What is the professionalism of ECEC pedagogues, in this new era of accountability? Does the drastic increase in the use of standardized commercial programs in the Danish ECEC area, represent a competing demand for professionalization that threatens to curtail the educators' room for maneuvering? This research relates to my earlier empirical work (Aabro 2016, Aabro et. al. 2017), looking at the developments of the ECEC profession, and the relationship between policy and practice. Inspired by the theoretical framework of Julia Evetts (2006, 2011, 2014), viewing professionalism as both a normative value and a discourse, the new role of the pedagogue is understood as a clash between a historically derived occupational professionalism and a new, externally imposed organizational professionalism. As the overall approach is interactionist, the methodology is phenomenological, seeking patterns of 'accounts" (Scott & Lyman 1968). The empirical design is a series of qualitative interviews with 40 pedagogues. All interviewees names and workplaces have been changed and concealed. Consent to usage was given by interviewees and informants. With Evetts (2011), a preliminary analysis of interviews with pedagogues suggests that this image of organizational professionalism displacing the original occupational professionalism is not supported. Rather, it is suggested that professionalism consists of series of pragmatic merging strategies, actively carried out by the pedagogues, between occupational values and organizational demands. The project points out the challenges and dilemmas, neoliberal practices impose on ECEC professionals. Findings underpins the importance of policymakers recognizing the professionalism of pedagogues being valuable in itself, as both contextual and pragmatic.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date20 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2019
EventEECERA - Aristoteles University, Thessaloniki, Greece
Duration: 20 Aug 201923 Aug 2019
Conference number: 29th


LocationAristoteles University
Internet address


  • learning, educational science and teaching

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