32 SES 12, Professionalization in Organizational Education
Danish kindergartens, their play based curriculum and history of focusing on formation in a broad continental tradition, emphasizing care and development based on everyday-life and democracy, has long been admired and looked upon as something to work towards in early childhood education research, development and policies. Whereas Danish kindergartens and pedagogues have a history of being predominantly self-managed, leaving curriculum and quality discussions to local communities and professional autonomy and judgment, the tradition is challenged these years, as the early childhood area is becoming increasingly monitored, standardized and marketized as a result of new and evolving relations of political and economic interests. The pedagogues are facing new demands regarding basing their practice on centrally defined tools, models, manuals, and programs, legitimized in evidence based research. The focus of the professional pedagogical field seems to shift towards conceptual definitions of “what works”, rather than a contextually situated professional judgement, providing critical accounts on the many and complex questions concerning education and pedagogy. Thus, this project examines the influence of the increasing monitoring, standardization and marketization of the professional pedagogical field and public Danish daycare institutions on the pedagogues, their conceptualization of their own professionalism, their daily work and their concrete strategies regarding administering the ethical balance between external standards and goals on the on hand, and local professional traditions, values and ambitions, and immediate needs and interests of children, on the other. The research takes its departure in the Michael Lipsky-informed idea of the professional pedagogue as street level bureaucrat and policy maker and thus, puts the pedagogue in a powerful and influential position in doing and transforming the externally imposed conceptualizations of the daycare work.
”When there are uncertainties over what will or will not work, there is greater room for admitting and tolerating a variety of approaches and objectives. In such a situation there is often a hunger for discovering successful techniques and an apparent willingness to modify objectives to suit the techniques. The speed with which new ideas in education come and go primarily suggest a search for successful techniques, but also indicates indecisiveness in objectives attributable as much to goal ambiguity as to flexibility.” (Lipsky 2010, p. 41)
When the Lipsky perspective is chosen, it is because this particular framework allows us to view the street level bureaucrats (i.e. the pedagogues) in ways that encompasses the human dilemmas and alienations which the employees face, in the implementation of public policy. One of his most important contributions is his description of coping mechanisms, which, according to Lipsky (2010) occurs in three ways: First of all, the street-level bureaucrats develop new patterns of practice (routines and stereotypes), to limit the demand of their time and other resources. Secondly, they modify their understanding of their job, to minimize the distance between goals and resources. Thirdly, they modify their understanding of the service user(s), to make the inevitable distance between goals and achievements more edible. (Halliday et.al. 2009)
The main purpose of the research project is to understand how the pedagogues react to this new boom in externally exposed techniques, concepts and registration/documentation demands. Can new professional strategies of the pedagogues be identified, in light of the demand for increasing systematic approaches, centrally defined goals and the mandatory use of centrally decided pedagogical methods, programs and concepts? What is the impact on professional ethos and autonomy? Does this conditional change in professional performance result in a similar change in pedagogical strategies?
Ahrenkiel (2015): Pædagogikfagligheden under pres: mod målstyring af pædagogikken. I: Klitmøller & Sommer (red.)(2015) Læring, dannelse og udvikling. København: hans Reitzels Forlag. Ahrenkiel, A., Nielsen, B.S., Schmidt, C., Sommer, F. & Warring, N.(2013): Daginstitutionsarbejde og pædagogisk faglighed. Frederiksberg: Frydenlund. Andersen, P.Ø., Hjort, K. & Schmidt, L. S. K. (2008): Dokumentation og evaluering mellem forvaltning og pædagogik. Institut for Medier, Erkendelse og Formidling. Københavns Universitet. Andersen, Peter Ø. (2011): Pædagogikken i evalueringssamfundet. København: Hans Reitzels Forlag Andersen, Peter Ø. (2012): Principielle pædagogiske spørgsmål. I: Andersen, P. Ø. & Ellegaard, T. (red.): Klassisk og moderne pædagogisk teori. København: Hans Reitzels Forlag. 2. udgave. Andersen, Peter Ø. (2013): Pædagogiske læreplaner, dokumentation og evaluering. København: Hans Reitzels Forlag. Buus, A. M. & Rasmussen, P.(2015): Når evidensbaserede metoder møder den pædagogiske hverdag. I: Næsby, T.(red.): Evidens i pædagogens praksis. Frederikshavn: Dafolo. Dahlberg, G. & Moss, P. (2005): Ethics and politics in Early Childhood Education. RoutledgeFalmer Evetts, J. (2003): The sociological analysis of professionalism: occupational change in the modern world”. I: International Sociology, vol. 18 (2). Halliday, Burns, Hutton, McNeill & Tata (2009): Street-level Bureaucracy, Interprofessional Relations and Coping Mechanisms: A study of Criminal Justice Social Workers in the Sentencing Process. Hjort, K.(2005): Professionaliseringen i den offentlige sektor. Roskilde Universitetsforlag. Hjort, K. (2008): Demokratiseringen af den offentlige sektor. Frederiksberg: Roskilde Universitetsforlag. Hjort, K. (2012): Det affektive arbejde. Samfundslitteratur. Klitmøller & Sommer (red.)(2015) Læring, dannelse og udvikling. København: hans Reitzels Forlag. Krejsler, Ahrenkiel & Schmidt.(red.): Kampen om daginstitutionen. Frederiksberg: Frydenlund. Kristensen, J. E. & S. Bayer(red.)(2015): Pædagogprofessionens historie og aktualitet, bind 1 & 2. København & Freiburg: Upress. Lipsky, Michael (2010): Street Level Bureaucracy - Dilemmas of the Individual in Public Service. Russell Sage Foundation Togsverd, L. (2015): Da kvaliteten kom til småbørnsinstitutionerne. Ph.d. RUC. Plum, M. (2014): Den pædagogiske faglighed i dokumentationens tidsalder. Frederikshavn: Dafolo. Schmidt (2013): Vidensudveksling og daginstitutionsarbejde sat på manual – vidensformer og anvendelse af viden i kontekst. I: Krejsler, Ahrenkiel & Schmidt.(red.): Kampen om daginstitutionen. Frederiksberg: Frydenlund. Wheeldon, J. & Faubert J. (2009): Framing Experience: Concept Maps, Mind Maps, and Data Collection in Qualitative Research. I: International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 2009 8(3). University of Alberta Wheeldon, J. (2011): Is a Picture Worth a Thousand Words? Using Mind Maps to Facilitate Paraticipant Recall in Qualitative Research, i: The Qualitative Report, Volume 16 Number 2 March 2011 509-522 Aabro, C.(2016): Koncepter i pædagogisk arbejde. København: Hans Reitzels Forlag.
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