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Pedagogical documentation and systematic quality work in early childhood: Comparing practices in Western Australia and Sweden

Lee-Hammond, L.ORCID: 0000-0002-9699-7508 and Bjervås, L-L (2020) Pedagogical documentation and systematic quality work in early childhood: Comparing practices in Western Australia and Sweden. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood . Online First.

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Pedagogical documentation has been understood as an important way for early childhood educators to provide high-quality learning environments for children. The authors explore the contested nature of quality and its interpretation in two cultural contexts: in Western Australia, where pedagogical documentation is a relatively uncommon practice, and in Sweden, where pedagogical documentation is a relatively common practice. These locations were selected to provide a comparison between educators from these two different cultural and policy contexts. The main purpose of pedagogical documentation within the Swedish preschool system is to gain knowledge of how to systematically improve the quality of the preschool. This contrasts with the demands on Australian early childhood educators to ensure children meet achievement standards in the Foundation Year. Six preschool educators in each country responded to interview questions regarding what enables or hinders their systematic quality work. The participants in both countries were using some form of pedagogical documentation in their professional practice. This article draws on interview data and elaborates on the ways these educators understood the role of pedagogical documentation in what they regarded as systematic quality work. The findings provide insight into the impact of both policy and cultural contexts on individual educators' practices when using pedagogical documentation as a means to promote quality. The results indicate that differences in early childhood education policies between countries may lead to important differences in how pedagogical documentation is used by educators in their practice.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Education
Publisher: Symposium Journals
Copyright: © 2020 by SAGE Publications
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