Children´s and Preschool Teacher´s Photographs of New Preschool Architecture: Issues of Participation and Interpretation.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


In an ongoing project (2013-2014) about children´s and preschool teacher´s interactions with and experiences of new architecture/physical environment, young children between 2-5 years and their preschool teachers has photographed the physical and social environment. A numbers of photo-elicitated interviews with the preschool teachers had been held over the summer too. These actions have created increased awareness of the relationship between the physical and social environment and generated a lot of communication and interpretations among all involved. The project continues during the wintertime.

The aim of the project, (inspired from action research, new childhood sociology, phenomenology) is to create knowledge (on basis of experiences, narratives, observations/field notes, photos/visual knowledge) about the preschool environment, which might qualify the discourse of kindergartens and the new architecture.

The architecture in new childcare-institutions breaks on several points with the former idea of "kindergarten" (small environments with an emphasis on domesticity, development and play). The new preschools in Denmark are bulky, contains many children (some more than 200 children), and are highly transparent (widespread use of glass in both interior and exterior walls). The new architecture is based on (neoliberal) ideas of flexibility and puts the emphasis on early childhood learning. But one thing is the ideas of politicians, architects and builders, another is how the buildings are "lived" and coded/decoded (Bernstein) and experienced by the participants.

The paper and presentation will focus on issues of interpretation visual data and dilemmas experienced during the process of cooperation with the preschool teachers and children. A key issue is the asymmetry between children and adults: preschool teachers play a key role in the interpretation of children's photos, while it is difficult to invite and involve children (2-5 years) to interpret their own photos and words.
Translated title of the contributionBørns og pædagogers fotografier af ny børnehavearkitektur: Problemstillinger vedrørende deltagelse og fortolkning
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2014
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventXVIII ISA World Congress of Sociology: Facing and Unequal world - Yokohama, Yokohama, Japan
Duration: 13 Jul 201419 Jul 2014
Conference number: XVIII


ConferenceXVIII ISA World Congress of Sociology
Internet address

Cite this