Constructing relational space in early childhood education
Vuorisalo, M., Rutanen, N., & Raittila, R. (2015). Constructing relational space in early childhood education. Early years: an international journal of research and development, 35 (1), 67-79. doi:10.1080/09575146.2014.985289
© 2014 TACTYC (Association for the Professional Development of Early Years Educators). This is an author's final draft version of an article whose final and definitive form has been published by TACTYC (Routledge). Published in this repository with the kind permission of the publisher.
This paper examines early childhood education (ECE) by applying and developing relational-spatial perspectives on everyday life in educational institutions for young children. The aim is to investigate the dynamic process of construction of space and to illustrate with selected empirical episodes how this process occurs in ECE. Drawing on authors such as Soja and Bourdieu, the starting point for the analysis is that space is socially produced in everyday interactions in a process that intertwines the physical environment and concrete objects, personal interpretations of physical and cultural space, and cultural and collective views about space in ECE. We illustrate this process with ethnographic data from two day care centers. The analysis shows how children and educators engage in the process of constructing space from diverse positions and how the institutional context is embedded within this process.