Kindergarten pedagogy and policy

In 2020, Nordic Studies in Education is planning a special edition on kindergarten pedagogy and policy within the field of early childhood education and care. This landscape consists of manifold and contradictory values, knowledge, and practices, some of which have given rise to considerable engagement. Political choices and priorities have consequences for what kindergarten pedagogy can be.

In contrast to most other European countries, the kindergarten tradition in the Nordic countries has its own identity and independent pedagogy. This has come to expression independently of – and often in opposition to – the school. This now appears to be changing.

In Norway, kindergartens in 2006 became part of the educational system. In 2011, the term ‘upbringing’ (oppdragelse) was removed from the general plan and replaced with the term ‘Bildung’ (danning), and therewith the language of kindergarten pedagogy (practice, theory, research) has been transformed. The latest general plan for Norwegian kindergartens in 2017 clearly emphasizes the function of kindergartens as an integral part of the educational pathway and as preparation for starting school. These changes may be important for the development of Nordic kindergarten pedagogy in the twenty-first century.

Similar developments can be seen in other Nordic countries. In 2004 in Denmark, kindergartens became legally required to produce educational curricula. In both Sweden and Iceland, kindergartens are seen as part of the educational system, while Finland has placed kindergartens under the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and has a pre-school programme for children 6 years and older that is part of the educational system. There are therefore both similarities and differences among Nordic early childhood education and care policies.

Political choices have an effect on the content and conditions of kindergarten pedagogy. Changes in recent decades have received attention from various voices, several of whom have expressed concern, opposition, and criticism.

This special edition of Nordic Studies in Education will have a wide scope and will address various aspects of current Nordic kindergarten pedagogy and early childhood education and care policy. The editors seek contributions that highlight the theme of kindergarten pedagogy and politics with contrasting theoretical perspectives and different approaches to research. Contributions that engage in thematic topics from different positions, from the child’s perspective and lifeworld to overarching political and social processes, are also welcome.

Relevant topics include:

  • Traditions of kindergarten pedagogy in the face of today’s educational policy
  • Nordic kindergarten policy in light of international trends
  • Is kindergarten pedagogy something different from school pedagogy?
  • Kindergarten in a life-cycle perspective: adaptation or challenge of societal trends?
  • Re-conceptualization and kindergarten pedagogy



October 1, 2018  

Deadline for submission of abstracts, 150-200 words, written in a Nordic language or English


October 15, 2019  

Response to authors


February 1, 2020  



Deadline for submission of article manuscript, maximum 55 000 characters (including spaces). See for the full Author Guide for Nordic Studies in Education


May 15, 2020  

Deadline for final version of article manuscript



All articles will be peer-reviewed by two independent reviewers.

Abstracts should be sent to Camilla Eline Andersen

Sincerely the guest editors,

Camilla Eline Andersen, Jenny Steinnes, and Stine Vik at Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences





Each year one NERA-network has the honor to represent NERA at AERA’s annual conference. The 2020 AERA conference will be in San Francisco, California, April 17-21, 2020: <>


The deadline for applications for the NERA slot for symposium is on May 15, 2019! Applications must be submitted by the convener of the network and should be directed to President John Benedicto Krejsler ( <>  ).


The procedure of submitting a proposal to the NERA board for a symposium at AERA is the following:


  1. 1. Networks must send in a proposal for arranging a symposium at AERA by the latest of May 15th.


  1. 2. AERA’s application format for symposium should be used. A symposium consists of papers focusing on a common theme to demonstrate a range of perspectives or a variety of approaches. There should be participation from a minimum of 3 Nordic countries in the proposal.


  1. 3. The NERA board will draw lot among the applicants and announce the result before June 16th.


  1. 4. The selected network prepares the final application for the symposium and sends it to the president of NERA no later than September 1st. The normal AERA review procedure does not apply to this symposium because the quality assurance has been done by the networks.


  1. The network shall forward a short report on the AERA presentation to the NERA Board not later than one month after the AERA congress.

NERA members – we need your input at the General Annual Meeting 7.3, Uppsala

To members of NERA/NFPF

Dear NERA members,

We need your input and ideas!

We call upon you to attend the General Annual Meeting / Annual Delegates’ Assembly at the NERA conference in Uppsala, because we have some very serious matters concerning NERA’s economy and the future of our journal, Nordic Studies in Education (NSE) on the agenda. The Annual General Meeting will take place Thursday 7/3, 12.45–14.15 in Bertil Hammersalen, Blåsenhus.

You will find the meeting agenda here:’-Assembly-2019.pdf

Since we cannot obtain support for the journal from Nordic Publication Support (NoP) from 2019 onwards, unless we make it an Open Access journal, we will no longer be able to publish the journal unless we find funding elsewhere. Going Open Access would mean that we can no longer receive subscription fees. The Board has dealt intensely with the issue throughout 2018.

This puts us in the situation where – in our understanding – we have to choose between the following options or a combination of them:

1. We shall have to raise the NERA member and conference fees in order to cover the shortfall in funding for NSE.

2. We shall have to introduce APC (Article Processing Charge), which means that authors of articles will have to pay for having the article published. If we choose APC only, the price for an article may be around 10.000 – 15.000 NOK. Some universities pay for this, others do not. It is more common in Norway and Finland than in Denmark, Sweden and Iceland.

3. We shall have to find alternative funding, which may be possible, but not easy in a time where public institutions are under tight financial rule.

4. We need to change publisher, if we find a more profitable agreement with another publishing company than Universitetsforlaget. Depending upon offers this could mean that we may not be able to keep the journal open for articles in English as well as Scandinavian languages, but possibly only in English.

5. Or are we arriving at a situation where we may have to realize that NERA may no longer be able to carry the financial responsibility of publishing NSE?

6. We appreciate suggestions if you have other options.

We ask you to reflect upon this issue and bring your ideas to the meeting, as the NERA Board is in urgent need of input in order to proceed on this delicate issue. At the meeting there will be time for an open discussion (issue 10).

The NERA Board will discuss this issue at the Board meeting 5/3, and continue the discussion at the meeting 8/3. This means that the Board can take the opinions raised during the Annual Delegates’ Assembly into account.

On behalf of the NERA Board,

Anna Slotte, President of NERA

John B. Krejsler, Vice President of NERA


Nordic Studies in Education publishes articles, information and debate on subjects within, and of relevance for, education in the Nordic countries. The journal accepts contributions written in the Scandinavian languages and in English. Nordic Studies in Education is published in collaboration with Nordic Educational Research Association, and its target audiences are researchers, educators at different levels, and readers with a general interest in the field of education. The journal is pleased to announce a call for papers for a special issue on Arts, Culture and Education (Art and Craft Education/Sloyd Science/ Learning and Sustainability).

Sustainability is an important global issue that both preserves and develops human intercultural understanding. Sustainability can be understood as a traditional background for the professional fields of art and craft even though sustainability is a relatively new term in education curriculum. Today, education within the subjects of art and craft in the Nordic region is on a high professional level. This thematic issue hopes to create a dialogue between the UN’s 17 global goals for sustainable development (SDG) and the fields of art and craft education with the aim of taking part in shaping a future where art, craft, design, materials, processes and production become valuable knowledge producers in today’s society. The ambition is that a focus on art, craft and sustainable develop will rejuvenate the subjects’ traditions, and similarly the sustainable dimension will connect these fields together in the Nordic regions, along with the Arctic. Through development and research within the fields of art and craft and sustainable development, we wish to promote the position of art and craft in a larger educational context.

There is a need to emphasize the relation between the subjects of art and craft with sustainable development through research – a research field that is lacking and hence cutting edge. The same applies to research on art and craft and sustainability within various educational levels from kindergarten to higher education and entrepreneurship. Researchers within the fields of art and craft have an important task to strengthen sustainability in the Nordic regions, a task which can be realized through sending an article to this thematic issue in Nordic Studies in Education