Participatory Professional Development and Preschool Quality: Evidence from a Mixed-methods Study.

Dietrichson, J., Ringsmose, C., Christoffersen, M., Svinth, L.


The study evaluates a professional development programme in which researchers, kindergarten teachers and assistants collaborated to improve the interaction between adults and children in kindergarten. The research questions are: 1) What effect does the programme have on children's socio-emotional skills, as well as their language and reading skills? 2) Did the programme lead to changes in practice at the participating kindergartens?


The quantitative analysis showed no significant effects of the intervention on children's socio-emotional, linguistic or preparatory reading skills. However, the qualitative analysis showed examples of changed beliefs and practices among kindergarten staff, as well as indications that the intervention's focus on selected staff, rather than all kindergarten staff, reduced its impact.


The data material was collected using both quantitative and qualitative methods: In the quantitative part, the researchers used a cluster-randomised sampling method in which sixteen kindergartens in a Danish municipality were randomly assigned to either an intervention group or a control group. In the qualitative part, focus group interviews were conducted with the kindergarten employees. The intervention consisted of ten workshops (ten full days) over approximately one and a half years. The goal was to develop reflections on daily interaction between kindergarten staff and children through presentations and discussions. Each workshop included two or three researchers and approximately 24 kindergarten staff.


Dietrichson, J., Ringsmose, C., Christoffersen, M. & Svinth, L. (2021). "Participatory Professional Development and Preschool Quality: Evidence from a Mixed-methods Study". Nordic Studies in Education, 41(2):80-110.