Caring well for children and for the world – a new conception of care

Activity: Talk or presentation typesLecture and oral contribution


In this presentation I’ll introduce a broader thinking of care as a question of ethical values and cultural practice. I introduce a vocabulary for addressing the ethical crisis of caring about each other and caring about the more than human world in contemporary society and landscapes for pedagogics in early years education. In traditional developmental psychology, care is understood as a natural inclination in the parent, directed at the child, who are in need of receiving care. This strong prototype of “natural” care from the family setting has migrated into professional settings in problematic ways – i.e. making other caring relationships and caring dynamics invisible and limiting care understandings to an adult-to-child matter. In day-care the educators’ collaborative caring for the whole group of children through a pedagogical atmosphere of playfulness and exploration - is the most central task. This task also involves supporting children in being caring towards each other. We thus have to think anew of what caring is and why it is important – in different institutional settings, and in more inclusive ways. Due to the bio-diversity and climate crisis, we have to think about caring for the world and all its living beings and their habitats – I therefore suggest a terminology for thinking caring as nested domains of: self-care, we-care, other-care and world-care. The latter, world-care, is a new caring task that forces us to think differently about our entanglement with nature and our relations to the world.
Period10 May 2023
Event titleBIN: Norden 2023 conference: Child-Cultures: Landscapes for play, art, and explorations
Event typeConference
Conference number23
LocationBergen, NorwayShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • worldcare
  • sustainability education
  • pedagogy
  • care ethics