ERIC Number: EJ929990
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Nov
Reference Count: 4
Denmark's Boernehavens: A Place to Grow
Mecham, Neil A.
Young Children, v65 n6 p38-40 Nov 2010
During the author's trips to Denmark as an instructor of American college students studying abroad, he led groups to visit several "boernehavens," which are the Danish equivalents of U.S. preschools for children ages 3 to 5. Danish society values confident individuals who can take initiative when faced with challenges and opportunities. Pedagogues (teachers) at the boernehavens reflected these values by encouraging independence in the children they taught. In most boernehavens, pedagogues build strong connections with children and their families because they practice looping (Hume 2007). Rather than changing rooms and teachers each year, Danish children typically enjoy the stability of the same pedagogue for three or more years. Another striking feature of most Danish boernehavens is how seamlessly they incorporate the natural world. Danish pedagogues make a conscious effort to include in their curriculum as much of the natural world as possible, which of course includes the weather. Children are taught to dress appropriately so that they can enjoy the outdoors no matter what. Some forest boernehavens are actually located in the woods, while teachers at other boernehavens take their children to the woods several times each week (Wagner 2004). Some schools are fortunate enough to have natural space just outside their gate, while others carve out a portion of the playground and designate it as the nature area.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Preschool Education, Looping (Teachers), Outdoor Education, Personal Autonomy, Teacher Role, Preschool Teachers
National Association for the Education of Young Children. 1313 L Street NW Suite 500, Washington, DC 22205-4101. Tel: 800-424-2460; Tel: 202-232-8777; Fax: 202-328-2649; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://journal.naeyc.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Preschool Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Denmark; United States