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september 2020
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Keynote speakers


Joseph Tobin, Professor of Early Childhood Education
The University of Georgia

“How Practitioners Change with Experience: Findings from a study of ECEC Practitioners in Three Countries.”

Intuitively, we feel it must be true that we get better at our jobs with experience. But how does experience change us? This talk will present findings from a study my research team conducted of how early childhood education and care (ECEC) workers change with experience. Our team showed experienced practitioners in the US, Japan, and China videos we made of them teaching ten years earlier and used these videos as a cue to help them reflect on how they changed. We found some differences across these three countries, but also many similarities. For example, experienced practitioners in all three countries report that early in their careers they tended to be in a rush, anxious, in their own head, and unable to follow their intuition. With experience they become calmer, talk less, intervene in children’s disputes less quickly, and, in a word, more “present.” I’ll illustrate these themes by showing examples of video clips of practitioners at early and later stages of their careers combined with reflections of more experienced practitioners looking back on their early years.

Joseph Tobin is The Elizabeth Gerrard Hall Professor of Early Childhood Education at the University of Georgia (US). Trained at the University of Chicago in anthropology and child development, his research centers on comparative studies of preschools in different countries. Tobin’s books include Preschool in Three Cultures: Japan, China, and the United States (1989); Preschool in Three Cultures Revisited (2009); Children Crossing Borders: Immigrant Parents and Teacher Perspectives on Preschool for Children of Immigrants (2013), and (with Akiko Hayashi) Teaching Embodied: Japanese Preschool Teaching as Cultural Practice (2015). His recent research projects include “Deaf Kindergarten’s in Three Countries: France, Japan, and the United States” and “The Development of Expertise in Preschool Teachers in Japan, China, and the United States.”


Charlotte Højholt, Professor of Psychology
Roskilde University

Children’s communities and everyday life across contexts – analyses of conditions for participation

Children and young people live their lives together and across different contexts. They develop a personal conduct of everyday life through arranging and taking part in social communities – but how are their conditions for participating in different contexts with different demands, tasks and possibilities? Based on research following children’s everyday life and the collaboration between different groups of adults sharing responsibility for children (e.g. parents, pedagogues, teachers, psychologists etc.) the paper will discuss connections between adults’ conflicts over children’s everyday life and education, social dynamics in children’s communities and different conditions for taking part in and influencing the communities.

Charlotte Højholt is a professor of Social Psychology of Everyday life at the Department of People and Technology, Roskilde University. Her Research areas involve: Children’s lives across family, institutions, schools, recreation centers and special help; Children’s learning and development, children’s perspectives, conduct of life and communities; Interdisciplinary collaboration and social conflicts about children; Collaborative research – practice research – participatory research methodology. She is the head of the Ph.D.-program Social Psychology of Everyday Life and of the research group Subject, Technology and Social Practice. She is co-editor of the volume: Children, Childhood and Everyday Life, Information Age Publishing (2012/2018); editor of the section Child, families and communities, International Handbook on Early Childhood Education, Springer (2018); co-editor of a special issue for Nordic Psychology: Psychological Perspectives on Children’s Conduct of Everyday Life (2015) and co-editor of Psychology and the Conduct of Everyday Life, Routledge (2014). Currently she is co-editor of Subjectivity and knowledge: Generalization in the psychological study of everyday life. New York: Springer.


Gunn Helene Engelsrud, Professor,
The Norwegian School of Sport Sciences

“Journeys of discovery”: ambiguities that arise from children’s embodied being

Being a child is synonymous with being in movement – being and engaging in movement as a way of being-in-the-world. Thus, it is vital to understand children’s movements as a fundamental human resource. This presentation is based on an understanding of children as moving subjects, surrounded and affected by the movements of others, as well as movement cultures, with differences and similarities regarding what kind of values that relate to movement. However, by its nature, movement is pre-verbal, but nonetheless communicative. Even a newborn orients her/himself towards others and the world through movement patterns that “originate from our cells and fluids; from the energy of the cosmos itself,” (Bainbridge Cohen 2018, viii). This presentation is based on an understanding of movement as a “journey of discovery,” a series of explorations that unfold in the course of children’s embodied processes of being in movement; experiencing, finding meaning in and discovering their individual resources, both alone and through relating to others. Even before children can clearly express themselves verbally, they develop feelings, thinking, language and reflections through a process of discovery based on movement. From a phenomenological perspective (and other perspectives), every human’s body resonates with the environment and conveys a direct experience of oneself and the world. Consistent with this premise, I argue that movement forms the experience of the mover throughout childhood, as well as in adolescence. As children develop, their living body becomes the basis for speech, but throughout their life, it will continue to be a source of unspoken, nonverbal communication as well.

My presentation will go on to problematize these assertions, and discuss how in the course of their daily life children encounter a multitude of different relationships , environments and ideas, as well as their own agencies, intentions and lust. Finally, I will discuss some of the challenges and possibilities that we face as researchers in our efforts to enrich general understanding of children at different ages and in different social positions.

Gunn Engelsrud is professor of Health Science at the Department of Physical Education and Pedagogy at The Norwegian School of Sport Sciences. She was Head of the Department from 2008-2016. Gunn Engelsrud is educated both as a physiotherapist and as physical education teacher and has a PhD from the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Oslo. She has a particular expertise in qualitative research, phenomenology, body appreciation, dance and exploratory movement, gender and diversity. Her main areas in research concern fundamental problems and questions related to those subjects. She tutors PhD students and work with several interdisciplinary research projects.

Among her latest publication is a recent article form Physiotherapy & Practice https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09593985.2018.1460431
and Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy: http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/qicD6vXApVeVYtmgqzpk/full

About Gunn Helene Engelsrud: https://www.nih.no/en/about/employees/engelsrud-gunn/