A2 Review article, Literature review, Systematic review
Teachers’ Pedagogical Competence in Finnish Early Childhood Education : A Narrative Literature Review (2023)

Ranta, S., Kangas, J., Harju-Luukkainen, H., Ukkonen-Mikkola, T., Neitola, M., Kinos, J., Sajaniemi, N., & Kuusisto, A. (2023). Teachers’ Pedagogical Competence in Finnish Early Childhood Education : A Narrative Literature Review. Education Sciences, 13(8), Article 791. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13080791

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsRanta, Samuli; Kangas, Jonna; Harju-Luukkainen, Heidi; Ukkonen-Mikkola, Tuulikki; Neitola, Marita; Kinos, Jarmo; Sajaniemi, Nina; Kuusisto, Arniika

Journal or seriesEducation Sciences


Publication year2023

Publication date03/08/2023


Issue number8

Article number791

PublisherMDPI AG

Publication countrySwitzerland

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessOpen Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/88593


Finnish early childhood education (ECE) is defined in education policies and research as an activity with an emphasis on pedagogy as a holistic and Nordic model of education. Pedagogical competence can be viewed as a special expertise of teachers responsible for the implementation of pedagogy in ECE. However, it is unclear how a teacher’s pedagogical competence is defined, understood, and implemented in pedagogical practices and policies. Previous studies define pedagogical competence from different, often narrow, perspectives and various skills have been defined to be a part of teachers’ pedagogical expertise. In this study, we aim to take a closer look at how teachers’ pedagogical competence is defined in research literature in Finland. As our method, we use a narrative literature review of research papers published between 2010 and 2020. We were able to identify fourteen different definitions of pedagogical competencies that could be categorized into three main categories: (a) meta-competencies, (b) professional competencies, and (c) practical competencies. In summary, we argue that pedagogical competence is often narrowly understood. To implement high-quality ECE, teachers’ pedagogical competence should be considered broadly and wholly. Particularly, the shared values and reflection of ethical questions are essential for supporting children’s development and learning through holistic education.

Keywordsearly childhood education and carepedagogyteacherscompetence

Free keywordsearly childhood education; pedagogical competence; pedagogy; teacher; narrative review; meta-competencies; professional competencies; practical competencies

Contributing organizations

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2023

Preliminary JUFO rating1

Last updated on 2024-03-04 at 17:46