Everyday Life Discourses in Kindergarten

Peer Reviewed
Schei, Tiri Bergesen
Abstract There are two agendas for this article: The first is to reveal what kind of knowledge about cultural formation that might be embedded in examples from everyday life of one-year-olds and staff in kindergarten, concerning meals, outdoor sleeping and organized music activities. The other agenda is a methodological one, claiming discourse analysis to be suitable for illuminating daily practices as representing dominating discourses about kindergarten. This type of analysis is especially appropriate to explore the conditions for cultural formation and to understand what constitutes the meaningfulness of daily activities. It can be helpful for the kindergarten teachers and other staff to become aware of the content of their practice, to be able to discuss what is satisfying and what may need change. Choosing discourse theory, with the French philosopher Michel Foucault and his ideas on discourse, power-knowledge, subject positions and space, as a tool for analysing kindergarten practice may illuminate how “truth patterns”, what is taken-for-granted as normal, correct and good, rule the activities, permeate everyday life and make “the inhabitants” act in certain ways and not in others. The conformity of institutions like kindergartens, schools, hospitals and other fields with large groups of people is often unspoken, but nonetheless very efficient in regulating behaviour, because what is considered good, normal and reasonable effectively delimits reflection and action. Keywords: Kindergarten, one-year-olds, kindergarten staff, cultural formation, discourse analysis, Michel Foucault, everyday life, normality.
Material type:
Peer reviewed
Schei TBS. Everyday Life Discourses in Kindergarten. Cultural-Historical Psychology. 2013;8(2):31-37