Concern for the effectiveness of preschool education or “soft engineering” of the workforce of the future? Andreja Hočevar and Mojca Kovač Šebart
Summary: The authors highlight that – together with the international studies which assess children’s and adolescents’ knowledge and skills – policies and ideas in the field of preschool education are increasingly focusing on the effectiveness and “profitability” that preschool education has for the development of “human capital” and the labour market. Thus, preschool education has been foregrounding the development of cognitive, social and emotional skills, which are the bases for children’s subsequent school and labour market achievements. The authors present the findings of some of the authors who examine the issues in Nordic countries. These authors emphasize that preschool educational processes give particular importance to preparing children for school, which jeopardizes scholarizing them. Moreover, preschool educational practice focuses primarily on children’s learning outcomes, especially on the development of the skills that might be useful later in their lives – when they attend school or when they are employed. In the second part of the article the authors analyse the other articles from this issue of the Journal of Contemporary Educational Studies, whose authors from the region of former Yugoslavia (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia and Serbia) write about the curricular and systemic solutions of preschool education quality assessment and assurance at the process level.