Natur i danske daginstitutioner

Høyen, M.
Dansk pædagogisk Tidsskrift, (1):76-87.


The article focuses on how the curriculum topic ‘Nature and natural phenomena’ is dealt with in national Danish curricula, in centrally prepared inspirational material for kindergartens and in kindergartens’ own curricula. The author asks how the various actors have described their work on the curriculum topic and what understandings of nature they base their work on. The article also discusses how appropriate the different curricula’s understanding of nature is in relation to the original intention of the topic, as well as to the challenges related to nature that we face today.


Although ‘nature and natural phenomena’ was one of a total of six specific topics included in the preparation of the national curriculum for kindergartens, the document study finds little discussion about the content of this topic in the curriculum’s preparatory work or consultation material. The aim of the inspiration material was to help kindergartens develop local curricula, but it included little information about the topic of nature. The material did not discuss what type of understanding of nature should be used as a basis, and it did not provide an overall explanation of why the topic of nature should be incorporated into the curricula. The inspiration consisted mainly of a number of specific examples of activities the kindergartens could carry out in nature. In addition, many of the local curricula were primarily activity-oriented, and the objective-method form (evaluation) was common. The author believes it is clear that the local curricula lack concepts with which to refer to nature. She further emphasises that if the work on nature in kindergarten is to be relevant both today and in the future, a cultural understanding of nature (that humans have always had to exist in and with nature) and an understanding of the complexity of nature (that we are all part of a larger cycle) must be introduced into the curricula.


The author has conducted a document study of national and local curricula. The analysis is conducted in three empirical stages: 1) A description of how the argument for nature has been presented in the curriculum’s political formation process, 2) How the topic of nature is elaborated in the centrally prepared inspirational material that was sent to kindergartens in order to support their local curriculum work and 3) An analysis of how the topic is presented in 55 specific, local kindergarten curricula distributed across 8 Danish municipalities.


 Høyen, M. (2019). «Natur i danske daginstitutioner». Dansk pædagogisk Tidsskrift, (1):76-87.