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A preschool that brings children into public spaces: Onto-epistemological research methods of vocal strolls, metaphors, mappings and preschool displacements
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Child and Youth Studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1390-4431
2020 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The interest of this doctoral thesis in early childhood education concerns the discourse on the need to integrate as well as include the youngest children in society. The overall purpose is to produce methodological experimentations on the possibilities of constructing a preschool which facilitates for preschool and preschool children to be present and take place in, and thereby participate in the construction of public spaces, together with other actors and the places themselves. The aim is to experiment with displacing preschool practices from their institutionalised place into public spaces, inspired by various site-specific artistic place-based methods, in order to develop situated onto-epistemological research methods for early childhood education research. These emerging methods aim to enhance interaction between the preschool institution – including the children – and public spaces, as spaces of societal interaction and transaction between different actors.

The preschool institution was founded in a modernist era which set out to construct a society that could offer safe and appropriate places for all citizens. The institutional preschool was organised as such a separate and reserved place for children in society, but the physical preschool walls and doors simultaneously separate children from the non-institutional places of society – the public places. The public space upholds the potential for interaction, exchange and public action for change.

In the empirical fieldwork enacted for this project, I as a researcher, a group of the youngest preschool children (1-3 years), and a number of educators, enacted together so-called vocal strolls in the public transport system in Stockholm. The research project functions as a method-producing practice, where children’s places – the preschool practices – are brought into adult’s places – public spaces – outside the preschool. The study thus produces emerging and situated – in situ – research methods in collaboration with a preschool (and its children and practices) and the public spaces we encountered and interacted with. The thesis takes an onto-epistemological theoretical stance, to define the research, not as separated from the world, but as one of many practices collaborating in the production of methods on how to take place in public spaces (cf. Stengers, 2018; Barad, 2007).

The thesis consists of three published research papers which delineate vocal strolls, vocal mappings, metaphors and displacements as early childhood education research methods that facilitate a preschool which enables children to take place in public spaces. The onto-epistemological research methods which emerged in this study have been inspired by artistic site-specific practices, which have a long tradition of developing methods on how to move art out from art institutions, e.g. museums, galleries and art-studios. These research methods are embodied methods, which produce a direct knowledge and always transform in relation to the situation and the spatial conditions of a place. Vocal metaphors, strolls, mappings and displacements are constructed in the process of collaboration between multiple different ways of enacting a place and being enacted by the place. This study has shown the possibility of developing place-based research methods for early childhood education research with the aim of understanding how they might transform our notions and practices of preschool.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Child and Youth Studies, Stockholm University , 2020. , p. 126
Keywords [en]
early childhood education, onto-epistemological research methods, site-specific art practices, construction of public space, vocal strolls, vocal mappings, displacements, metaphors as methods, democratic participation
National Category
Didactics Pedagogy
Research subject
Early Childhood Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-176333ISBN: 978-91-7797-747-6 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7797-748-3 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-176333DiVA, id: diva2:1374649
Public defence
2020-01-31, hörsalen, Frescati backe, Svante Arrhenius väg 21 A, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2020-01-08 Created: 2019-12-02 Last updated: 2019-12-13Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Placing voice meetings through vocal strolls – Toddlers in resonance with public space
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Placing voice meetings through vocal strolls – Toddlers in resonance with public space
2017 (English)In: SoundEffects, ISSN 1904-500X, E-ISSN 1904-500X, Vol. 7, no 2, p. 64-78Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In early childhood education voice metaphors are often used to describe children’s participation, development or efforts to make themselves heard. This article aims to study the ways in which vocal metaphors take place in material and physical events in the Brunkeberg Tunnel (a pedestrian tunnel) in Stockholm, Sweden. Together with preschool toddlers we have developed ‘vocal strolls’ as a research method for early childhood research, where voice as an event takes place in, with and through resonance, rhythms, routines and refrains. To be able to discuss what vocal strolls consist of and what they may offer the toddlers as well as early childhood education we have developed new concepts. These concepts, voice meetings, voice orientations, voice rooms and vocal memory, take into account a relational and spatial way to compose voice, which may be utilised as a didactic method for amplifying voice as a phenomena among preschool toddlers.

Keywords
Metaphors, Vocal strolls, Public space, Voice meetings, Refrains
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Early Childhood Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-151618 (URN)
Available from: 2018-01-16 Created: 2018-01-16 Last updated: 2020-01-23Bibliographically approved
2. Belonging in transience: Vocal mapping for a commuting preschool practice
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Belonging in transience: Vocal mapping for a commuting preschool practice
2018 (English)In: Emotion, Space and Society, ISSN 1755-4586, E-ISSN 1878-0040, Vol. 29, p. 1-8Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article explores and elaborates art theorist Miwon Kwon's (2004) concept of belonging-in-transience through placing a preschool practice in the urban transport system and ask how toddlers can belong in public space. Belonging-in-transience is here seen as a collectively shared emotion system that can be described as ambivalent pre-personal intensities of emotions not yet stated. When a small group of preschool toddlers enters the public transport system - what the anthropologist Marc Auge terms non-places that lack particular shared cultural and social meaning - they both integrate into the routines and rhythms and intervene with the practice of traveling. The article outlines how belonging-in-transience consist of multiple ways to belong that always emerge in and through specific situations and places at hand. The methodological concepts vocal mappings and voice belongings, was developed as a way to delineate how the toddlers orientated themselves in the feeling of belonging through experimentations. Voice belonging and vocal mapping expose belonging as reciprocally dependent on the situation that at the same time influences possible ways of belonging.

Keywords
Belonging-in-transience, Preschool practice, Vocal mapping, Voice belonging, Non-place, Site-specificity
National Category
Other Social Sciences Educational Sciences
Research subject
Early Childhood Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-163540 (URN)10.1016/j.emospa.2018.07.002 (DOI)000451734000001 ()
Available from: 2019-01-08 Created: 2019-01-08 Last updated: 2020-01-23Bibliographically approved
3. The art of displacement – curating a preschool context in a public transport system
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The art of displacement – curating a preschool context in a public transport system
2019 (English)In: Children's Geographies, ISSN 1473-3285, E-ISSN 1473-3277Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

This article discusses ways of enabling the youngest children at preschool (1–3 years) to participate in creating space in the public transport system. One researcher, two preschool educators and six preschool toddlers travelled on foot, by bus and by underground train to the Brunkeberg tunnel, a pedestrian tunnel in the centre of Stockholm, Sweden. Drawing on artistic site-specific methods of displacement, this article details three propositions for how to ‘do’ preschool in the public transport system: locations, dimensions and positions. By placing the routines and rhythms of a preschool practice into the urban spaces of transport, the ‘miniature preschool’ comes to curate context. The article proposes methods for a preschool practice to curate context through activating mobile but particular locations within a specific place; creating a vocal mobile architecture; and enabling multiple and mobile positions within one specific situation.

Keywords
Preschool, curating context, displacement, locations, dimensions, positions
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Early Childhood Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-173363 (URN)10.1080/14733285.2019.1668913 (DOI)000487025100001 ()
Available from: 2019-09-23 Created: 2019-09-23 Last updated: 2020-01-16

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