The social pedagogue who became a professor

Ole Henrik Hansen, transitioning from practitioner to professor, commenced his academic journey as a social pedagogue in Denmark. Prior to delving into advanced pedagogy studies, he held a leadership role in a children's institution. His academic pursuits led him to earn a Master's degree in didactics from Aarhus University and a doctoral degree in preschool didactics from the same institution. Subsequently, he assumed roles as an assistant professor and later as an associate professor. OHH's academic journey extended to affiliations with Gothenburg University, and as a professor at UiT in Norway.

Throughout his career, OHH's research has been dedicated to understanding the learning and developmental conditions of the youngest children within institutionalized, professional settings. This encompasses an examination of family conditions, especially parenting in welfare societies, and the cultivation of professional pedagogical competencies designed to replace parental roles during daytime hours.

OHH's impact extends internationally, engaging in research collaborations exploring children's upbringing conditions in the Nordic countries, Europe, and globally. He has taken leadership roles in international research groups within Early Childhood Education and Care associations and is recognized as a prominent public debater on child welfare and conditions in affluent yet demanding welfare societies.

His research significantly contributes to enhancing pedagogical and professional quality in preschools. OHH's investigations delve into children's well-being, stress levels in various contexts, their interpersonal relationships, and the quality of professional care. His recent work critically examines the potential unintended consequences of early institutionalization, exploring connections between Nordic welfare, preschool culture, and the rise in children's mental challenges in the region.

OHH's ongoing research focuses on democratization processes among the youngest children in preschools, considering the importance of early education in democratic resilience within Nordic societies. Additionally, he is actively involved in developing research methods that give voice to the youngest children, allowing them to express their opinions through quantifiable measures.

Looking ahead, OHH aspires to continue developing pedagogical frameworks fostering children's self-esteem, critical thinking, innovative competencies, and the ability to build healthy relationships with others.