Natur og naturfænomener i dagtilbud: stærke rødder og nye skud.

Danmarks Evalueringsinstitut.
København: Danmarks Evalueringsinstitut.


The purpose of this study is to examine how work on natural sciences themes (the curricula theme nature and natural phenomena) is carried out in practice in Danish ECEC settings (ECEC centres and family day care). Further to this, the study seeks to present a number of essential potentials for development with regard to improving children’s knowledge about natural sciences in the future.


Overall, the analyses in the report show that work on natural science themes in Danish ECEC centres is widespread. However, a general consensus on the academic dimensions and didactic potentials of specific themes seems to be missing. Based on the quantitative analyses in the report, three approaches to work on the curricula theme of nature and natural phenomena were identified. These approaches arise from an overall 'outdoor approach', which can be divided into a 'nature approach' and a 'science approach'. Although the categories are not mutually exclusive, the 'outdoor approach' can be considered a common feature of all ECEC centres in the study, whereas the 'nature approach' and the 'science approach' embrace ECEC centres whose engagement in the nature and natural phenomena theme goes beyond the 'outdoor approach'. Based on the qualitative survey, the report proposes a range of possibilities for future development, including a distinct need for (1) a practice-related delimitation of the curricula theme of nature and natural phenomena, (2) greater municipal focus on the curricula theme, and (3) strengthening of staff competences for work on natural science activities.



The study design comprises a quantitative as well as a qualitative approach. The quantitative part of the study consists of a questionnaire survey among a random sample of Danish ECEC teachers and ECEC centre leaders. The sample includes 800 ECEC centre leaders and 698 ECEC teachers. The qualitative part of the study comprises interviews with experts within the natural sciences, as well as ECEC teachers from a selection of six ECEC centres. The ECEC centres were selected on the basis of their respective focus areas and approaches in their work on the nature and natural phenomena curricula theme. For example, the institutions differed with respect to (1) their distance to natural areas, (2) being ECEC centres with an outdoor profile, and (3) having participated in a project about nature and natural phenomena.


Danmarks Evalueringsinstitut (2015). Natur og naturfænomener i dagtilbud: stærke rødder og nye skud. Danmarks Evalueringsinstitut.

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