Exploring educators role in daycare children's play with art

Martin Hoffmann, Thomas Thorsen, Johan Bundgaard Nielsen

Research output: Contribution to conference without a publisher/journalPaperResearchpeer-review


The research study “Playart”, investigates educators' role in children's play with art, in different arenas e.g. museums, music schools or daycare playgrounds to support learning and development. The relationship between educators and their significant role in children's play has been investigated in recent international and Scandinavian research (Fleer, 2015; Løndal & Greve 2015). This research draws upon a Vygotsky inspired cultural-historical perspective where play is the creation of imaginary situations (Vygotsky, 1967). In play educators can use art to bring children into dialogue with the world, and through this dialogue the children can make the world understandable (Biesta 2020; Klafki 1995). The study was conducted as pragmatic action research (Bradbury, 2015) based on appreciative inquiry (Mejlvig, 2012) and involved experimental art-based practices, participatory observations and qualitative interviews with children, artists and pedagogues. Our ethical consideration were that the children were free to participate and that all the participants were given the opportunity to widraw at any time. The consent was negotiated with the children and a consent form was signed by their parents. The study shows that educators need to be open, attentive, energetic, and brave to participate in and sculpt children's play with art. Utilizing art in play makes it possible to create imaginary situations that make the world understandable to children. We recommend that educators and children in playful activities together explore various aesthetic arenas that support and encourage childrens’ self-determination. This will give them the opportunity to be active democratic participants in the world.
Translated title of the contributionUdforsker pædagogers rolle i børnehavebørns leg med kunst
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2022
Publication statusPublished - 2022
EventCultures of Play: Actors, Affordances and Arenas: European Early Childhood Education Research Association - School of Education at University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 22 Aug 202226 Aug 2022
Conference number: 30


ConferenceCultures of Play: Actors, Affordances and Arenas
LocationSchool of Education at University of Strathclyde
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
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