Auget som arrangement – om blikk, makt og skjønn i profesjonsutøvinga til barnehagelæraren.

Ulla, B.
Tidsskrift for nordisk barnehageforskning, 8(5), 1-16.


This article is a study of how the contemplative gaze is expressed in preschool teachers' ("barnehagelærarar") narratives about their use of documentation, i.e. assessment forms and other documentation about children's abilities and skills. The article is based on Michel Foucault's theories, and it views the gaze and the contemplative manner as meaning-making for the pedagogical practices ("profesjonsutøvinga") in a Norwegian preschool setting ("barnehage"). In this sense, the contemplative manner and the language are closely linked and ever changing, and are attached importance through knowledge constructions. The contemplative gaze is therefore meaning-making for the pedagogical profession, its power and the assessment made by preschool teachers.


The preschool teachers' statements from the group interviews show that they embed the professional assessment practice in "it's about how we look at the child". How preschool teachers look at children explains, defends and establishes the preschool teachers in their professional practice. Thus the gaze is about how preschool teachers perceive the child and how, as professional practitioners and co-producers in a modern welfare institution, the preschool teachers perceive the assessment task.


However, the gaze can also be viewed as part of a recurring rhetoric that leaves a mark on and challenges, how preschool teachers perceive their profession. "It's about how we look at the child" cropped up repeatedly in the statements, and with Foucault's argument that "no gaze is stable", the article concludes that work on “looking/gazing" is a dynamic and ambivalent aspect of professional practice.




The empiricism is based on semi-structured group interviews with Norwegian preschool teachers ("barnehagerlærarar") who use documentation, i.e. assessment forms and other documentation of children's abilities and skills. The empirical material consists of two group interviews with a total of 11 preschool teachers from two private Norwegian preschools. The study does not state the age of the children in the groups of children with whom the preschool teachers work. The interviews were carried out in two groups with five and six preschool teachers, respectively. The participants in the study all work as pedagogical managers ("pedagogisk leiar"), which means that, together with the preschool manager, they have overall responsibility for the pedagogical content at the preschools. A number of themes formed the basis for the group interviews: The themes were: content, body/space, time/age, responsibility/mandate and confidence, assessment/ability to make judgements. Prior to the group interviews, the participants had been informed about the themes and keywords, which were also used as support material for the researcher in the interview. The interviews were saved as audio files and then transcribed to a document of about 100 pages.


The analysis process began by the researcher selecting parts of the transcribed text that relate to the thematic and theoretical perspectives linked to the research question: How is the contemplative gaze expressed in the preschool teachers' narratives about documentation at the preschool? The analytical approach to the empirical material was based on Foucault's theoretical concepts. In this context, the researcher perceives the gaze as an arrangement that creates and constitutes part of the preschool teachers' options. The researcher searched the texts for statements by preschool teachers about the possibilities of the gaze and how they reflected on what the gaze can observe.



Ulla, B. (2014). ”Auget som arrangement – om blikk, makt og skjønn i profesjonsutøvinga til barnehagelæraren”. Tidsskrift for nordisk barnehageforskning, 8(5), 1-16.

Financed by

Not disclosed