Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

Profile

Early childhood: Education and care in everyday life


The members of this research unit are experts on young children’s everyday lives and their development in early childhood education and care. We investigate pedagogical environments in early childcare settings in order to improve the physical, social and relational conditions for participation and well-being among children aged 0-6. Our research areas and fields of expertise include children’s play, pedagogical interventions, continuous professional development, inclusion, relationships and care, didactics, transitions, and environmental supports. We investigate how the Danish/Nordic practice tradition and current conditions for practice in the childcare sector are intertwined with young children’s lives, their developmental needs, well-being and learning. We are especially concerned with children that are identified as at risk of marginalisation and interested in how they can be supported through cultural and social integration in early childcare. In terms of theory and methodology, we integrate different research traditions and conceptual frameworks in our projects. We combine research approaches that explore children’s perspectives, strongly aligned with Danish ideals of self-determination and democracy within childcare, with socio-cultural and culturally sensitive development perspectives found in much of the international literature. Our inspirations include concepts and insights drawn from fields such as cultural-historical developmental psychology, cultural psychology and childhood studies, as well as ecological and existential perspectives. We work closely with the field of practice in our empirical research, which primarily applies qualitative methods in co-operative, participatory projects involving children, childcare professionals and parents.