2009 | 11 | 2 | 77-86
Article title

Pedagogical Systems Theory and Model for Sustainable Human Development in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC)

Title variants
Languages of publication
The contexts are kindergarten teacher student education, early childhood education and the author's long term research process of constructing a new pedagogical systems theory. The two systems models, which the author created earlier, function now in a theoretical background. The models are different but both of them reflect on early childhood education and care (ECEC). The exact focused question is, what the interconnections of the two different models of ECEC are. Solutions will be shown by making a cross tabulation between these two qualitative models. The results will construct forward the new pedagogical systems theory of ECEC. This theory and a corresponding model can help teachers to become responsible mentors for sustainable development, especially for children's education for sustainable human development and well-being.
Physical description
  • University of Joensuu, Finland
  • Bredekamp, S. (Ed.). (1987). Developmentally appropriate practice in early childhood programs. Washington DC: NAEYC.
  • Bronfenbrenner, U. (1989). Ecological systems theory. Annals of Child Development, 6, 187-249.
  • Chang-Gen, B. (1990). Major systems theories throughout the world. Behavioral Science, 35(2), 79-103.
  • Church, A. (2001, May 16). SOU: Intension & extension. In D. Runes (Ed.), (1972), Dictionary of philosophy (147-148). Totowa, NJ: Littlefield, Adams & Company. Retrieved January 30, 2006, from
  • Cohen, L., & Manion, L. (1994). Research methods in education (4th ed.). London, New York: Routledge.
  • Council of Europe. (2008). White Paper on intercultural dialogue. Living together as equals in dignity. Strasbourg: Council of Europe.
  • European Commission. (2009). Early childhood education and care in Europe: Tackling social and cultural inequalities. Brussels: Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA P Eurydice).
  • Frigg, S., & Hartman, S. (2006, February 17). Models in science. In Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy. Retrieved October 26, 2009, from
  • Gudjons, H. (2003). Pädagogisches Grundwissen (8. Auflage) [Basics of pedagogics (8th ed.)]. Bad Heilbrunn: Klinkhardt.
  • Hakkarainen, P. (2002). Kehittävä esiopetus ja oppiminen [A developing pre-school and learning]. Juva: WS Bookwell.
  • Helenius, A., & Korhonen, R. (Eds.) (2008). Pedagogiikan palikat [Blocks of pedagogics]. Helsinki: WSOY.
  • Heylighen, F., & Joslyn, C. (1992). What is systems theory? Retrieved January 15, 2009, from
  • Härkönen, U. (2003a). Mitä termit varhaiskasvatus ja esiopetus tarkoittavat? [What do the terms of early childhood education and preschool mean?]. Joensuu: University of Joensuu, Faculty of Education. Research Reports 86.
  • Härkönen, U. (2003b). The new systems theory of early childhood education and preschool as a frame for sustainable education. Journal of Teacher Education and Training, 2, 25-38. Daugavpils: Daugavpils University.
  • Härkönen, U. (2006). Diversity of early childhood education theories in a democratic society. Journal of Teacher Education and Training, 6, 103-115. Daugavpils: Daugavpils University.
  • Härkönen, U. (2008). New pedagogical systems theory and early childhood education culture. In U. Härkönen & E. Savolainen (Eds.), International views on early childhood education. University of Joensuu, Savonlinna Department of Teacher Education. Retrieved June 15, 2009, from
  • Härkönen, U. (2009). Vastauksena kysymykseen, mitä varhaiskasvatus on [As an answer for the question: What is early childhood education?]. Unpublished professorship inauguration lecture. Savonlinna: University of Joensuu, Savonlinna Department of Teacher Education.
  • Jämsä, T. (2006). The concept of sustainable education. A. Pipere (Ed.), Education & Sustainable Development: First Steps toward Changes (Vol. 1, pp. 5-30). Daugavpils: Daugavpils University Publishing House "Saule".
  • Karvonen, E. (2003). Tiedotusopillinen ajattelu ja tutkimus [Thinking and research in communications theory and mass media]. Retrieved November 3, 2003, from
  • Lewins, A., & Silver, C. (2007). Using software in qualitative research. London: SAGE Publications.
  • Palmquist, M. E., Carley, K. M., & Dale, T. A. (1997). Two applications of automated text analysis. In C. Roberts (Ed.), Text analysis for the social sciences. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
  • Parsons, T. (1968). Systems analysis: Social systems. In D. L. Sills (Ed.), International encyclopaedia of the social sciences, 15, 458-472. Macmillan Company & the Free Press.
  • Rapoport, A. (1968). Systems analysis: General systems theory. In D. L. Sills (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, 15, 452-458. MacMillan Company & The Free Press.
  • Robinson, M. (2008). Child development from birth to eight. McGrow-Hill Companies: Open University Press.
  • Schreiner, P. (2009). Research for education for sustainable development. In A. Skrinda (Ed.), The proceedings of the 7th international JTEFS/BBCC conference "Sustainable development. Culture. Education." (pp. 38-46). Daugavpils: Daugavpils University Academic Press "Saule".
  • Strauss, A.L. (1987). Qualitative analysis for social scientists. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Senge, P. M. (2009) Systems thinking. Retrieved November 26, 2009, from
  • Valsiner, J. (2000). Culture and human development. London: Sage.
  • Vasta, R. (Ed.). (2002). Kuusi teoriaa lapsen kehityksestä (2nd ed.) [Six theories of child development (2nd ed.)]. London: Jessica Kingsley.
  • Wikipedia. (2009, November 27). Systems thinking. Retrieved October 26, 2009, from
  • Wood, E. (Ed.). (2008). The routledger reader in early childhood education. London, New York: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.
Document Type
Publication order reference
YADDA identifier
JavaScript is turned off in your web browser. Turn it on to take full advantage of this site, then refresh the page.