Goodbye kindergarten friends, hello classmates
– children’s well-being in the transition from kindergarten to school
By Hanne Værum Sørensen
Based on a case study, where the empirical methods are observations, interviews and dialogues with children, parents and professionals, this article focuses on how four children strive to develop their identity as a schoolchild in a community with other schoolchildren and how professionals collaborate with parents during children starting at school. The central concepts are transition and well-being, analysed from a cultural-historical approach. Two themes relate to children’s well-being in the transition to school. Firstly, it is the child’s ability to understand and meet the demands at school, and secondly, it is the child’s experience of cohesion and participation in the community with other children.
Can the Nest collaboration support an inclusive school culture?
By Dorthe Lau and Toke Lund-Laursen
The article is based on a research project conducted in the Programme for children’s well-being in and across daycare, school and home (B-step) at the Research Centre for Pedagogy and Education, VIA University College, from 2020-2022. The project was based on the following overarching questions: Can the Nest collaboration support an inclusive school culture? The context is Beder School, which, in 2021, formed a preschool class with Nest for the first time.
This article focuses on the extent to which the Nest collaboration has supported children’s communities, relationships and well-being, including management’s role in working with PPR. The project’s methods are predominantly qualitative and based on ethnographic fieldwork with participant observation, interviews/focus group interviews with parents, pedagogues and teachers, interviews and focus group interviews with children. Furthermore, we have used a questionnaire to obtain additional knowledge about the children’s well-being. In addition, interviews were conducted with management and PPR, including participation in development meetings between management and PPR and evaluation meetings with PPR.
We need each other
– When a shared understanding of well-being becomes necessary for the survival of a local area
By Lise Jönsson Koumaditis
Drawing on fieldwork, design anthropology, Richard Jenkins’ concept of social identity and Etienne Wenger’s theory of communities of practice, this article presents the understanding of well-being in Engstrup, a small community in
the Northern part of Denmark. The article shows how and why heads, teachers, pedagogues, social workers, parents, local organisations, etc., have a shared understanding of well-being as a matter of participation, ‘community’ and ‘closeness’, and it is argued that this stems from the interplay between people
and Engstrup’s history. In 2007, due to local government reforms in Denmark, four villages were united in Engstrup, which meant significant structural changes since schools, for example, were closed down, but also emotionally, as Engstrup was now seen as a whole. The article shows how people came up with new ways to live instead of defeat. By establishing a new ‘we’, they share an understandings of well-being and can pool their resources together and preserve identity in a new larger municipal context. The article gives insights into and conclusions about understanding of well-being and community formation that may inspire profes- sionals’ pedagogical and social work.
Is well-being a deceitful concept?
– a study of professionals’ everyday understandings of well-being
By Camilla Armstrong Gjedde
In recent years, children’s well-being has received increased attention in public policy in Denmark and internationally. However, well-being as a concept is defined and operationalised in many different ways, both in policy and in academic literature. Professionals interacting with children on a daily basis across different arenas such as home, daycare and school play a particularly crucial role in creating and ensuring children’s well-being. Therefore, based on 17 interviews with various professionals (i.e., kindergarten teachers, teachers and social workers), this article explores how well-being is actually understood and applied in practice, identifying both patterns and contradictions in the professionals’ use of the concept. Based on the observation that the concept is equally multifaceted in practice as it is in policy and research, it is discussed whether well-being is actually a deceitful concept when applied amongst professionals in their daily practice.
Situated well-being in the school’s academic communities
By Merete Munkholm, Else Skibsted and Henriette Blomgren
This article approaches an understanding of well-being in a situated perspective that brings well-being close to the school context. The article is based on empirical analyses from a research project that aims to nuance the concept of well-being through children’s opportunities to participate in the learning communities of school life. We argue that children’s well-being is closely related to their opportunities to be legitimate participants in meaningful communities within different school subjects. The article points out how the school’s norms and standards within school subjects can, at times, seem so obvious that they obscure the view of well-being in different communities. Finally, we discuss the implications of a situated understanding of well-being in school.