Refleksjon som metode i barnehagers språkarbeid. Evaluering av et forsøk i seks barnehager.

Bråten, B.
Haakestad, H.
Oslo: Fafo.


The report is a follow-up evaluation of a four-month experiment with a reflection tool in work by six Norwegian preschools on language development in children. The reflection tool was developed by the Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training to develop and strengthen work on language. The tool is to identify children’s language skills and provide inspiration for development plans for the individual child’s language development. The report has three purposes. The first purpose is to document how preschools have used the reflection tool. The second purpose is to assess whether and how this type of work contributes to more reflection and pedagogical development work. The third purpose is to recommend changes in the reflection tool and further work with it, before it is possibly offered to all preschools in Norway.


The report finds that work by the preschools with the reflection tool has functioned as intended, as it has formed a basis for reflection and contributed to motivating collective debate about specific goals and initiatives in connection with language work. The practice-oriented assessment form is a particular strength of the approach in the reflection tool. However, the report highlights that there is room for improvement in the work plan offered with the tool, as well as the specific aids in the tool. For example, too little time is allocated in the work plan for collective reflection by the staff. Moreover, the guidelines do not explain how reflections on own practice are to be coupled to theory and professional advice, as the assessment form does not link the ideal practices to theory. Furthermore, the assessment form focuses primarily on how the employees can collectively and individually improve their language work, and less on the structural framework conditions within which language work takes place.



The report evaluates work with the reflection tool at six preschools in the period January to April 2014. The report starts by describing the reflection tool and its purpose. The tool is composed of an assessment form with 55 ideal claims about how the preschool should conduct language work, which the staff are to compare with the practice at their particular preschool by ranking this practice as “satisfactory”, “should be changed” and “must be changed”. A summary of these assessments makes up an analysis of the practice on language at the particular preschool and this forms the basis for a joint discussion between the employees about what they need to change, their targets, and the initiatives they will have to implement to achieve such a change. The data basis for the follow-up evaluation is composed of observations by participants at 16 joint meetings, as well as observations of the daily routines at the preschools and of individual interviews and focus group interviews with management and staff. Knus Illeris’ theoretical concepts for competence development, engagement, practice and reflection, are used to assess the improved competences of the participants and the preschools in work with the reflection tool. The concept of structural framework conditions is used as a supplement, and this addresses the conditions for competence development.


Bråten, B. & Haakestad, H. (2014). ”Refleksjon som metode i barnehagers språkarbeid. Evaluering av et forsøk i seks barnehager”. Oslo: Fafo.

Financed by

The Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training