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

  • Jens Dietrichson VIVE–The Danish Center for Social Science Research, Denmark
  • Charlotte Ringsmose Aalborg University, Denmark
  • Mogens Christoffersen VIVE–The Danish Center for Social Science Research, Denmark
  • Lone Svinth Aarhus University, Denmark


We used a mixed-methods approach to evaluate a professional development intervention where researchers, preschool teachers, and assistants collaborated to develop ways to improve adult-child interaction. The quantitative evaluation used a cluster-randomized trial where we randomly assigned sixteen preschool units in a Danish municipality to either a treatment group or a control group. The qualitative investigation used focus group interviews. The quantitative evaluation found no significant effects of the intervention on children’s social-emotional, language, and preliteracy skills. The qualitative analysis showed examples of changed beliefs and practices, and indications that the intervention’s focus on selected staff rather than all staff reduced its impact.

preschool, professional development, social-emotional development, language development, mixed-methods