The Professional Identity of the Danish Pedagogue: Historical Root in an Education with Focus on Democracy and creativity, Dannelse and a 'Childhood Logic'

Sigrid Brogaard Clausen, Charlotte Ringmose

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter explores the identity formation of the Danish early years pedagogue, paying close attention to early year democracy and dannelse. With a focus on dannelses and democratic processes, the significance of the artistic and creative processes emerges, both in the education of the pedagogue and in the emphasis on a childhood logic in pedagogical thinking and practice. A historical consideration of the education of the Danish pedagogue positions the pedagogue as an integral part of a social-democratic welfare state system and cultural belief system. However, concerns are raised in relation to recent policy developments that have challenged the pedagogical education and tradition of democracy and dannelse, while narrowing students’ broader knowledge base in the artistic and creative dannelse processes. Despite the strong tradition of a distinct early years pedagogical identity and autonomy, the early years pedagogue are under pressure from an international comparative and competitive agenda promoting stronger centralised and external governance. The key message from this chapter is to highlight the risk that comes with lack of awareness of and attention to Danish early years values and traditions within an international competitive context and how this may result in political decisions to abandon the (pedagogical) tradition of dannelse and democracy.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNordic Social Pedagogical Approach to Early Years
EditorsCharlotte Ringmose, Grete Krag-Muller
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-42557-3
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-42555-9
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2016

Publication series

NameInternational Perspectives on Early Childhood Education and Development
ISSN (Print)2468-8764


  • Early Childhood
  • Professional Identity
  • Democracy
  • Creativity
  • Early Years Pedagogues

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