Den omsorgsfulle væremåte. En studie av voksnes væremåte i forhold til barn i barnehagen.

Foss, E.
Bergen: Universitetet i Bergen.


The focus of this dissertation is the importance of adults’ caring behaviour towards children between the ages of 0-6 in a Norwegian ‘barnehage’ (kindergarten).  The author wants to examine the employees’ practical knowledge regarding care, and at the same time she wants to render probable that crying as well as care are ‘precultural’.
More specifically, questions are asked as to how the caring behaviour is promoted and inhibited, and what this behaviour is about; also in relation to upbringing.


Overall, Foss emphasises that it is important that, through caring behaviour, adults take responsibility for children’s ‘precultural’ care, and this promotes the children’s opportunities in life now and in the future.
The author reaches the following conclusion: Late care is better than no care at all; adults must not ignore a child, as the child will not recognise its own existence; adults must be aware of the impact of their appearance (and general impact) on the child; closeness and distance in interplay facilitate a caring upbringing, and that care and upbringing are mutually dependent.


The study is an ethnographic study with field work for about six months in a specific daycare centre. The researcher observes participants in some of the divisions in the kindergarten, where she interacts with the children in their daily life and writes down observations and unusual statements by the children. Then she interviews seven employees one by one (childcare assistants and social pedagogues) in depth, while she asks about special situations in which she has observed them.


Foss, E. (2009). Den omsorgsfulle væremåte. En studie av voksnes væremåte i forhold til barn i barnehagen. Bergen: Universitetet i Bergen.

Financed by

Not stated. The study was conducted in connection with a PhD dissertation.