Wellbeing and children’s environment in Early Childhood Education: How do professionals and children co-operate in the area of tension between social pedagogy and early education in Danish ECE?

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Research aims The aim of the study is to explore how professionals develop a learning environment in ECE settings in response to the voices of children. How professionals comprehend and work with children’s environments and perspectives and how physical, psychological and aesthetic dimensions of children’s environment contribute to childhood wellbeing. Relationship to previous research works The study refers to previous work exploring childhood wellbeing from a child perspective (Koch 2013). Theoretical and conceptual framework Children’s environment is conceptualized with reference to Muchow (1935). We refer to modern childhood sociology, but also call upon the fact that Danish ECE pedagogy has evolved from theories and methods dating more than 100 years back. Well-being is conceptualized with reference to positive psychology (Ryff & Keyes, 1995). Paradigm, methodology and methods The research is inspired by phenomenology, and we have a narrative approach, which we understand both as a phenomenon and a method (Clandinin 2013). Ethnographic field studies and narrative workshops with professionals and children were carried out during a year in two ECE institutions. Ethical Considerations The inquiry depends on informed consent and voluntary participation. Data is anonymized and high ethical standards are applied to minimize any distress caused throughout the research. Main finding or discussion Professionals mention space and material conditions, psychological dimensions and, to a lesser extent, aesthetical dimensions as good environmental practice. Children are preoccupied with play, making fun, food, physical activity, experiments and things out of the ordinary in the pursue for wellbeing. Professionals cooperate with children as an integrated part of their pedagogical practice. Implications, practice or policy The study offers knowledge regarding how professionals meet children as active participants in Danish ECE.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date31 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2017
Event27th EECERA Conference: Early Childhood Education Beyond the Crisis: Social Justice, Solidarity and Children's Rights - University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy
Duration: 29 Aug 20171 Sep 2017


Conference27th EECERA Conference
LocationUniversity of Bologna

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