Is more visible learning the answer to inequality?

Christian Aabro, Ellegaard Tomas, Annegrethe Ahrenkiel

    Publikation: Konferencebidrag uden forlag/tidsskriftAbstraktForskningpeer review


    A central argument for the introduction of a more visible form of pedagogy in the Danish kindergarten (corresponds to pre-K in the US) has been to counter social and cultural inequality - not only or primarily in kindergarten but in the educational system as a whole. This has been the case since the introduction of curriculum in 2004 – with the white paper “A good start for all children” - and is still is so. By visible pedagogy, we refer to the distinction made by the British sociologist Basil Bernstein between visible and invisible pedagogies. Visible forms of pedagogy have strong classification and framing and more explicit criteria for good performances.

    By using this framework, we suggest that there has been a change from predominantly invisible to more visible forms of pedagogy. One example is the concept of learning. Learning is increasingly seen as something that takes place when pedagogues organise formal learning activities related to an academic content and which can be documented and monitored as some of the central services the ECEC centres provide. Correspondingly all other activities (such as meeting the children in the morning, organising lunch, changing diapers, watching the children while they play) are increasingly seen as merely practical or care tasks or as just free play (with no learning involved).  Referring to Bernstein this can be perceived as a turn away from traditional invisible pedagogies towards visible pedagogies. This development is reinforced by a strong focus on “early intervention” in order to strengthen social mobility. Invisible pedagogies has been criticised for being in favour of middleclass children, which has led to the assumption, that visible pedagogies with its explicit criteria for good performances would improve underprivileged children´s performances. Invisible pedagogies have also been criticised for rendering invisible the role of the professional.   In visible pedagogies, the individual performances of the children are measured and developed through teacher directed activities with a focus on predefined outcomes and standards. The focus on visible pedagogies leaves most of the work that is actually carried out during the day in ECEC centres unnoticed and invisible and the effects on inequality are questionable.

    In this panel we examine the results of this change in pedagogy and policy on a number of levels.

    Publikationsdato14 okt. 2018
    StatusUdgivet - 14 okt. 2018
    BegivenhedReconceptualizing Early Childhood Education (RECE) - Roskilde University, Roskilde, Danmark
    Varighed: 14 okt. 201818 okt. 2018


    KonferenceReconceptualizing Early Childhood Education (RECE)
    LokationRoskilde University