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Funding for multicultural research

Alli Paasikivi foundation has granted Outi Arvola 21 000 euro for studying Multicultural children in early childhood education. The grant will help Outi to get the results of the Orientation to support the inclusion and well-being of multicultural children and their families.


How to consider observers?

Municipality representatives (click for a bigger picture)

In Finland, we have 12 cities and municipalities participating in the observation. In a meeting 11 April, we had a meeting with the municipalities’ representatives to plan the best possible observation training. We have two aims: Firstly, we need to have a valid and reliable observation. Secondly, we need to take good care of the observers. They need to get an experience of doing an important job. They also need to acquire personal development and insight by doing the observation. We need to build a system that the observers want to stick with, to ensure a sustainable and evolving progressive feedback.

Leadership and children’s experiences

Taru Terho studied leadership in day care centres and its connection with children’s everyday activities in the setting. The main finding has been that the directors’ views and ways to conduct pedagogical leadership was connected with children’s everyday activities. Leadership was not just about management or staff leadership, it had connections with children’s experiences. The connections were measured by totally independent measures of observation and directors’ evaluations, which increase the reliability of the findings. For example, good leadership was connected with good quality play in the day care centre. Unfortunately, only Taru’s abstract is in English.

Physical activity lessons from Finland?

Unfortunately our results describing children’s physical activity in Early Education are published only in Finnish. The first small article about our latest results in English has just been published in Nursery World. Even though there are still a lot of things to enhance in Finland, there may also be some things that could be used in other countries too, see Jyrki Reunamo: Physical activity: some lessons from Finland).

Progressive Feedback in China?

The Early Childhood Education SIEE EXPO (Shanghai International ICT Expo for Early Childhood Education & Shanghai International Franchise Expo for Educational Brand) in Shanghai was held 9-13 March 2017. The expo is the largest Early Childhood expo for enterprises in the world. Progressive Feedback provides possibilities both for enterprises and China as nation.

Cooperation with China

In April 20-22 the Chinese Secretary General of CEAIE Wang Ling and her colleagues Wen Shijun, Guo Shixin  and Vivi Chen visit Finland to seek possibilities for cooperation with Orientation project and Finnish Early Education developers. We concentrate on the use of progressive feedback, which gives a strong foundation for Chinese Early Education, based on the strengths and needs of dynamic China and its needs.

Practicing observation

In Finland, on 21st March, more than 200 teachers and specialists in Early Education were practicing observation with the help of videos describing different everyday situations. Now the observers practice observation in their own groups with another observer and we check the reliability between the obervers. Based on the feedback we have another training session in 8th May with another set of videos. Thank you for the invigorating session!

Observation training

The observation training in Finland starts 21st March 2017. There are 190 teachers participating from 12 cities and municipalities. With the help of observing we get a versatile an up-to-date understanding ofn the dynamic forces creating the everyday practices. The observation is based on systematic random sampling of what is done, what the children do and what children attend to in early education. When these basic observations are merged together with the indicators of children’s well-being, for example, physical activity, involvement, emotions and social orientations,  we are able to connect the ingredients of well-being with the everyday activities. Furthermore, the observations can be connected with the evaluated aspects of the learning environment and leadership, which makes it possible to connect children’s everyday experiences with larger cultural and pedagogical structures.


Turkey participates in the data collection

We are happy to announce that our colleague professor Sibel Sönmez from Ege University in Turkey is joining our project. In Turkey, there will be six goverment schools with 20 classrooms participating in the data collection. The participating children’s age in the schools are between 36-66 months. Some of the schools will be in the city center and others in rural area. Professor Sönmez will visit Finland in March 2017 and we  will work especially on observation.

Supporting multicultural children

In the leading Finnish journal for educational sciences Kasvatus (Education), an article about supporting children with immigrant background in early years has been accepted for publication. In the Orientation project data there were 309 children with immigrant background, whose need for support was evaluated. Mostly, children’s skills were equal in relation to the original population, but in context specific situations there were differences. The results highlight the importance of the educator in interaction. In a multicultural environment it is important to consider the shared production of learning content and educational practices. The article info:
Arvola, O., Reunamo, J. & Kyttälä, M. (accepted for publication). Maahanmuuttajataustaiset lapset varhaiskasvatuksessa: kasvattajien näkemykset lasten taidoista ja tuen tarpeesta [Immigrant children in early years: the educators’ views about children’s skills and need for support. Kasvatus.