Across most of the western world, neo-liberal and neo-conservative tendencies have, since the 1980’s, made their impact on the educational systems of the welfare state. In particular lower and upper secondary school have felt the impact of educational reform, but also higher education and pre-school has been scrutinized and transformed in accordance with ideas about, for instance, higher standards, better teachers, more effective management etc. In a Danish context pre-school somehow seems to have escaped some of the neo-liberal and neo-conservative tendencies. More specifically, pre-school has not been placed under exactly the same regimes of truth and technologies of curriculum, teaching, testing and evaluation as has, for instance, lower and upper secondary school. Instead, pre-school in Denmark is still very much a warehouse for kids (while their parents go to work) and at the same time an institution for care. In this paper we will explore the daily grind in the Danish day care institution. Our analyses will be based on a newly started research project focusing on recently qualified pedagogues and their ways of finding into practice and possibly changing it. By focusing on recently qualified pedagogues we will analyse how their professional ethos attained at school is applied – or not applied – in practice; how it relates to and differs from institutional kinds care and bureaucratic forms of governance.
early childhood education; newly qualified pedagogues; professionalization