Research in PlayArt

Research is an important part of PlayArt. Through both everyday practice and research, we learn more about children and their everyday lives in day care. Researchers from teacher training programmes across the country are therefore an important and active part of PlayArt. Among other things, we will investigate how art and culture can create quality and promote play, education and new communities among children in day care. We also look at how educators can support children's play and help create experimental play environments.

The research is close to practice. The researchers participate in the programmes together with educators, student educators, artists and children, and together they create knowledge about how the encounter with art and culture promotes children's play and education. We develop a common language that we can use when reflecting on and talking about pedagogical practice in relation to children's play and education through art and culture.

Research projects in PlayArt

There are seven research projects in total, coordinated by Lars Geer Hammershøj, play and education researcher at DPU, Aarhus University. You can read about the research projects below and watch a short video presentation of the thinking behind each project here.

Play and Bildung as affective processes - Research project by Lars Geer Hammershøj, DPU, Aarhus University

The project investigates how children's play and concept for the formation of character in day care can be understood as affective processes, which is assumed to be clearly expressed in children's encounters with art and culture. The aim of the project is to develop concepts and a language that enable practitioners to identify, facilitate and evaluate children's play and formation processes.

Inspiration for children's imaginary play - PhD project by Johan Bundgaard Nielsen, DPU, Aarhus University

The project explores how the practices and the different Play Art models can be a catalyst for inspiring and developing children's imaginative play. The aim of the project is to identify the effects of adult-initiated programmes and to contribute to the understanding of how educators influence children's creative and imaginative play.

The role of the educator in children's encounter with art and culture - Action research project by Morten Henriksen, Jane Hooge, Alette Raft Rasmussen and Dorte Vanghøj (Copenhagen University College)

The project explores how educators' understanding of, role in, and language about children's play and creative processes is developed through encounters between artists, cultural institutions, and children in day care. The aim of the project is to clarify how educators can be given the courage and competences to include the arts in their pedagogical work, and how children's play and education are promoted through encounters with art and culture in educational settings.

The art of integrating PlayArt into the reinforced pedagogical curriculum - by Merete Sørensen, Thomas Thorsen and Martin Hoffmann (Absalon University College)

The project investigates the impact of children's encounters with art and culture on the experience, formation and learning of the participating children. The intention is to clarify how the quality of the experiential value and the learning and educational significance of these art encounters can be assessed and documented from the perspective of the educators, the children and the artist.

Play, history awareness and education: playful practices of kindergarten children in arts and culture education –
Action research project by Helle Hovgaard Jørgensen, Hjørdis Brandrup Kortbek, Ane Refshauge Høyrup, Lene Knudsen, Mona Pagaard and partly Peter Yding Brunbech (University College Lillebælt).

The project explores how play is made in the encounter with artistic practice when kindergarten children play within themed historical periods and narratives. The project thus aims to generate new knowledge about the relationship between children's play, education and historical awareness, with a view to strengthening the relationship between play, culture and education in creative processes that enable children to understand themselves and the world in a new way.

Experimental and co-creative PlayArt environments - Action research project by Astrid Kidde Larsen Nørgaard, Henriette Blomgren, Michael Blume, Michael Nygaard Sander, Lise My Engrob Adamsen, Lotte Plesner Kristensen and Daniel Buch. (VIA University College).

The project explores aesthetic, experimental and playful activities in interaction between children, artists and educators. The collaboration between student educators, educators, artists and staff in cultural institutions is examined from a co-creation continuum with varying degrees of involvement and potential for change. The aim of the project is to clarify how experimental settings can create a play environment that inspires children to be explorative, inventive and creative.

Community through aesthetic processes in day care - PhD project by Hanne Kusk (UCN & Aarhus University)

The project explores how aesthetic co-creation processes between children, educators and artists can develop communities with space for play, experimentation and education. The aim of the project is to clarify the potential of aesthetic processes to create change, engagement and community, including the potential of Play Art communities to create experience, cohesion and diversity.