«Det handler om å bli hørt!» Barnehagelæreren som deltager i den offentlige debatt.


Publication date



Høgskolen i Oslo og Akershus

Document type


Master i barnehagepedagogikk


This study examines three early childhood education teachers' experiences on participating in the public debate on critical issues affecting their workplace, profession and early childhood education in general. Through an interview study, I sought insight into why three early childhood education teachers choose to express themselves publicly. The study focuses on the experiences they have regarding being participants in various venues in the public domain, as well as the factors that may be limiting early childhood education teachers' participation in the public debate. Through critical theory, I have focused attention on processes that might promote specific interests at the expense of others, and I have tried to reveal certain social and political conditions in which the realm of early childhood education operates within. The study addresses the specific laws and policies early childhood education teachers must deal with as a citizen, worker and professional performer, and touches in on some of these implications. Loyalty conflicts related to the employer and the teachers own professional practice are highlighted and discussed through the basis of a professional ethical perspective. Using Jon Hellesnes (1992b) concept of «danning», and Hans Skjervheims (1996) view of commitment in exchange of meaning through discussion, action and policy, the early childhood education teacher is seen through a participating actors perspective in which ethical awareness and critical reflection enables the teacher's public commitment as loyalty to their own professional practice and private mandate. Participantship and involvement is inserted into a democracy understanding with contributions from Chantal Mouffe’s (2002, 2005) «conflictual consensus» in the radical democracy. The study's analysis is based on Braune & Clarke (2006, 2013) thematic analysis which focuses on the identification, analysis and reporting of issues within a research material, hereof three interviews. The study touches themes that deal with the development of early childhood education, early childhood education teachers' professional formation, and discusses which actors should be forerunners for the early childhood education content. This study finds that the interviewed early childhood education teachers’ motivation for expressing themselves publicly lies within a strong sense of loyalty to the children. Through academic, professional judgment and ethical awareness they create a counter- 3 power and emerge as children's ambassadors. Possessing knowledge of the political structures and processes in which the early childhood education field operates winthin works as a precondition for them being able to stand up as political actors and participate in the public debate. The study also highlights the importance of an open municipality where accessible information within and outward could open up for a more appropriate and rich public debate.


Permanent URL (for citation purposes)

  • http://hdl.handle.net/10642/2389