1 Department of Learning, Danish School of Education, Aarhus University, Aarhus University2 Danish School of Education - Uddannelsesvidenskab, Emdrup, Danish School of Education, Arts, Aarhus University3 Danish School of Education - Uddannelsesvidenskab, Emdrup, Danish School of Education, Arts, Aarhus University
In Scandinavia almost all children from age 3 to 5 and a significant majority of children from 1 to 3 are spending the main part of their every day life in Kindergartens and the quality of these institutions has been positively evaluated by international assessment (OECD, 2006). However a systematically, research based body of knowledge about this field is still missing, even if such an overview is internationally requested. On behalf of the Danish Evaluation Institute the Danish Clearinghouse for Educational Research has conducted a mapping of Scandinavian research in early childhood education institutions (Kampman, et al. 2008). The overall aim of the mapping is, on one hand, to give an overview of existing research within Scandinavian early childhood education research, on the other hand lacks of research should be identified. The method applied was the analytical tool provided by The Evidence for Polocy and Practice Information and Co-ordination Center (EPPI). From originally 532 identified hits in different databases, only 53 fulfilled the inclusion criteria to be accepted as research publications. Some of the main findings: Dominating qualitative research, only a few studies combine qualitative and quantitative approaches. Quantitative research is mainly descriptive and only 7 studies had an intervention design. The majority of the studies are focusing on staff (39) only half of the studies (25) had children as their primary objects of investigation. There is a clear lack of longitudinal, comparative studies. More research concerning the relation between children's every day life in institutions, economical conditions, care, significance of the parents an mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion is needed. A new analysis for the year 2007 is already initiated. In the future the results of these mappings will be openly accessible.