Exploring Imagination and Creativity through Play in Nordic Early Literacy Education

  • Jusslin, Sofia (Vastuullinen tutkija)
  • Hofslundsengen, Hilde (CoI)
  • Magnusson, Maria (CoI)
  • Alatalo, Tarja (CoI)
  • Norling, Martina (CoI)
  • Næss Hjetland, Hanne (CoI)
  • Tjäru, Sofie (CoI)
  • Nordström, Alexandra (CoI)
  • Høyland, Randi (CoI)

Projektin tiedot


The importance of play in young children’s learning is well established in previous research and largely emphasized in Nordic curricula. Play offers children possibilities to use their imagination and to be creative, which are important skills for the future. Previous research stresses the value of play in early literacy, but rarely attends to how teachers can work with imagination and creativity through play in early literacy education. How teachers can foster early literacy by working with imagination and creativity through play and how imagination and creativity in young children’s literacy practices can be understood and researched are therefore in need of consideration.

This workshop series aim to explore how imagination and creativity through play in Nordic early literacy education (0–8-year-olds) can be understood and researched. A research group has been formed, with the researchers having a common interest in early literacy and bringing different areas of expertise from the Nordic countries into the workshops. Some of the researchers have worked together before on other projects, but for this workshop series, new researchers have been included to expand and deepen the groups’ area of expertise. Due to current changes in Nordic educational systems, working with play in Nordic early literacy education might become even more important in the future as children might start formal education earlier than before. The workshop series include three workshops: (1) creating playful early literacy environments; (2) theoretical understandings of imagination and creativity through play from a more-than-human approach; and (3) pedagogical strategies for play-responsive teaching in early literacy education. Three workshops will be held in-person to attend to these perspectives (1) in Sogndal, Norway in the spring of 2023; (2) in Vaasa, Finland in the fall of
2023; and (3) in Kalmar, Sweden in the spring of 2024.

These three perspectives present a novel approach to early literacy education, due to its intertwinement of play, learning, and teaching in early literacy environments, but from a more-than-human approach that problematizes the boundaries between, for example, child/adult and human/non-human. Gender perspectives will also be addressed during the workshops. Such an approach can become meaningful for teachers in contemporary and future educational practices but is first in need of exploration of how it can be understood and researched.
Todellinen alku/loppupvm02/01/2331/12/24


  • Åbo Akademi (johto)
  • Høgskulen på Vestlandet
  • Linné-yliopisto
  • OsloMet
  • Taalainmaan korkeakoulu
  • Örebron yliopisto
  • Helsingin yliopisto


  • NordForsk