Bullying as concept and phenomenon in kindergarten context

Project owner

Western Norway University of Applied Sciences

Project categories

Developmental Project

Project period

June 2021 - December 2024

Project summary

For many years there has been discussed whether bullying is relevant in Norwegian Kindergartens. Nevertheless research of recent date reveals that bullying occur in kindergartens, often as exclusion from play and the children’s community.

A large part of research about bullying has been conducted in schools, based on an understanding of bullying in individual causes. This project approaches bullying as a social and contextual phenomenon, a question of ongoing inclusion- and exclusion processes, focusing on different  social and material conditions for belonging and relations between children and children, staff and also parents. The aim for the research is to understand more deeply how social processes about inclusion and exclusion are going on between children in kindergarten. The aim is also to contribute to staff’s reflections about what bullying in kindergarten can be. Awareness of their individual and institutional practice is necessary for developing kindergarten teachers’ competence in preventing, but also to detect and intervene in bullying among children in kindergartens.


The project has a qualitative design, including case-methodology and the researchers make use of different methodical approaches. It is partial based upon data collected by kindergarten teachers who are involved in further education about Learning environment and pedagogical leadership, at the same time as they still are working at daily basis in different kindergartens.

The teacher students’ observations and documentations from practice in different kindergartens constitute the data for analysis. Their individual projects about implementing work for children’s belonging and inclusion are included as data material.  Interviews are conducted with some of the teacher students. The project also include a closer up-following of one of the kindergartens where one of the teacher students are working. Both staff and parents have participated in a lecture  and dialogue – cafè focusing on bullying.

Another part of the project is based on interviews with parents from different kindergartens about bulling and their expectations to collaboration with kindergarten staff to prevent bullying.