rss_2.0Journal of Pedagogy FeedSciendo RSS Feed for Journal of Pedagogy of Pedagogy Feed continuity: On children’s transition from day-care to kindergarten class in Denmark<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Transition to school is recurrently pointed out as key to children’s immediate well-being at school start, as well as to their long-term educational endeavors. Aspirations towards continuity during transition is a common denominator across research, policy, and practice, in Denmark as well as internationally. This theoretical-conceptual paper problematizes continuity as a fluent or empty signifier within the transition field. This implies that, within transition theory and practice, the question of how continuity may be institutionally organized, as well as professionally facilitated, is a complex issue. By highlighting how Danish transition practices instantiate an ambivalence between a Nordic, child-centered kindergarten legacy from Fröbel, and an Angloamerican approach to academic accomplishments, the question of continuity is theoretically problematized. This leads to a socio-culturally informed discussion of change as a constitutive factor in transition, and of continuity as a matter of children’s trajectories of experience, learning, and development across divergent institutional settings. The findings imply a fundamental questioning of ambitions towards smoothing out transitions as a means for ensuring continuity. This has the implication that, within the fundamentally ambivalent Danish early childhood educational landscape, change and transformation may be valorized, rather than merely problematized. In addition, continuity may be approached as a matter of children’s trajectories of sense-making across diverse institutional settings. This reconceptualization may also inspire international transition practices.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue encounters and agency in ECEC: Materiality, intra-action, and sensitive entanglements<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The aim of the article is to analyse aesthetic encounters in Danish early childhood and care (ECEC) centres and create knowledge of and a language for aesthetics as sensitive encounters and vibrant matters between humans and the world. The article thus challenges traditional assumptions about and understandings of aesthetics as simply impression, expression, and rather formal hands-on work (also referred to as ‘aesthetic learning processes’). The article links to fieldwork taking place in two Danish ECEC centres – a kindergarten (3–5-year-olds) and an age-integrated centre for kindergarten groups and nursery groups (0–2-year-olds). The fieldwork is framed as focused ethnography, and the methods used are written and visual field notes (video recording, photos) and interviews with artists who visited the ECEC centres and worked with the pedagogues. In the analysis process, the author revisits the empirical data and dwells on micro-moments that, in the article, are sampled into vignettes. With and through theoretical perspectives related to aesthetics as sensitive, vibrant, intra-active, and entangled encounters with materiality, new insights appear and lead to findings that highlight aesthetics as subtle and informal processes engaging materiality as a symmetric co-player alongside the artists and pedagogues and in support of children’s aesthetic agency.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue children’s perspectives in play: How a play experiment with animal cloaks became a research approach in ECEC<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In Danish early childhood education and care (ECEC), pedagogues traditionally work in a child-centred manner, valuing the children’s experiences. During the last 150 years pedagogues have developed expertise in framing everyday life for children while paying double attention to the children’s perspectives, on one hand, and to their own pedagogical interests, on the other. Therefore, play and experiments are essential components of Danish ECEC. This article starts from this pedagogical tradition and explores if and how researchers can benefit from employing such double attentiveness and use it to bridge the gap between encountering children’s perspectives and making those perspectives an object of investigation. The empirical materials were derived from a pilot study. Pivotal to this study was the exploration of play experiments as an encounter between children, pedagogues and researchers in which the children’s different perspectives could emerge. The findings suggest that play experiments can be effective as a child-sensitive research approach that enhances children’s embodied knowledge and promotes children’s participation in research. However, methodological questions are raised concerning how to maintain the children’s perspectives and transforming their embodied knowledge into empirical data. Also, the need for further exploration of play experiments as a space for collaborative encounters is appointed.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue“But we´re talking about Jonas?!” Danish ECEC Between Quality Cultures<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The aim of the article is to support critical consideration about what quality is and might be in ECEC. It argues that two different quality cultures – understandings of what quality is, how it may be understood and supported – intersect and create tensions in relation to the ECEC area in Denmark. One is analyzed as influenced by a transnational quality discourse, a specific regime of truth regarding quality as a phenomenon “out there” that must be defined and assessed to improve. This technical-instrumental quality culture needs to be balanced by a quality culture founded in pedagogy as a distinct perspective foundational for ECEC. Drawing on a continental tradition of pedagogy as a human science discipline the article offers a language and understanding of <italic>pedagogical qualities.</italic> Such qualities refer to the attributes of pedagogy and go beyond what is easily disregarded as subjective in the prevailing quality culture. To identify such pedagogic qualities the article revisits empirical data from a narrative research project that explored pedagogic knowledge at play in ECEC professionals’ practice. The article argues that a critical quality culture founded in thoughtful consideration and ethical balancing of pedagogical qualities is crucial for the sake of the children and our democratic society.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Early Childhood Education and Care<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This special issue presents a selection of current research on Danish early childhood education and care (ECEC) aimed at an international audience. The Nordic tradition of child-centred, local and holistic pedagogy is dominant within the Danish educational culture, but the Danish pedagogical approach is the focus of an ongoing dialogue involving political preoccupations with ECEC quality and what is best for the children’s development and learning. Since 2004, Danish ECEC settings have been obliged to work on children’s learning based on a pedagogical curriculum organised around six previously established themes prepared at each local ECEC centre according to specific guidelines. In 2018, a more detailed description of the content of the curriculum and a common pedagogical foundation was introduced in a strengthened curriculum – partly because the previous curriculum led institutions too far away from the existing pedagogical culture. The strengthened curriculum points to key elements such as play, child-centredness, communities of children and a broad concept of learning – to constitute the understanding and approach to work on children’s well-being, learning, development and formation in ECEC. New research from Danish professionals is presented, revolving around key areas in the strengthened curriculum in order to invite further dialogue with international colleagues about children’s play, fun and well-being, quality cultures, children’s communities, transitions, aesthetics and vulnerability.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue communities of children<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>From a child-centered perspective, this article explores the practices of children’s self-organized play-communities in institutional everyday life in Danish early childhood education and care (ECEC) settings, based on a phenomenological non-participant-observational study with a duration of 16 months involving two kindergartens (Bernstorff, 2021). Drawing on Bourdieu’s reflexive sociology and praxeology, children’s self-organized play-communities are analyzed as a social space, being a field for relations, fights, negotiations with specific admission requirements emerging as accepted values shared by the specific field. The analysis demonstrates that self-organized play-communities are a social space with its own practices of <italic>being together</italic> expressed through <italic>the social language in play</italic> linked to and guided by an <italic>institutional choreography</italic>. Besides, the analysis demonstrates three kinds of different communities of children in self-organized play, viz. the categories: <italic>Relational play-communities, Community-oriented play-communities, and Conflictual play--communities</italic>, which categories may, however, also overlap into blended categories. The article argues that children’s self-organized play-communities risk being under pressure in the institutional choreography, which in turn affects children’s opportunities for having uninterrupted periods of time and space to self-organized play in their institutional everyday life.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue and laughter promote well-being in early childhood education and care: Pedagogy of fun and big humour<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In Danish early childhood education and care (ECEC), fun is often emphasised as a key pedagogical tool but is used rather unreflexively. While well-being and happiness have been studied in various ways, the potential of fun is not included in theoretical discussions regarding happiness and well-being, although most people identify having fun as a fundamental reason for being happy. A researcher and three student assistants spent six months in three ECEC settings with a focus on episodes characterised by fun and laughter. Participant observation and interviews were conducted. Empirical data illustrate how fun appears in ECEC as laughter, smiles, attentiveness, intensity and ecstasy. Fun arises momentarily in a sense of lightness and freedom, as a means of communication, in physical play, when rules and expectations are broken, in frivolous references to lower body functions and in experiences of excitement. Pedagogues use fun based on child sensitivity, improvisation, courage to let go of control, informality, energy and a sense of humour. Danish humour philosophy distinguishes between small humour and big humour. Pedagogues with the ability to practice big humour are preferred in order to establish an ECEC culture characterised by fun, laughter and episodes of small humour that promote well-being in children.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue pedagogues’ understanding and detection of vulnerability in Danish early childhood education and care<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The conceptualisation of vulnerability among Danish pedagogues in the context of early childhood education and care (ECEC) is framed by both Danish legislation (Dagtilbudsloven, 2020) and key pedagogical concepts such as <italic>well-being, learning, development</italic> and <italic>formation</italic> (Ministry of Children and Education, 2020). Employing a phenomenological approach, this study investigated how pedagogues perceive vulnerability through interviews conducted with 15 informants. Drawing on Abbott’s key concepts of jurisdiction, diagnosis, inference and treatment, the collected data are operationalised to discern pedagogues´ different understandings of vulnerability. The findings highlight the inherent ambiguity surrounding pedagogues’ comprehension of vulnerability, closely tied to their primary responsibilities within the ECEC setting, namely, promoting well-being, facilitating learning, fostering development and enabling formation. The implications of the study shed light on the challenges faced by pedagogues in identifying vulnerability within ECEC, which encompasses both “traditional” and “new” understandings. Pedagogues tend to focus on detecting individual factors, such as personality traits and developmental disorders, or contextual factors related to a child’s family background, without considering the institutional context as a potential source of vulnerability production. This study emphasises the importance of re-evaluating current approaches to vulnerability detection in ECEC, particularly with regard to children in vulnerable positions.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue pedagogy in practice: A case study from Kerala, India<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>Analysing teaching-practice offers an opportunity to answer questions like what is critical to making a pedagogy democratic, what are the factors that support a teacher to be critical in her teaching? Or what restricts the teacher in being critical in her work? This paper seeks to address some of these questions by presenting the findings of an investigation into the practice of teachers who are committed to the idea of critical pedagogy. The scope of the study is limited to understanding the critical aspects that are related to the teacher’s work within the classroom. The paper analyses the theoretical arguments that are relevant to critical pedagogy in relation to teachers’ practices as they emerged during the study. The study, conducted in the South Indian state of Kerala, reveals that teacher subjectivity and schooling situations interact in a dialectical fashion to shape the nature of classroom teaching. The political subjectivity of the teachers, shaped by their close interaction with the Kerala Science Literature Movement (KSSP) makes their pedagogy critical in nature. On the other hand, the standardized curriculum and mechanically disciplined school environment continuously challenge the teachers’ efforts at being critical in their work.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue the right kindergarten: Parents’ reasoning about their ECEC choices in the context of the diversification of ECEC programs<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>The sphere of early childhood education care (ECEC) in the Czech Republic has diversified enormously in the last decade. The article describes this diversification process and, drawing on focus group data, analyses parents’ choices within this diversified realm. Based on the parents’ selection criteria (significantly influenced by constraints and opportunities relating to social background or family status), it identifies four parental groups: pedagogical approach-centered, child-centered, facility-centered and (constrained) non-selective. The issues of ECEC diversification and parental choice are then discussed in light of Annette Lareau’s classed cultural logics of child rearing and the potential implications for the reproduction and reinforcement of social inequalities.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue pedagogical conversations (with spirituality and fat) as pedagogists in early childhood education<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>In this article, the authors respond to emerging articulations of the work of a pedagogist or pedagogical facilitator in early childhood education in Canada. This article is grounded in two intentions: we (1) share the tentative pedagogical conversations that we have as pedagogists who centre particular concerns, interests, and accountabilities; and we (2) launch our conversation from our desire to re-imagine how everyday pedagogies shape children’s experiences with spiritual knowings and children’s relations with fat. Sharing a narration from a pedagogical inquiry research project, we each offer a familiar developmental reading of the moment, gesture toward a partial re-engagement grounded in post-developmental pedagogies, and then weave our thinking with spirituality and fat together to complexify our propositions. We intentionally refuse to define the work of a pedagogist in a universalizable or technical manner. Instead, we argue that putting our pedagogist work into conversation draws our practices into uneasy, difficult, often contradictory relations and makes visible some potential futures (and their exclusions) we enact as we work to answer to the complex education spaces we inherit and re-create with educators and children.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue and obedience in western education<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>Education has to emphasize the characteristics which define Western democratic societies. In addition, it has to ensure the active and participative inclusion of each person in social life, where respect for human rights prevails over the person’s preferred ideology. Promoting these values in citizens not only guarantees the stability of the state, but also its constant progression and improvement. Beginning at the elementary level, the promotion of students’ critical spirit is recognized as a fundamental objectives. However, the structures which shape Western education in the 21st century do not allow for the development of completely autonomous thinking and critical thinking in students. In this article, we analyze the processes which comprise an education for obedience. Although obedience does not respond to conscious cognitive processes, it is present in the structural rigidity of education through the organization of the classroom. Our explanation is based on the Theory of Social Conformity, which will be presented as the antithesis of a person’s individual freedom. Moreover, we will see how contaminated cognitive vicarious elements are promoted. Although they are endemic to people, they do not allow students to develop a critical spirit or to be educated for freedom.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue places in children’s everyday activities: Multiple worlds in an Australian preschool<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>Global flows and their geopolitical power relations powerfully shape the environments in which children lead their everyday lives. Children’s images, imaginations and ideas of distant places are part of these global flows and the everyday activities children perform in preschool. Research explores how through curricula young children are moulded into global and cosmopolitan citizens and how children make sense of distant places through globally circulating ideas, images and imaginations. How these ideas, images and imaginations form an unproblematised part of young children’s everyday preschool activities and identity formation has been much less explored, if at all. I use <xref ref-type="bibr" rid="j_jped-2018-0007_ref_027_w2aab3b7b7b1b6b1ab1ac27Aa">Massey’s (2005)</xref> concept of a ‘global sense of place’ in my analysis of ethnographic data collected in an Australian preschool to explore how children produce global qualities of preschool places and form and perform identities by relating to distant places. I pay special attention to how place, objects and children become entangled, and to the sensory aspects of their emplaced experiences, as distant spatialities embed in and as children’s bodies inhabit the preschool place. To conclude, I call for critical pedagogies to engage with children’s use of these constructions to draw similarities or contrast aspects of distant places and self, potentially reproducing global power relations by fixing representations of places and through uncritically enacting stereotypes.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue‘Yay, a downhill!’: Mobile preschool children’s collective mobility practices and ‘doing’ space in walks in line<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>In the field of early childhood research children’s mobility is usually discussed only in terms of physical activity in the preschool yard. More seldom is it discussed in terms of mobility practices and how young children move in public spaces. With unique detailed video-ethnographic data on mobile preschools and a new combination of theories on space, mobilities and peer culture this article analyses how young children negotiate mobility practices and engage in embodied learning in the collective preschool routine of walking in line. Two empirical examples of walking in line in contrasting public spaces show how the mobile preschool group moves in space as a collective body co-produced by children’s and teachers’ individual bodies. It is argued that walks in line are not merely a form of ‘transport’ between places but are important as social and learning spaces. While walking in line, children collectively ‘do’ space in diverse ways depending on where and how they move, and in relation to where and when teachers negotiate safety issues. In this process, the spaces, activities and routines alike are transformed.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue children’s spatial autonomy in their home environment and a forest setting<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>Places assigned and places chosen have major implications for the lives of children. While the former are a result of children’s subordinate position in an adult world, the latter are the essence of their agency. Beginning at a young age children seek out places to claim as their own. Places, real and imaginary, shape children and children shape them. This phenomenon of spatial autonomy is a formative, and extraordinary, part of their identity formation. While spatial autonomy has been casually referred to in the children’s geographies literature, a theoretical framing of the concept is generally lacking. This article draws together findings from two research studies, which were conducted by the author, to further theorize the meaning of young children’s (ages 3-6 years old) spatial autonomy in their home environment and a forest setting. Informed by a phenomenological framework, the studies used children’s tours as a method. The findings reveal that spatial autonomy is an expression of children’s independence enacted through symbolic play and hiding activities. The children sought out small places and high places where they could observe others while maintaining autonomy. Additionally, spatial autonomy is relational, negotiated within adult imposed-regulations and influenced by peers, siblings and other more-than-human elements in their environments. By claiming just-out-of reach places, the children collectively and independently established their own rules and a sense of control. The achievement of spatial autonomy plays an important role in young children’s identity formation, boasting their self-confidence as they develop a sense of self with places in all the various environments of their lives.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue of early childhood: Spatial approaches in research on early childhood education and care space and autonomy in construction – Explorations during team ethnography in a Finnish kindergarten<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>Children’s autonomy is a cultural ideal in Finnish early childhood education and care (ECEC). In this article we examine autonomy in spatial terms. The theoretical background is developed by applying spatial sociology. Our starting point is that space is relationally produced, thus, we understand space as continuously negotiated, reconstructed and reorganized phenomena. In this article, we investigate the production of space by different actors in ECEC and seek to show how autonomy is also continuously produced and re-produced in the negotiation of space. For this investigation we use data collected as part of a team ethnographic project in a Finnish kindergarten. The project included conducting observations and interviews with parents and educators. Our research shows that autonomy is developed in multiple ways in kindergarten spaces. Educators as well as children and parents continuously produce and reproduce the kindergarten space within which children’s autonomy variously unfolds as linked to independence, freedom and responsibility in the cultural and ideological setting of a Finnish kindergarten.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue the complex spatialities of early childhood education and care systems from the position of the child<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>This paper proposes a way to understand what early care and education systems look like from the vantage point of the child. In other words, it aims to fuse a system perspective and a child perspective of early childhood education and care (ECEC) in a way that acknowledges children as active co-producers of ECEC landscapes. In developing this approach, I emphasize that children’s individual education and care arrangements which combine certain ECEC settings and the family are to be understood as networks of relations. As such, these child, family and ECEC relations create particular spatialities and temporalities which in turn position children very differently within the field of early education and care. To conceptualize how this takes place in children’s everyday activities, I refer to Schatzki’s and Massey’s relational thinking about practices, spaces, time and multiple identities with special emphasis on the spatial relations that are ‘beyond’ certain localities and (re)produced in the ‘events of place’. How this helps to understand the ways in which ECEC systems look from the position of the child will get exemplified in regard to Luxembourg’s complex ‘double split system’ of ECEC and its complex language terrain.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue and relational space in the early education environment<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>This paper considers the role of eportfolios as an online tool intended to foster greater engagement between parent, teacher and child in early education settings. Drawing on New Zealand based research, I will critically examine the introduction of this technology as more than an addition into already existing ECEC services. Rather, I will highlight the generative impact it has in facilitating new kinds of relations between parents, teachers and managers, within what I term an emergent ‘virtual landscape of ECEC’. Ultimately I argue that this landscape is shaped by asymmetries of power, which allow for processes of subjectification and governing in ECEC to occur in new ways.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue perspectives on babies’ ways of belonging in infant early childhood education and care<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>In this article, we endeavour to think spatially about the texture of infants’ everyday lives and their ways of ‘doing’ belonging in the babies’ room in an Australian early childhood education and care centre. Drawing on data from a large, multiple case-study project, and on theorisations of space that reject Euclidean notions of space as empty, transparent, relatively inert containers into which people, objects practices and artefacts are inserted, and instead emphasise space as complex, dynamic and relational, we map the navigating movements (<xref ref-type="bibr" rid="j_jped-2018-0006_ref_018_w2aab3b7b6b1b6b1ab1ac18Aa">Massumi, 2002</xref>) of baby Nadia. Through the telling of ‘stories-so-far’ (<xref ref-type="bibr" rid="j_jped-2018-0006_ref_017_w2aab3b7b6b1b6b1ab1ac17Aa">Massey, 2005</xref>), we convey how Nadia, as part of a constellation or assemblage of human and non-human beings, found ways to intensify space and to mobilise new vantage points, thus expanding the spatial possibilities of what we initially took to be a particularly confined and confining space.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue