Children, rooms, materials and time – A study of the relationship between kindergarten physical space, material and temporal organization and children’s social development
Marianne Torve Martinsen is employed at Telemark University College. She has extensive experience as a preschool teacher, head teacher, research assistant and lecturer. Her research interests are the physical environment of kindergartens, organization and structuring of children, time and space. Her inspiration and curiosity concerning this topic arose during several research trips to Reggio Emilia-inspired kindergartens in Stockholm. At these institutions, the physical environment gave children different possibilities from what was the case in traditional Norwegian kindergarten at the beginning of the 2000s. In recent years she has combined working as a lecturer at the preschool teacher education at the University College of Telemark with research on the organization of children, time and space in the kindergarten. Marianne has since 2007 collaborated with The Norwegian Center for Child Behavioral Development (Atferdssenteret) in its longitudinal study, Children’s Social Development. In her PhD project she will investigate the relationship between kindergarten physical spaces, material and temporal organization and children’s social development.
Her study will investigate kindergarten characteristics that way have an impact on children’s social development when they spend much of their daily life in kindergartens. These institutions offer children different kinds of rooms and materials as well as different approaches to the organization of time. Her PhD project is a quantitative study where the head teachers and pedagogical leaders in 130 kindergartens answer internet-based and postal questionnaires. To further differentiate between kindergartens in terms of their physical space materials, time structuring and organization, it will be necessary to obtain more data than can be gathered through a questionnaire. Therefore, in addition to the questionnaires, visits to each institution and interviews with head teachers have been carried out and observations made of the physical environments of the 130 kindergartens included in the study have been made.
Abstract (docx file)