Rom for de yngste - en mikroetnografisk undersøkelse om de yngste barnas bruk av det fysiske miljøet i en barnehage
In this thesis I have observed the youngest children and their use of the physical environment in one kindergarten. The kindergarten is organized with bases, which means that most of the rooms are viewed as common area. By using the term physical environment, I mean the rooms and the material that is intended for the children. My research question in this study is: “How do the youngest children use the physical environment in the kindergarten” The Norwegian kindergarten has in the recent years had a tremendous development and since 2009 all children older than one year has a legal right to attend the kindergarten. This means that a great deal of Norwegian one- and two-year-olds attend the kindergarten. In the period 2004-2010 there was a massive development of new kindergartens to secure a place for all children who wanted to attend. Instead of building the traditional kindergarten with separate sections for different age groups, the kindergartens were built with either a base- or zonestructure. This change in the kindergartens physical environment has contributed to curiousness and I want more knowledge on how the youngest children use the physical environment. This is a micro-ethnographic study conducted in a kindergarten with a base structure. I have used written observation and a logbook to observe how the children use the rooms and the play materials that are intended for them, and what activities that occurs in the physical environment. In this study, I have positioned myself within the postmodern paradigm. This means that I am not seeking a universal truth of how the youngest children use the physical environment. But I wish to contribute with reflection and a piece of the puzzle on the topic of how children use the physical environment. I have had a focus on discourses related to views on children and how the physical environment in the kindergarten has changed as a result of changes in how children are viewed. The discourse of the competent child is seen as the current view on children these days and this has had a great impact on how the new kindergartens are built. In the analysis I have thematised my data material in six topics and used different theory on children, rooms and materials to create an image of the children’s use of the physical environment in the kindergarten of my observations.