Everyday practice and unnoticed professional competence in day care work

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    Abstract

    In Denmark more than 9 out 10 children attend day care centers that are publicly funded and regulated. The main part of employees, the social educators, at day care centers have attended a 3½ years educational programme with both theoretical and practical elements. Nevertheless it has been hard for the social educators to get recognition for their professional competencies and the societal importance of their work.

    Neoliberal governance has imposed a lot of demands for documentation, evaluation etc., and a growing focus on children’s learning in day care centers has resulted in national goals for learning outcomes. For the social educators this has meant more time being spent on formal learning activities, and they have received the new demands with mixed feelings: on the one hand they can help the social educators getting more acknowledged for doing some valuable and visible work. On the other hand it can tend to underestimate the value of a large part of their work which is embedded in what in the paper will be explored as unnoticed professional competences.

    Building on empirical results from research in day care centers based on mixed methods (observations, interviews and action research based workshops) the paper will discuss work practice in an everyday life perspective. This perspective opens for understanding professional competence as part of creating coherence in children’s and families’ lives as well as during the day in the day care centers. It also opens for a discussion of how different forms of knowledge function together in the social educators’ work practice.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date10 May 2012
    Number of pages12
    Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2012
    EventProPel International Conference: Professionl Practice, Education and Learning - University of Stirling, UK, Stirling, United Kingdom
    Duration: 9 May 201211 May 2012

    Conference

    ConferenceProPel International Conference
    LocationUniversity of Stirling, UK
    CountryUnited Kingdom
    CityStirling
    Period09/05/201211/05/2012

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