Etikk i praksis. Barn med samspillsvansker og medvirkning i barnehagen.

Åmot, I.
Nordisk Barnehageforskning 5(18), 1-11.


The purpose of this study is to elucidate the choices and dilemmas faced by daycare staff in their pedagogical practice with children with social-interaction difficulties.


Results of the study show that it is important for children with social-interaction difficulties to get help and be seen and heard. The daycare staff sometimes find it difficult to give the children a visible place in the community, as the actions of the staff often take place in a steady flow and are characterised by many instant assessments and quick decisions. The children with difficulties in interacting are often described as children living on the edge of the community. It is very clear from the data material that many of the employees find it difficult to be considerate of the individual child’s needs and at the same time take into account the collective group of children. Many of the children with social-interaction difficulties are also often described as restless and often end in conflicts with other children. The daycare staff stress that they often experience ethical dilemmas in their work with these children. For instance, the study shows that daycare facilities have different practices for how children with social-interaction difficulties are corrected in connection with inappropriate behaviour, and for how children with no social-interaction difficulties are corrected. The children’s individual teaching plans are considered a method to secure and focus on the individual child’s entitlement to participate in the daycare facility.


The empirical material in the study was collected from three different municipal daycare facilities in Norway. The data collection period was eight months in 2008-2009. Two of the three daycare facilities are in urban municipalities with almost 200,000 inhabitants, and the third daycare facility is located in a rural municipality with less than 20,000 inhabitants. The data collection consists of eight children who employees and parents agreed were children with social-interaction difficulties: two girls and six boys aged between three years and four months and six years and 11 months. The children selected had different ways of communicating, but they all had problems with understanding and adapting to the communication of others. An individual teaching plan was prepared for each of the children. Data consists of frequent observations of everyday activities with at least one of the children. Moreover, the researcher wrote field notes and interviewed the daycare staff in seven focus group interviews. The theme of the interviews was based on the observations and was intended to provide insight into employees’ reflections and their experiences of dilemmas in their work. The analysis followed the principles for descriptive phenomenology.


Åmot, I. (2012). Etikk i praksis. Barn med samspillsvansker og medvirkning i barnehagen. Nordisk Barnehageforskning 5(18), 1-11.

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