Didaktik on postmodernism's doorstep: teaching and researching literacy in early childhood education and care

Publikation: Bog/antologi/afhandling/rapportPh.d.-afhandlingForskning


  • Anders Skriver Jensen, Danmark
This study’s objective is to contribute to the further development of the early childhood education and care (ECEC)-relevance of the Continental Didaktik tradition, as a response to postmodernistic challenges. Didaktik is a body of theories that conceptualize and structure thinking about, planning, executing, and evaluating Bildung-centered formative teaching. Bildung is about formation: Traditionally, it refers to the individual’s self-formation (as in comprehensive personal development), but the study develops a postmodern variant concerned with Bildung as the formation of contextualized relationships.
Literacy (as a field of policy, research, and practice) is exemplary with regards to studying the influence of contemporary educational policies that overemphasize skills and testing in ECEC. Didaktik must respond simultaneously to both 1) these policies and their social, practical, and theoretical consequences, and 2) serious challenges from postmodernism regarding its ideas about objectives, content, and a legitimizing base.
The study finds that Didaktik remains possible on a postmodern basis. Bildung (as formation) is reconceptualized from self-formation to relation-formation. Postmodern Didaktik thus operates with the relation as the fundamental category. Postmodern Didaktik can move from a legitimizing base of humanism and/or critical/unclouded consciousness to contextualized bricolages of the professional, the political, and the personal.
The study concludes that Didaktik (on the Threshold between critical and postmodern Bildung) can inform contemporary issues related to teaching and researching literacy in ECEC in the following ways:
• The Bildung concept still provides the practitioners of Didaktik (the Didaktikers) with thinking tools to construct a critical position inside ECEC literacy. Teacher and pedagogue alike can use Bildung to work outside skill-rationales for teaching literacy and thus to experiment with project work wherein literacy competences are developed, as the children participate in- and contribute to meaningful projects.
• Didaktik calls on the teacher and the pedagogue as a Didaktiker to take responsibility for his/her literacy teaching by reflecting on the general relationship between the state, the Lehrplan (the state’s open curriculum), and Bildung. The Didaktik researcher can contribute to the literacy curriculum’s repoliticization by working with emergent methods, along with postmodern approaches to knowledge and power.
ForlagInstitut for Uddannelse og Pædagogik (DPU), Aarhus Universitet
Antal sider272
ISBN (Trykt)978-87-7684-910-8
StatusUdgivet - 2013


  • Didaktik, Postmodernisme, Literacy

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