“Early Childhood Educational and Care Institutions as Learning organizations”.

Vannebo, B.
Gotvassli, K.
Journal of Early Childhood Education Research, 3(1), 27-50.


In Norway there is a political expectation that preschools should evolve into learning organisations. The overall aim of the study is to examine how preschool managers understand the concept of ‘the learning organisation’ and how they characterise preschools as ‘learning organisations’. Furthermore, the study examines how the preschool managers meet the requirement for being a learning organisation in practice and thus describes how they implement political recommendations in their daily practices.



The study finds that there are significant differences in the way preschool managers interpret the concept of a ‘learning organisation’ The managers typically understand the learning organisation as an organisation that provides learning for children. Thereby they overlook that, in a learning organisation, staff’s learning is equally as important.

Even if the managers are relatively undecided in regard to what it means to be a learning organisation, they have nevertheless developed a practice that considers and includes important aspects of the learning organisation. One of these aspects is the correlation between socio-cultural factors and learning, however the managers primarily focus on the children’s learning. The managers find it challenging to incorporate the learning organisation in the development of the entire organisation. On the basis of this, the study concludes that implementing the learning organisation in the sector poses a great challenge, and there is still a long way to go.



The data is made up of ten interviews with preschool managers in Nord-Trøndelag in Norway where two municipalities were selected - one urban municipality and one rural municipality. The informants come from six public and four private preschools. The size of the preschools ranges from 20 to 100 children. Data was collected using in-depth interviews. The analysis is based on a gradual deductive approach that converts raw data to concepts and theories. Analysis and coding have, as far as possible, attempted to avoid confirming or rejecting models and theories.


Vannebo, B. & Gotvassli, K. (2014). “Early Childhood Educational and Care Institutions as Learning organizations”. Journal of Early Childhood Education Research, 3(1), 27-50.

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