Stille kamp om makten. En studie av barns interaksjon i digital kontekst i barnehagen.

Jernes, M.
Engelsen, K.S.
Nordic Studies in Education 32, 281-296.


The purpose of this study is to investigate how inclusion and exclusion are expressed in children’s interaction when using a computer, and how this is perceived by the early childhood educators.


The study shows that children’s interaction in a digital context is complex and can involve friendships as well as elements of power and exclusion. Through a specific episode, which appears to be an including situation for the early childhood educators, the study illustrates how internal exclusion takes place around the computers. Internal exclusion is defined as what takes place when a person is part of a group or a community, but is overlooked because the other persons only look at each other and no one listens when the excluded person speaks. The study shows how the boy José, who has little knowledge of the Norwegian language, does not get to play on the computer although he has been waiting for 30 minutes, and the timer has beeped several times to indicate that it is time to swap places. José has indicated, non-verbally, several times that it is his turn to play on the computer, but the three other boys do not react to his indications. Once José finally gets to play on the computer with help from the early childhood educator, he only plays for five minutes before the timer beeps again, and the three other boys take over the computer. The pedagogical staff state that they are aware that exclusion may occur around the computers, but they trust that the children themselves can manage a fair distribution within a group of friends. In addition, the pedagogical staff mention the need for a more involved early childhood educator to help the children who are not able to claim their right. The researchers argue that the early childhood educator could have explained to the other children about the signs José was giving when he wanted to indicate that it was his turn. In addition, many staff members noted that the adult is not actively involved in the digital context, but only has a supervisory role. According to the staff, the early childhood educators should be present and take part in the activity in order to provide the children with more challenges, guidance and stimulation during the game. More generally, the study shows that the boys themselves start using the computer for playing games or drawing.


Data was collected in three Norwegian daycare centres. Through different qualitative methodologies, data was collected as diaries, field notes, observations, interviews and video footage. Data was analysed using phenomenology and hermeneutics by which the authors sought to capture opinions and thoughts. Analysis of the data material was presented through narratives about from the bilingual boy, José.


Jernes, M. & Engelsen, K.S. (2012). Stille kamp om makten. En studie av barns interaksjon i digital kontekst i barnehagen. Nordic Studies in Education 32, 281-296.

Financed by

The Research Council of Norway