Kundskaber i pædagoguddannelse og pædagogisk arbejde - belyst gennem samtaler med pædagoger / Bent Olsen. - Forlaget Systime, 1995, 236 sider. Originaludgaven.

Seminarieuddannelse og pædagogisk arbejde - en brugsbog for pædagoger og pædagoguddannelsen / Bent Olsen. - Forlaget Systime, 1995. - 144 sider. - Den bearbejdede og forkortede udgave til brug i pædagoguddannelsen, kurser m.v.

Projektet er yderligere behandlet i disse udgivelser:

Hvad siger pædagoger om pædagoguddannelsen, Dansk Pædagogisk Tidsskrift nr. 6, 1994. 
Uddannelse er andet end teori, PULS! nr. 2, 1995. 
Nisser i pædagoguddannelsen, PULS! nr. 3, 1996. 
Med Leonora på arbejde - 'tavs' viden og konstruktioner, VERA nr. 0, 1996. 
Pædagoguddannelsen i byggekrise, Tidens Tand, nr. 19, 1996. 
Autoritetstabet og andre dilemmaer mellem pædagogisk uddannelse og arbejde i bogen 90'ernes pædagogik, forlaget PSIKA, 1996. 
Normativitet og pædagogik - at ville det gode, det fornuftig og nyttige på én gang, i bogen Pas på pædagogikken!, Reitzels Forlag A/S, efteråret 1997. 
Medlæring: bidrag til et didaktik for uddannelsen af pædagoger. Udkommer efteråret 1998.

English summary

Aspects of knowledge in professional education and in professional work of social educators – the case of Denmark / Bent Olsen

This paper introcduces a research project, in which the author has studied the consequenses of social work education according to the social educators' work and their professional reflection. After the discussion of some educational main points, the paper argues for an integrated didactical concept of "parallel learning".

What has been studied? And how about the results?

The research project is focusing on the education of social educators in Denmark.

The education is an adult vocational education and lasts 3 1/2 years. It combines a range of subjects with 3 integrated periods of practicing. The subjets are pedagogy, psychology, management, social and health subjects, culture and aestetics. Approximately 3100 students complete the education each year. Some more than 80% of the graduates are women. The education takes place in 32 specialized training colleges.

The education prepares the students for working with preschool children and children in after-school centers. The education also includes training in order to work with physically and mentally disabled people of all ages and the handling of problems as abuse, disintegration and crime.
This project is concerned with the investigation of the following 2 problems:

  1. What are the social educators' experiences with and opinions on the education, they received at their training college. Which qualities in the educational proces would they see as the most valuable to their work?
    And what kind of general conclusions could be drawn from the investigation of these questions with reference to an improvement of the education?
  2. How do these three different sources of knowledge - 1) personal knowledge, 2) professional knowledge and 3) practical knowledge - contribute to the social educator's understanding of her working practice? And how do these systems of knowledge interact?

10 social educators have been participating in a range of qualitative interviews. The interviewed have all been devided in groups of 5 with 2 participants in each. They are all females between 30 and 36 years of age and have between 4 and 7 years of working experience. 8 of the participants are working in kindergardens, 2 of them in an institution with physically and mentally disabled children. Finally 2 of the participants work in a settlement for physically and mentally disabled youth. Each group has been taking part in a series of 3 interviews.

The theoretical and empirical approach can be described as explorative andphenomenological. In more than some 70 smaller chapters an equal numbers of aspects are presented, interpreted and discussed.
2 major conclusions have been drawn out and discussed during the research work.

1'st concluding perspectiveThe specific culture or educational environment at the specific training college have a depending impact on the qualifications and attitudes, which have been realized in the social educator's work. The transition of knowledge by classroom teaching has only a limited impact on the social educator's working qualifications.

2'nd concluding perspectiveThe study methods and cooperation - especially the project method - have a determinant transfer value for the work of social educators.

Another issue concers the ways in which the three sources of knowledge mentioned above, are being developed and refined during the social educator's everyday work. The interaction of three sources of knowledge is here pointed out as important to the pedagogue in the way that she construtcs her own notions of the specific social and educational reality, and gives solutions to educational problems.

Background and discussions

The double problem of transitionI see that colleges of social work permanently face a double problem of transition. One might talk about a double problem of communication or effect, that needs to be answered. What will that be about then?

A nescessarry prerequisite for the development of such practiceanchored, vocational education is to have some notions of, how knowledge seems to work in professional practice. The first of these two problems is concerned with the relations between knowing and acting in professional work of social educators. The second problem is the transition of contextindependent knowledge from college to the field of social work.

The 1'st problem of transition:


What is the "nature" of this interrelationship?

The question is now: what are the training colleges' and the teachers conceptions of this matter?

The 2'nd problem of transition:

¦ (2) 

The second problem is not "horizontal" but "vertical": how do these conceptions, insights etc. contribute to the development of curriculum, teachingmethods, content of subjekt, norms etc. at the college?

The leading idea is, according to this, that an educational proces isn't due to laws, central external regulations or other generalized standards. It's a process in itself, a work in itself to produce an education on each and every college.

This reseach project should be regarded as a contribution to overcome this double problem of communication or effect. As a tool-like contribution to those in Denmark, concerned with education of social educators.

Knowing, acting and the scientifical aproach to eduation of social educators

The French sociologist Emile Durkheim wrote some 80 years ago an article on the nature of education and educaional methods. In this article he was among other things concerned with the educator's competences and which resources of knowledge the educator draws upon in her every day work.

About the teacher he says this - I quote:

"One can be a splendid teacher, but nevertheless be quit unqualified for educational speculations. The competent teacher knows exactly what to be done, but is still unable to give reasons for the line of action, for the procedures, he is using".

This brings Durkheim to talk about the good teacher - and in our case the good social educator - as an "artist". For Durkheim "art" is pure praxis without theory. Whether the art is being displayed, whether the art is being realized, depends on the social and cultural conditions under which she has grown up. It's in many ways a matter of social hertage and personality.

This means, that educational praxis draws upon resources of knowledge of which even we ourselves don't know about. One could talk about "hidden" or "tacit" knowledge. The philosopher Polanyi talks in this way about, that "we know more, than we can say". And the American sociologist Schön - with inspiration from Polanyi - talks in the same way about that "knowing is in our action". And that we often reflect-in-action. Schön thus recommends us this programme:

"The question of the relationsship between practice competence and professional knowledge needs to be turned upside down. We shuld start not by asking how to make better use of reseachbased knowledge but by asking what we can learn from a careful examination of artistry, that is, the competence practitioners actually expose in their practical work."

Later on, he calls in a search for an "epistomology of practice", as he names it. It's worth mentioning how Schön - without any acquaintance with this work of Durkheim - repeats the metaphor of "art" - the pedagogue as an artist. One of my leading ideas would be to make the pedagogues implicit knowledge explicit, to give the "silent knowledge" back it's voice, so to speak.

Further more the research project in some degree is beeing guided by this scepticism. A scepticism which is concerned with technical, autoritarian and rationalistic models for the solution of educational tasks. And that questions the scientific or scientificly based approach to educational planning and practice.

A well known German professor of education - Thomas Ziehe - sharpens these problems as he speaks of a develloping crisis in - German - education over some two decades. The scientific visions on education have come to a croossroads: educational praxis can to a lower and lower degree be affected - or determined - by models of direction. Educational practice can in lower and lower degree be based on regulations from "outside" - or from "upside down", so to speak. It doesn't work out properly in "real life".

But, why is it then so?

First, problems of educational every-day-praxice develop more rapidly than institutions of society can manage to make notions and conceptions about at all. Not to say: prepare their solutions. The variety of youth-cultures and the rapidness by wich the "styles" succeed each other, could be one example of this condition. Another example would be the lack of methods to support the integration of first, second and third generation emigrants.

And the second is, that scientific insight in certain aspects of the social world doesn't necessarily result in a higher degree of security on decisionmaking. Actually, one must regard the production of new knowledge simultaneously - at the same time - as production of new doubts. 

Parallel learning

One of the main conclusions says that the specific culture or educational environment at the specific training college has a depending impact on the qualifications and attitudes, which have been realized in the social educators' work. In other words should a didactical concept for education of social educators pays equal attention to both the "what" and "how". And it should be done so in a very broad sense, combining a critical perspecitve and the virtual participation of both teachers and students. This leaves behind the question, what should be content of the too lines of learning proecesses, the "what" and the "how". One cannot point out specific guidelines in this decisionmaking. That depends on national, regional and local tradition. But irrespective of this, one should pay attention to so very diffrent perspectives. First of all the development of education should find some appropriate interpretations of and reactions to actual moves in Modernity, students needs and interests, to processes of integration and segregation in society etc. Further more the value of educational tradition should be evaluated as well as the the development of democratical models of acting. In continuation of these viewpoints, I could propose this model as a guideline for didactical reflection and planning in schools of social educators - it proposes tripple development or reflection on didactical matters:

Learning and parallel learning
The intented program of education, proces, progression, exams, curriculum etc.Parallel learning: the focus on and the development of the specific culture or educational environment at the specific training college
The "hidden" curriculum - critical focus om not-intended ore unwanted effects of education

The didactical "art" or task would now be to explore and propose "good" examples for the purpose of building the bridge that connects the nescessary professional qualification to the outfolded programe of parallel learning. It certainly is quite a developmental work of educational ingeneering!

I could end this by the well known and trivial remark: We need more research on educational processes and studies of professional acting and reflection. But the case is actually that the premisses for decisionmaking on political, administrative, curricular and didactical matters are based on incertainty. Both from a political-democratical and a professional point of view, there are very good reasons for intensifying research and projectworks on these issues.

Authers books and articles on the project

Kundskaber i pædagoguddannelse og pædagogisk arbejde - belyst gennem samtaler med pædagoger. - Forlaget Systime, 1995, 236 pages.

This original and complete version of the resarch project is further more publisched in this abriviated edition:

Seminarieuddannelse og pædagogisk arbejde - en brugsbog for pædagoger og pædagoguddannelsen. - Forlaget Systime, 1995. - 144 pages.

The project has additionally been presented and discussed in these articles:

  • Hvad siger pædagoger om pædagoguddannelsen, Dansk Pædagogisk Tidsskrift nr. 6, 1994.
  • Uddannelse er andet end teori, PULS! nr. 2, 1995.
  • Nisser i pædagoguddannelsen, PULS! nr. 3, 1996.
  • Med Leonora på arbejde - "tavs" viden og konstruktioner, VERA nr. 0, 1996.
  • Pædagoguddannelsen i byggekrise, Tidens Tand, nr. 19, 1996.
  • Autoritetstabet og andre dilemmaer mellem pædagogisk uddannelse og arbejde i bogen 90'ernes pædagogik, forlaget PSIKA, 1996.
  • Normativitet og pædagogik - at ville det gode, det fornuftig og nyttige på én gang, i bogen Pas på pædagogikken!, C. A. Reitzels Forlag, 1997.
  • Medlæring: et didaktisk perspektiv på uddannelsen af pædagoger. Publ. summer 1998

Om forfatteren

Bent Olsen

Mag. art. 

Danmarks Pædagoghøjskole

Center Sydjylland i Esbjerg
The Danish School of advanced
pedagogical studies
Storegade 184
6705 Esbjerg Ø
Tlf +45 76 10 64 40
Fax +45 76 10 64 49

Bent Olsen (f. 1956) er magister i pædagogik fra Københavns Universitets Institut for Pædagogik. Efter afsluttet uddannelse i 1985 fulgte seks års ansættelse som lærer på Esbjerg Socialpædagogiske Seminarium inden for fagområderne pædagogik, psykologi og socialpædagogik.

Forskningsprojektet Kundskaber i pædagoguddannelse og pædagogisk arbejdefulgte dette arbejde som seminarielærer som en forskningsmæssig bearbejdning af dette område for professionsuddannelse: pædagoguddannelsen.

Fra 1993 og til dato har arbejdsområdet primært været videreuddannelse af pædagoger, dels på Danmarks Lærerhøjskole i Esbjerg, dels som lektor på Danmarks Pædagoghøjskole, Center Sydjylland i Esbjerg. Sideløbende er det blevet til en del publikationer, der alle er teoretiske og didaktiske bearbejdninger af forskningsprojektet. Projektet er desuden formidlet videre i flere kurser på pædagogseminarierne og på kurser for seminarielærere.

Bemærk venligst: Forlaget kan uden varsel lukke for denne side og dens undersider.