and
strategic action guide the study in the purpose to identify and interpret
communication patterns. The data consist of video observations of
educators and children in everyday interactions in three Norwegian
ECEC institutions. The analysis generated three main categories
representing different communication patterns and participation
opportunities in the community: (a) controlling communication – limited
participation, (b) supportive communication – passive participation, and
(c) co-operative communication – mutual participation. The findings
show a priority in early childhood education on the individual child and
a goal-oriented practice where the educator controls the communication
and, by that, the children’s lifeworlds.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2229-2240
Number of pages12
JournalEarly Child Development and Care
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Pedagogy (50301)


  • participation
  • community
  • communication
  • child-educator interaction
  • democracy
  • ECEC


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