Sharing, Retelling, and Performing Narratives: Challenging and Supporting Educators’ Work with Values in Nordic Preschools

Part of the International Perspectives on Early Childhood Education and Development book series (CHILD, volume 23)


This chapter draws on Norwegian and Finnish studies that were a part of a Nordic project on values education in preschools. In both contexts, narratives were combined with a participatory action research methodology. Narratives were employed to inspire reflection, contribute to new knowledge, and enable educators to share experiences about their work with values. The focus of this chapter is methodological: How do narratives promote researchers and educators to generate knowledge about values? How do narratives promote improving educators’ work with values? With the aim of contributing knowledge about the potential of narratives in participatory action research, three examples are discussed in the light of the ontological and epistemological premises of narrative research. The chapter focuses on the two following aspects: First, narratives involve potential to promote educators’ participation in an action research process by providing a meeting space for educators and researchers to collaboratively explore pedagogical situations. Second, narratives offer a fruitful ground for educators and researchers to reflect on how values are integrated into the complexities of the educational practices. The chapter contributes to methodological discussions of early childhood education research and offers different concrete examples regarding how to employ narratives in research and when developing values education in practice.


Action research Narrative Nordic countries Values 



The study is part of the research project “Values education in Nordic preschools – Basis of Education for tomorrow,” funded by NordForsk research program “Education for Tomorrow” (project number 53581).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of EducationUniversity of OuluOuluFinland
  2. 2.Department of Early Childhood Education, Faculty of Arts and EducationUniversity of StavangerStavangerNorway

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