chapter  6
15 Pages

Friendships and Participation among Young Children in a Norwegian Kindergarten


The aim of this chapter is to develop knowledge about the nature of young children’s friendships in a Norwegian kindergarten (barnehage) and to examine what children learn from participation in these friendships. According to a sociocultural theory, learning is fi rst and foremost a process that takes place through relationships with others (Greve, 2007; Williams et al., 2001). What very young children learn from their peers is different from what they can learn from adults and older children (Frønes, 1994). In the research which is reported in this chapter, Norwegian toddlers were videoed in their kindergarten activities across a ten month period (Greve, 2007). The analyses presented are based upon observations from two groups of toddlers but also includes comment on analyses from a current study of friendship among one-year-old toddlers. In both studies, observations of groups aged from one to three years of age have been made. In the fi rst study, I found that the friendships of toddlers, as with friendships of older children, are about closeness and connection. Through participation in friendships, children learn about ethics, cooperation, and intersubjectivity.