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04. Kan daginstitutioner gøre en forskel? - english abstract


Can Day-care Centres Make a Difference?
- research concerning day-care and socially endangered children from the perspectives of compensation and innovation



By Bente Jensen, Associate Professor, Project Manager, Department of Learning, DPU, University of Aarhus, Denmark 
43 pages * ISBN 978-87-7684-234-5 * Published: 2008

This paper is the fourth in the series of fourteen electronic publications about the Danish research project "Action competences in pedagogical work with socially endangered children and youths - effort and effect" (The ASP-project). 

Research based on the theoretical perspective of social inequality that is applied in the ASP-project indicates that an important precondition for preschool teachers to be able to minimize exclusion and integrate socially endangered children in the institutional everyday life is that they are knowledgeable of unintended mechanisms of inequality inherent in the daily work (implicit exclusion). On the basis of a number of concrete case examples from the study "Can day-care centres make a difference?" (Jensen, 2005), this paper discusses the results of the investigation of early efforts in day-care centres. The study from 2005 (ibid.) identified two fundamentally diverging paradigms: A) a compensation paradigm in which attention is directed towards the child's individual problems (a deficient approach) and B) an innovation paradigm in which attention is directed towards the possibilities for innovation in the practiced pedagogy (a resource and inclusion approach).
From these cases, the paper discusses the possibility that society contributes to the elimination of negative social inheritance through early efforts in day-care centres by counteracting the tendency to work with socially endangered children from the perspective of individual 'deficiencies', as was found to be the predominant approach. The possibilities and challenges of implementing efforts at an early stage in children's institutional life in day-care are also discussed in relation to relevant research based knowledge.
    The paper touches upon the following themes:
1. Identification of social inheritance and socially endangered children in a day-care context.
2. Effects and early efforts - i.e. institutional efforts - from the perspective of international intervention and effect research.
3. Exclusion processes in the institutional everyday life in Danish research.
4. Efforts in Danish day-care centres to eliminate risks of negative social inheritance; the two paradigms.
5. Discussion and analysis of results from the perspective of the concept of action competence, exclusion and inclusion. 

In conclusion the paper summarizes the main findings of the Danish day-care study (ibid.) and suggests that the innovation paradigm should form the background for the design of the Danish intervention and effect study in the ASP-project.

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