Religious Education in Secularist Kindergartens? Pedagogical Leaders on Religion in Norwegian ECEC
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionReligions. 2022, 13 (3), . https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13030202
According to the legal framework, religion forms a certain part of Norwegian early childhood education in publicly owned kindergartens. As the only Scandinavian country where this is the case, the object clause (statement of purpose) for Norwegian kindergartens defines basic values in the Christian and humanist heritage and tradition as the value foundation for the institution. In this article we explore the impact of the processes of secularization and pluralization on the pedagogical content of early childhood education, and how some pedagogical leaders understand the religious elements. Empirically, the article is partly based on qualitative interviews targeting seven public kindergartens in the counties of Oslo and Agder, and partly on interpretations of their planning documents, of which many are publicly available. The pedagogical staff express loyalty to the legal framework regulating early childhood education but seem to be more concerned with religious diversity and religious minorities than with majority religion and religion as an expression of Christian heritage and traditions.