Parents as subjects? Investigating collaboration between parents and pedagogues in an era of risk management

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    Within recent years, early prevention policies detecting potential problems in children’s development have influenced the everyday practices at early childhood institutions in Denmark. When preventative policies prevail, the pedagogical task changes. Pedagogues become risk detectives and in this practice, parents often become objects for the pedagogical interventions (e.g. Dannesboe et al., 2017). Based on perspectives from parents and pedagogues’ everyday practices, this paper explores their attempts to collaborate on arranging care for young children across the contexts of nursery and family life. Through the paper, we analyze parents - but also pedagogues’ - struggles to emerge as intentional subjects for each other. However, although risk management practices foregrounds at the expense of a joint nuanced care effort, there are ruptures to be found where parents and pedagogues manage to organize a common ‘chain of care’ (Andenæs, 2011). This practice demands a persistent, joint, purposeful collaboration (Stetsenko, 2008). Drawing on critical psychology and cultural historical activity theory (Osterkamp & Schraube, 2013; Dreier, 2008; Stetsenko, 2008), the theoretical framework provides basic assumptions on how subjects mutually interact and transform the world through their participation. Thus, exploring subjectivity as an ongoing process of every day, practical and purposeful activities of children, parents and pedagogues. Working with the concept conduct of everyday life (e.g. Holzkamp 2013) and collaborative transformative practice (Stetsenko, 2008, 2015) the paper throws light on how the process of understanding and arranging care for children, from different perspectives, is a continuous and challenging matter.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2020
    Publication statusPublished - 2020
    EventISCAR 2020: 6th Congress of the International Society of Cultural-historical Activity Research: Cultural-historical Activity Research in crises contexts: challenges and perspectives - Natal, Brazil, Natal, Brazil
    Duration: 24 Aug 202029 Aug 2020


    ConferenceISCAR 2020
    LocationNatal, Brazil
    Internet address


    • children and youth

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