University of Oulu

Puroila AM., Johansson E. (2018) Toward the Fusion of Different Horizons: Methodological Potentials and Challenges when Exploring Values Education in Nordic Preschools. In: Johansson E., Emilson A., Puroila AM. (eds) Values Education in Early Childhood Settings. International Perspectives on Early Childhood Education and Development, vol 23. Springer, Cham.

Toward the fusion of different horizons : methodological potentials and challenges when exploring values education in Nordic preschools

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Author: Puroila, Anna-Maija1; Johansson, Eva2
Organizations: 1Faculty of Education, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Department of Early Childhood Education, Faculty of Arts and Education, University of Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2018
Publish Date: 2020-05-08


This chapter draws from a research project within which researchers from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden investigated values education in Nordic preschools. The project was based on an interpretive methodology in which knowledge was co-constructed with educators and within a cross-national research team rather than drawn from direct comparisons between the countries. This chapter contributes to the discussions on cross-cultural methodologies by critically exploring the methodological potential and challenges faced in three sub-studies within the Nordic project. We seek an answer to the question: How is it possible to achieve understanding across professional, linguistic, and national borders? Applying ideas from Gadamer’s hermeneutic philosophy, interpretation and understanding are approached in terms of the fusion of horizons. On one hand, the study reveals the potential for encounters of different horizons through collaboration between educators and researchers as well as between researchers from different countries. Coming into contact with a different horizon may broaden the fore-understandings of the interlocutors, thus deepening their understanding. On the other hand, the study draws attention to the challenges of understanding, such as the lack of a common language and limitations when using translated texts. Implications for future research are discussed.

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Series: International perspectives on early childhood education and development
ISSN: 2468-8746
ISSN-E: 2468-8754
ISSN-L: 2468-8746
ISBN: 978-3-319-75559-5
ISBN Print: 978-3-319-75558-8
Volume: 23
Pages: 165 - 183
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-75559-5_10
Host publication: Values Education in Early Childhood Settings. Concepts, Approaches and Practices
Host publication editor: Johansson, Eva
Emilson, Anette
Puroila, Anna-Maija
Type of Publication: A3 Book chapter
Field of Science: 516 Educational sciences
Funding: The study is part of the research project “Values education in Nordic preschools – Basis of Education for tomorrow”, funded by NordForsk research programme “Education for Tomorrow” (project number 53581).
Copyright information: © Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018. This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in International Perspectives on Early Childhood Education and Development, vol 23. The final authenticated version is available online at: