Learning in, and from, practice-based professional development initiatives in ECEC: a research agenda in Denmark

Bente Jensen & Roddy Walker


Quality in early-childhood education and care is a decisive element in children’s development and learning, with professional standards of practitioners a critical element in ensuring quality provision. An on-going research project into professional development (PD) initiatives for ECEC practitioners in Denmark focuses on a practice-based initiative engaging with the Abecedarian Approach to adult–child interactions. This considers the facilitation of collaborative learning, as well as how the influence of such initiatives may be studied. A mixed-method’s pilot study shows an innovative implementation framework inspired by principles of organisational learning, coupled with content from Abecedarian, encouraged practitioners’ reflection on and in specific work practices. Insights from the pilot inform the on-going research agenda, in the design of a model for sustainable practice-based PD geared towards improving the quality of ECEC provision, enabling further contemplation on how to support and study practice-based collaborative learning processes.