NAFOL profile: Merete Mortensen

In search of the concept of formation in the kindergartens

Merete Mortensen. foto

My interest in this topic started as a bachelor student when the concept of formation was enacted in the Framework Plan for the Content and Tasks of Kindergartens in 2006 (Kunnskapsdepartementet, 2006). This interest continued to grow in my professional work as a kindergarten teacher, as I was curious about how the concept of formation was talked about and practised. However, it was during the master’s study, Kindergarten pedagogy and professional knowledge, that a systematic research motivation developed, in particular related to what it means to be a performing, investigating and developing professional (Biesta, 2014; Rothuizen, 2013) with a formation task within a society coloured by a neoliberal philosophy (Dahlberg & Moss, 2007). To work with children’s formation processes presupposes insight and understanding of what is more normative more than anything else without any totalitarian implications. The philosophers, Hannah Arendt (1996) and Emmanuel Levinas (2004), inspire this thinking, and I find it meaningful and important to gain knowledge about their philosophy when working within an institution with a normative task. This is because any task may have totalitarian tendencies, and therefore it becomes important to examine how pedagogical and didactic reflections are worked with when the concept of formation is the direction.


Arendt, H. (1996). Vita Activa Oslo: Pax Forlag AS.

Biesta, G. J. J. (2014). Utdanningens vidunderlige risiko. Bergen Fagbokforlaget.

Dahlberg, G., & Moss, P. (2007). Ethics and Politics in Early Childhooh Education. New York: RoutledgeFalmer

Kunnskapsdepartementet. (2006). Rammeplanen for barnehagens innhold og oppgaver.

Kunnskapsdepartementet. (2017). Rammeplan for barnehagens innhold og oppgaver Oslo

Levinas, E. (2004). Den annens humanisme. Oslo: Aschehoug i samarbeid med Fondet for Thorleif Dahls kulturbibliotek og Det norske akademiet for sprog og litteratur

Rothuizen, J. J., & Togsverd, L. (2013). Hvordan uddannes pædagoger? . Århus: Videncenteret for socialpædagogik og socialt arbejde, VIAUC.