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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.

Strenghtening ties

Cooperation between Finland and Taiwan has been strenghtening already for nine years. On Wednesday 2016.12.21 Da Ai Television reported about the cooperation between Tzu Chi University and University of Helsinki. Both partners have learned a lot from each other. The video includes inspirational examples of combining learning with physical activity. By the way, the tree house in the video has been build solely by the pre-school staff and children without any extra help. Building a strong and practical tree house is not an easy task as anyone who has tried to do it can tell! The video can be seen by clicking the link below.

40,000 euro more funding

The Finnish National Board of Education has granted our project an added 40,000 euro for progressive feedback in Early Childhood Education. This opens up the possibilities for a comprehensive project!


Recommendations for physical activity

The Finnish national recommendations for physical activity in early childhood are now availabe in English. The publication Joy, play and doing together; Recommendations for physical activity in early childhood is available at

Workshop in Taipei

taipeiworkshopThe workshop in Taipei on Sunday 20 November collected together the teachers, who had participated in the observation and data collection. The main content of the day was the sharing of teachers experiments and examples of their development models based on the research results. Many of the development tasks were related to outdoors and physical activity. Taipei is a cramped metropolitan, in where the pre-schools may not have a proper outdoor yard of their own. It was very inspiring to see creative solutions for fun and creative physical activity in constricted environment. Of the participating researchers were included, for example, Hui-Chun Lee (Tzu Chi University), professor Li-Chen Wang (Chang Gung University), professor Doris Cheng (Tung Wah Collegesta Hong Kong) and professor Karen Liu (Indiana State University). As an example, in Sanmin pre-school, the children go to the park every day. The group collects smiles from the people they meet in their way. They get smiles a lot! There were people waiting for the children to pass by. For example, a choir of senior citizens were waiting for the children and performed a song for the children. In the park the activities were fast, but the path to park and back took a long time, because there were so many familiar and unknown things to explore.


Yilan-Hualien area workshop

hualienworkshopThe workshop in Hualien on Saturday 19 November 2016 collected together the project early childhood educators participating in the data collection. The teachers presented examples from tree houses to using stumps in math. We also compared the Finnish and Taiwanese research results. In the workhop the teachers input, examples and sharing were essential. There were researchers from Taiwan, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Turkey and Finland. Participating researchers included professoriHui-Chun Lee (Tzu Chi University), professor Li-Chen Wang (Chang Gung University), professor Doris Cheng (Tung Wah College of Hong Kong), professor Shu-Shuan Shih (Taitung University), professor Hui-Hua Chen (Dong Hwa University), Yeni Rachmavati (Pendidikan University), Mehmet Sahin (Dong Hwa University) and Wei-Chen Zhang (Dong Hwa University). The natural resources, Pacific Ocean, rivers, mountains, plants and animals give the pre-school settings a unique environment, which calls for respect and exploration. Thank you for the participants for a very inspiring day!