Berättelser som redskap för att föra och följa resonemang

Björklund, C., Nilsen, M., & Pramling Samuelsson, I.
Nordisk Barnehageforskning 12(5), 1-18.


This study focusses on how children create and communicate reasoning in the form of stories (berättelser) expressed verbally as well as through drawings. The purpose of this study is to examine different ways of reasoning when 5-year-old preschool children create stories based on a given theme. This is investigated by challenging the children's way of creating and reaching reasoning (att föra och följa resonemang) through stories. For example, reasoning in one story can follow the cause and effect of science phenomena, but it can also link experiences and memories of an imaginary event.


Overall, the results show that the cultural tool that children are offered through the narrative assignment (i.e. the narrative structure) is used by many of the children to create traditional stories. Despite this result, the study suggests that, based on their abilities and experiences, the way in which children create reasoning through their stories can have several different expressions and can be interpreted as logical reasoning seen from the child's perspective.

The authors find that the children's knowledge of the content and their conceptual understanding play an important role for the way in which the stories are used as a tool for reasoning. The study shows that some structures and communication tools, mediated by culture and social context, would be useless for the children if they did not already have a certain level of conceptual understanding. In order for the children to develop their ability to reason within narrative structures, they must be made aware of the explicit and abstract structures found in a story, and of how these can be represented by words, pictures and other symbols.

The study shows that the children use different cultural tools in the form of narrative patterns when creating their own stories. The first part of the analysis is divided into narrative patterns in three types of story: (1) stories with a fairytale structure, (2) expressionist and fragmented accounts, and (3) stories focussing on weather and seasonal changes. The second part of the analysis categorises the children's reverse stories on the basis of the relationship between the original stories and the reverse stories. The authors then divide the children's reverse stories into four types of reasoning: (1) variation of original story, (2) continuation of original story, (3) focus on the reverse concept, and (4) focus on weather and seasonal changes.


Data was collected from two preschools (förskoler), in which 17 5-year-olds were selected for the study. The children were given the same narrative assignment based on a piece of paper divided into three equally large "picture frames". The first frame showed a drawing of a snowman standing to the right of a tree under a shining sun. The next two frames were empty. The aim of the assignment was to provide the children with a cultural tool (a story) and a structure that they recognised from other stories (a beginning, a middle section and an end) which could help the children create their own story. A researcher or a preschool teacher (lärare) introduced the individual children to the assignment by saying: "Look, there is a snowman on the paper in this frame. This is the beginning of a story, but the middle part and the end are missing. Think of what happens after the first picture. Continue the story; draw what happens in the middle, and how the story ends. Then you can tell me the whole story." Even though the illustration of the beginning of the story was similar for all the children, the children were free to interpret the introductory illustration and then continue the story. After drawing and telling their original story, the children were to draw and tell a reverse story on a new and identical piece of paper, however, the drawing of the snowman now illustrated the end of the story. The data material consists of notes and sound recordings of the children's stories as well as the illustrations drawn by the children while telling their stories.


Björklund, C., Nilsen, M., & Pramling Samuelsson, I. (2016). Berättelser som redskap för att föra och följa resonemang. Nordisk Barnehageforskning 12(5), 1-18.

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