Structural and process quality in Danish preschools in connection with three preschool teacher generations

Torben Næsby, Lena Lindbjerg Sperling

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Within the research field quality in preschool, interactions between staff and children are widely recognised as the single most important factor. Hence, preschool teachers play an important role in underpinning children’s well-being, learning and development. However, prior research into preschool teachers’ educational level and other characteristics such as structural quality determinants and specifically previous attempts to determine the impact of these factors on process quality have been somewhat mixed.
In the study, preschool quality derived from a sample consisting of 96 preschools located within three Danish municipalities and measured by the ECERS-3. The ECERS data and the civil registration numbers of children and employees were transferred to Statistics Denmark (DST). Using data from the registers, it was then possible to estimate correlations between individual quality markers and staff characteristics.
In this article, we focused specifically on correlations between the educational level and educational background of the pedagogical staff on the one hand and the quality of interactions on the other, hence, the prevalence of three preschool teacher generations could be traced and linked to preschool quality.
An interesting finding to be further explored is, that a negative correlation exists between the share of preschool teachers being educated in the middle period between 1993 and 2014 and the quality of interactions. The size of the coefficient indicates that the preschools with no preschool teachers graduating between 1993 and 2014 on average score 1.164 higher on the seven-point Likert scale than the preschools where all preschool teachers belong to the second generation.
Translated title of the contributionStruktur- og proceskvalitet i dagtilbud i relation til tre pædagoggenerationer
Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Educational Research
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)928-949
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2023


  • education, professions and jobs
  • Preschool Teacher Education
  • Proces Quality
  • Quality in Preschool
  • Structural Quality
  • research designs, theory and method
  • ECERS-3
  • Mixed Methods
  • Quantitative measurements


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