Omfanget af religiøse aktiviteter i danske og norske børnehavers kulturformidling: rapport

Jørgen Boelskov, Olav Tveiterås

Publikation: Bog/antologi/rapport/kliniske retningslinjerBogForskning


This rapport is a follow up on a former study made by Kolding Educator College, the society of Christian Day Care Centres and Theological Educational Centre, Løgumkloster ten years ago. The aim was then, as it is now, to reveal the extent of religious activities in the teaching of cultural values.
The questionnaire was sent out by e-mail to all of the principals of the kindergartens in the North Norwegian region of Finnmark (121 kindergartens) and to the principals of kindergartens attached to University College South Denmark, Campus Kolding and Esbjerg (128 kindergartens). The response rate was 52% in North Norway and 68% in South Denmark. Due to the difference in sample and response rates, we decided for a significance level of p=0.01.

Denmark and Norway are not all that different according to our study.
We find that most kindergartens in both countries include religious activities in their teaching of cultural values. I.e. three out of four kindergartens take the children to special arranged Christian service in the local church. The difference between the two countries concerning of Christian activities is that in Danish kindergartens it is more common to sing children’s hymns now and then (76% of the Danish kindergartens versus 68% of the Norwegian) and in Norway it is more common to tell Biblical tales. (In 64% Danish kindergartens versus 84% Norwegian). What is remarkable about these percentages is not the fact that they are fairly similar but rather that they are so high.

Curriculums and regulations do not have unequivocal influence upon the activities in a kindergarten, but the teacher training has some significance
In Denmark, kindergarten headmasters report about a general increase in the level of religious activities over the last ten years, though there is no mentioning of religion in the national curriculum of Early Years. Moreover, religion has no part in the training of staff for Danish kindergartens at any level. The increasing activity corresponds with an increasing level of religious activity in the Danish population in general (official statistics report weekly participation in Christian service is up 31% since 1995). In Norway the national curriculum of Early Years explicitly states religion as an important part of the teaching of cultural values. In spite of this we find but a few, unimportant, differences in the type of activities in kindergartens in the two countries. In both countries they teach the cultural values the staff themselves recognize, regardless of the curriculum.
There are however a few differences: In Norway they more likely to tell the children about the Easter Gospel, than in Denmark (in 30% of the Danish kindergartens versus 61% in Norway). There can be several explanations to this fact, but it is obvious that in the training of staff for Danish kindergartens, there is little or no mentioning of religion, whereas in the training of kindergarten teachers in Norway the students receive 10-15 ECTS in Religious and ethical education.

One cannot prevent kindergarten staff from teaching the cultural values they recognize. This may involve religious activities. However, in Denmark these activities take place without the didactical knowledge of the general spiritual development of the child.

The repport suggests actions in accordance to four levels:
Curriculum of Early Years in Denmark should point out that religion is an important part of the concept of cultural values and give guidelines for religious activities.
The training of kindergarten staff in Denmark should make the students aware of the importance of religion and urge them to seek information about these matters during their training.
The kindergartens should include religious values in their general public presentation (on the web and in hand-outs.) The description could include the extent of religious activities such as biblical tales, visits to local churches and the celebration of religious festivals connected to the children of this specific kindergarten.
The kindergarten should contact the local church, mosque, vicar, imam ect. for possible cooperation.
The church/mosque could take initiatives for didactical cooperation.

In Norway they follow these recommendations. This has not led to a situation where more kindergartens, compared to Denmark, have religious activities, but it might be safe to assume that it has had an influence on the quality of activities.

ForlagUC SYD
Antal sider65
ISBN (Trykt)978-87-992584-6-8
StatusUdgivet - 2012