About KINDknow

KINDknow [BARKkunne] is a centre for kindergarten research at Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, funded by the Research Council of Norway (2018-2028). We strengthen research, practices and initiatives to the best pf children, families and kindergartens. KINDknow supports values for a sustainable future of culture and nature.

bilde av Elin Eriksen Ødegaard

Elin Eriksen Ødegaard

Research Director

KINDknow's core values:

Outstanding research: The center conducts high-quality research and uses courageous leadership to develop theories, methods, practice-developing approaches, narrative knowledge and evidence-based knowledge.

Sustainability: The research designs reflect ecological, economic, cultural, social and systemic aspects of children's lives and their rights. The researchers maintain play and exploration, growth, health and formative development of children, staff and families through generating knowledge.

Glocality: The center collaborates with different generations, sectors, disciplines, institutions, countries and organizations. The researchers ensure diversity and representation from many localities and include indigenous perspectives when appropriate. The center explores meanings of time, place, relationship and mentality

Co-creation, innovation and sharing: Research design is characterized by co-creation and innovation to find problems and solutions that are relevant to the kindergarten sector and teacher education. The center translates knowledge to children and adults by developing varied and adapted resources.

KINDknow Startegy 2023-2030 you can find here (in Norwegian)

The Nordic kindergarten model

We are rooted in a kindergarten research tradition that is often referred to as the Nordic kindergarten model. This is a tradition that values ​​children's play both in the institution's premises and in local environments of big cities, smaller local communities and more natural landscapes, and which offers a varied content. In this tradition, the kindergarten teacher uses participatory and exploratory working methods to contribute to children's development, learning and education.

Ecology and society

We are also aware that the Nordic kindergarten tradition is not in the priority when it comes to the social and ecological challenges we see today. Play, learning and education are not value-free practices without power relations and uncertainty. Therefore, we will develop new knowledge and new practices that include several of the challenges that children, their families and the nursery school staff face. It is also equally important to highlight existing and historical practices that can inspire staff in nursery schools, nursery school owners, managers and nursery school teacher training to continue and further develop good practice.

Kindergarten’s content, activity and conditions for practice

The center develops an integrated research area where both the nursery's content, inner life and activity, conditions for practice are studied and developed. The center studies formation as cultural tradition, personal experience, mutual change processes and leadership. Activity, exploration, identity formation, agency and meaning-making are different entrances to understanding more about how people are shaped and through participation change their practice. Formation and didactic practices in kindergarten and teacher training are seen as holistic, complex and changeable practices.

The research center works to collect, describe, analyze and change practices with the aim of being able to create new knowledge and practice for all children with acceptance of cultural inequality, but with the aim of more social and cultural justice.

Focus areas for research content and change work

  • Historical, present and future conditions for formation and sustainable educational practices in kindergarten
  • Children and kindergarten teachers as participants and explorers in the kindergarten - equal and different conditions
  • Local and international conditions for general educational, didactic and ecologically sustainable practices
  • Develop new practices and forms of work that take into account different perspectives, both humane, non-humane, multidisciplinary, historical and future
  • Management, education and skills development for more social justice and ecological sustainability in the nursery sector
  • How to be able to research in ways that contribute to an ethically sustainable future

Perspective and methods

The center works in line with the UN's agenda for sustainable futures (Agenda 2030) and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which gives children the right to participate in their own lives. This means that we emphasize that our research should contribute to inclusive, socially fair and good kindergartens.

The research will contribute to daycare-relevant analyzes that can inform various actors in the daycare sector locally, regionally, nationally and internationally, and strengthen children, their families and the staff who work in the daycare. Formation and participant-oriented perspectives of change are pervasive in the research approaches and in the topics being researched.

National and international cooperation

BARNkunne was established as the research center with support from the Research Council in 2018 and has since been established as an active center for kindergarten research. This has happened in close cooperation with partners at UiT-Norway's Arctic University, the University of Stavanger and with municipalities in Norway. We work closely with partners and environments internationally in the Nordic countries, as well as in several countries in Europe, as well as Australia and China. We emphasize that our projects must be practical, take current societal challenges into account, and have a sustainability profile. We develop expertise in visual and multimodal communication to accommodate and overcome language barriers in collaboration and communication.

In 2021, the center brings together 14 research  fellows, 2 postdoctoral positions and a number of active senior researchers. We recruit new researchers, consolidate kindergarten research environments at a recently merged institution (HVL) and strengthen connections between the partners. Researchers at KINDknow actively participate in HVL's doctoral program ``Development and didactic practices''. KINDknow collaborates with Filiorum at UiS on annual kindergarten conferences and on conferences for PhD students. From 2021, KINDknow collaborates with UiS and OsloMet to further develop and operate the Journal of Nordic Kindergarten Research.

In order to strengthen the research, KINDknow has linked up with meritorious international researchers (Professor II and visiting researchers). Central to this work has been creating a close and stimulating research environment across large geographical distances, much with the help of digitalization.


KINDknow organization

The Center for Kindergarten Research has had five good years. From August 2023, BARNkunne has a new structure and organisation. A lot of time has been spent on the reorganisation, and there has been a focus on involvement in the process.

New management team

For the second five-year period BARNkunne is managed according to a team model with the following management team:

Elin Eriksen Ødegaard, Research director

Olga Shangina William, Research coordinator for KINDknow

Alicja Sadownik: Team leader and deputy leader

Aihua Hu: Team leader

Zacharias Andreadakis: Team Leader

Hanne Israelsen: Research coordinator for the NORBARN Research School.