7-9 July, at the WPC World Principal Conference, Beijing China, more than 3000 principals were focused on enhancing children’s well-being. We had our own booth in the conference. In the picture, Tuomas Sarkkinen and his team are discussing possibilities of participating in the Chinese PF. In addition to the booth, our contributions included keynotes and presentations. Presenters introducing Finnish early education were (in alphbetical order) Steve Ho, Kari Kasanen, Nikke Keskinen, Raija Laine, Mikko Mäkelä, Kati Rintakorpi, Jyrki Reunamo, Kirsi Tarkka, Taru Terho and Petra Varttinen.
Exiting news just arrived from Hong Kong Research Fund (GRF) 2018/19 exercise. Our proposal entitled “Effective Teaching and Their Effects on Early Childhood Development: A Comparative, Longitudinal, Mixed-method Study of Hong Kong and Finnish Kindergartens”, has been supported by the RGC with an approved amount of HK$1,369,000. Warmest congratulations for professor James Ko from the Education University of Hong Kong. Thank you also for Pamela Sammons from the University of Oxford. We will work out the details of the research in 2018 and the data collection starts in 2019. In the picture you can see James, Pam and Jyrki preparing the research plan at EARLI 2018 conference in Tampere.
Vertti Kivi (dSign Vertti Kivi & Co) has created an interior design for a harmonious, exiting and playful kindergarten for our project. The design has a great variety of surroundings and moods inspired by Finnish forest. Especially inspiring are the adaptable (automatic, programmable, creative or manual) lighting designs, for example, sunrise, noon, sunset, moonlight and starlight. You can see world in a different light. In the end, all we ever see in this world is light.
An article by Anna-Liisa Kyhälä, Jyrki Reunamo ja Heikki Ruismäki titled Preschool Children are more Physically Active and less Sedentary on Weekdays Compared with Weekends has just been accepted for publication in Journal of Early Childhood Education Research. In the article, it can be seen clearly that it is not enough to look at the average amount of physical activity, children’s differences are also important. Furthermore, because children seem to less physically active during weekends, sufficient physical activity in day care center is even more important.
In Järvenpää, at the Nummenkylä kindergarten, we work on a Progressive Feedback practice, where the kindergarten, each group and each child (if the parents want it) get detailed and real-time feedback of the central ingredients of their well-being. Of course, the confidentiality has to be secured in every way.
In Helsinki, we have collected more than 10 000 observation in the term of 2017-2018. Feedback of the results was delivered for all kindergarten principals. For example, the results support the new guidelines for increasing planning time. Also, happy to announce that the objectives for physical activity were met in Helsinki! Congratulations.
Ege University has use Orientation project tools for observation, child evaluation and learning environment evaluation to study Turkish pre-school. In Turkey, pre-school is usually half-day activity. Often there is only one teacher for a group of twenty-five children. There are interesting differences, but also a lot of interesting similarities. We hope we can start reporting of the results soon!
The participating municipalities and cities shared their development in a whole day conference in Helsinki. The municipalities do excellent development work and the day was very inspiring. A lot of good things have happened, but we still have a lot of work ahead. In the picture, city of Hämeenlinna present their plan of pedagogical principals doing the observations, giving staff feedback and building development tasks together. An exciting plan, that can be executed in reality. Among other new developments, we are going to enhance the observation of childminders and Helsinki starts Progressive Feedback process with the city playgrounds, this will give everybody a fresh perspective!
Progressive Feedback (PF) cooperation between Finland and China is getting concrete. On Thursday 26 April 2018, In the Chinese Ministry of Education, Department of Ethnic Minorities, we agreed to conduct Chinese early education enhancement research & development project based on Finnish PF. We will have close working research teams in Finland and China. We’ll have 200 observers trained by Finnish experts to get a valid picture of Chinese early education and to give guidelines for future development. The picture is from the successful meeting at the Ministry. From the left is Tibet representant Sherab Songmo, Jouni Veijalainen, Jyrki Reunamo, the Director of the National Education Development Center Yan Guo, mr Han, the Director of the Center for Quality Monitoring and Research Xianqiang Zhou and Frank Wen.