News Translation: Controversy!

What strikes me here is

  1. If you’re going to call something “so dire it should be closed”, you need to make sure your thesis is airtight. You cannot fudge the figures because if your survey is exaggerated, no one is going to believe your fieldwork observations and even if you had a point, it’s GAME OVER. So, PhD candidates: raise your game!
  2. You should always go after the figures first! The Bupl chairman was saying stuff like “the study isn’t big enough” two weeks ago, when he could have been saying “there are NOT 40 000 people working in nurseries unless you count the cleaners, so…” and he could have blown this out of the water.

Debate on nurseries built on wrong figures

Taken from information

-Danish nurseries are so dire that a large number them ought to be closed, was the conclusion given by PhD-candidate Ole Hansen from DPU, Aarhus University, which sparked debate two weeks ago.

His PhD thesis documented “shocking relationships in many nurseries” based on video footage, 8000 observations in nine nurseries in the Greater Copenhagen area and questionnaires to 40 000 daycare workers across the country.

But the figures are now turning out to be greatly exaggerated.

According to the daycare worker Union Bupl, they made the questionnaire with the PhD candidate and the questionnaires were given to 5000 daycare workers.

Of those, 1300 answered and of those only came from 400 nurseries. The rest work in integrated institution so in principle may also be kindergarten workers. No matter what, it’s far from the 40 000.

Dion Sommer, a professor of psychology at Aarhus University has seen the questionnaire study and is amazed at how little documentation there is for such a bombastic claims of state neglect.

“This is the thinnest scientific study I have seen. It consists of just 12 questions and that’s not meaty enough,” said Dion Sommer.

Together with 13 other daycare worker experts, he has written an open letter in today’s Information which challenges Ole Henrik Hansen’s conclusions.

“There are not even 40 000 nursery daycare workers in Denmark but only about 11-12000”, estimates Bupl. Therefore the chairman Henning Pedersen also wondered if it really could be their study that was referenced.

“I have wondered about the numbers that have abounded about the 40 000 daycare workers. I couldn’t understand where they came from,” he said.

40 000 is instead the total number of positions in the nurseries and integrated institutions that also have older children. It therefore includes leadership, kitchen and cleaners.

2 thoughts on “News Translation: Controversy!

    1. I’m angry with him for fucking this up. Some of his clearest findings were of video footage of pedagogues ignoring kids and watching them shut down emotionally. Fudging the numbers to make THAT sound worse? Where’s the professional pride, for a start? Why didn’t he know how to write a thesis?

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