Barns samspel bortom förskolans väggar : Om yngre barns samspel och platsskapande på förskolegården och i en mobil förskola

Sammanfattning: The general aim of this thesis is to explore the relations between children’s interaction and places within preschool activities. How children’s interaction opportunities are conditioned by the physical and social environment in the preschool yard (study I), as well as place-making processes in various contexts in mobile preschool activities (studies II and III), are examined within the framework of this purpose. As these three sub-studies have different research focuses, they use different theoretical perspectives. In study I, special attention is given to how the physical environment and teachers emerge in the contexts of children’s (aged 1–3 years) interaction in the preschool yard. Study II focuses on how children (aged 3–4 years) use the spatiality of a mobile preschool to create places in a recurring fantasy play. In study III, the focus is directed on both children’s place-making within fantasy play and how children and teachers create “place” together in a mobile preschool. Destination choices can be part of place-making processes of a mobile preschool; therefore, which aspects considered as important, in choosing a destination, are investigated. The first study starts from sociocultural perspectives on children’s interaction (e.g. Vygotsky, 1930/ 1995). Taking an abductive approach, the concept of artifacts (Wartofsky, 1979) and concepts from an environmental psychological perspective (see Gump, 1969; Westlander, 1999; Wicker, 1985, 1987) are added to explore how the social and physical environments relate to opportunities for different interactions. The results show how children reveal "interaction junctions" and "interaction swathes" in their activities within the preschool yard.  In order to investigate place-making within a mobile preschool, the second and third studies combine a relational perspective on spatiality (Massey, 2005) with a sociology of childhood perspective that emphasizes children’s agency and collective activities, such as fantasy play (e.g. Corsaro, 2015). The results show how children create their own “play-places” in their place-making and how teachers choose destinations.  Through its chosen perspectives and focus on younger preschoolers, this thesis provides further knowledge on how opportunities for interaction can arise in the preschool yard. Furthermore, this thesis reveals a new kind of spatiality within the preschool – that is, a mobile preschool – by using a relational perspective on place-making. Thus, this thesis contributes additional knowledge in the interdisciplinary field of Childhood Studies regarding children’s (possible) interaction in diverse places.