Biljana C. Fredriksen
Negotiating Grasp: Embodied Experience with Three-dimensional Materials and the Negotiation of Meaning in Early Childhood Education
Oslo School of Architecture and Design
The thesis Negotiating Grasp presents a qualitative, interdisciplinary, multiple case study conducted in one Norwegian early childhood education centre with purpose to develop understanding of how three-dimensional materials (also called 3D and sculpturing materials) influence children’s processes of meaning making/meaning negotiation. The thesis builds on theories of John Dewey, Elliot Eisner and Arthur Efland, and adopts an understanding that cognition is closely related to learners’ embodied experiences with their physical environments, but it also goes further to suggest how imaginative cognition and embodied experience are connected one to another. By doing this, the thesis clarifies which importance visual art based activities that require physical interactions between children and materials can have for cognitive development and education in general.