What counts as quality in the language environment in the nursery? From top-down to inside perspectives on quality in language pedagogy in Danish nurseries

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In recent years, the quality of early childhood education and care has been intensely debated. In Denmark, there has been a heated debate on the affordances and constraints of standardized quality instruments such as ECERS. However, while researchers have featured prominently in the debate, the voices of the
professionals have remained largely unheard. In this presentation, we focus specifically on quality in the language environment in the nursery, and we compare nursery professionals’ perceptions of quality in with quality standards found in the standardized quality instrument ITERS-3 (Infant/Toddler Environment Rating Scale 2017, Danish version 2020). The presentation draws on an ongoing research project exploring perceptions of quality in the language pedagogical work in Danish nurseries. The project finds inspiration in Katz’ multi-layered conceptualisation of quality (Katz 1998) involving not only the dominant top-down perspective, but also bottom-up, outside-in, inside and outside perspectives on quality. This project combines and contrasts top-down and inside perspectives on quality and is carried out in close collaboration between a group of researchers, professionals and managers from two Danish nurseries. The top-down perspective is represented by use of ITERS-3, focusing on selected subscales, items and indicators related to language, literacy and interaction, and data consists of structured ITERS-3 observations performed by the research group. This top-down perspective is challenged and enriched by exploration of inside perspectives on quality among professionals and managers. Data involves joint reflection on ITERS-3 observations, supplementary open observations, written memos by professionals and group interviews with professionals and managers. In the presentation, we present a preliminary analysis of the selected ITERS-3 subscales, items and indicators and contrast this with an analysis of the nursery professionals’ perceptions of quality. The research contributes to Nordic educational research on the use of standardized quality instruments in early childhood education and care. Importantly, the research design involves an innovative combination of the often dominant top-down perspectives on quality and the typically less prominent inside perspectives on quality. By privileging the perceptions of quality of nursery professionals, we aim to shed new light on what
counts as quality in the language environment in the nursery.
Publikationsdato4 nov. 2021
StatusUdgivet - 4 nov. 2021
BegivenhedNERA 2021: Hope and Education - SDU, Odense, Danmark
Varighed: 3 nov. 20215 nov. 2021
Konferencens nummer: 2021


KonferenceNERA 2021


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