About three percent of Taiwan’s natives are Taiwanese aboriginals, who have inhabited Taiwan at least 6,500 years before the arrival of other nationalities, primarily Chinese. The official number of tribes is 16. The indigenous peoples have suffered for centuries from economic and social discrimination. The segregation is still visible in today’s early childhood education in Taiwan. Dong Hwa University held a conference on 4.11.23 2023 Quality early childhood education conference: Embracing diversity, multidisciplinarity and compassion for the underprivileged. In the keynote presentation, Jyrki Reunamo described the results acquired by using Progressive Feedback observation. The data consisted of 2189 observations of the indigenous peoples of the Hualien region. The results clearly showed the difficulties in learning, rarer than usual experiences of happiness, few participating and less influential activities in the learning environment. Furthermore, teachers paid less personal attention to the aboriginal children. In addition, relationships with other children remained looser. The results describe the marginalized position of children with indigenous backgrounds and a looser shared interest. These children need more co-developing content in early childhood education.
The research team in Taiwan included Hui-Chun Lee (Tzu-Chi University), Li-Chen Wang (Chang Gung University), Hui-Hua Chen (Dong Hwa University) and Shu-Shuan Shih (Taitung University).
The International Conference of Aesthetics Education for Young Children was held in Shih Chien University, Taipei. In his keynote presentation, Jyrki Reunamo reviewed three wonderful art education videos about visual arts, music, and drama. The videos show wonderful ways for teachers to introduce the world of arts to children. Reunamo also presented his model of art education (click the picture to enlarge it). In the model, there are four functions for art in education. The first is to express and enjoy the world of art and its heritage. The second are the created personal orientations for different art. The third function is the mastering of art (doing it right). The fourth function is a community-enriching shared creation of art. The presentation can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mo8kDineJLs
Aada Heikkilä’s study examines the connection between the years that children spent in early childhood education and care (ECEC) and their social orientations and main objects of attention. The data were collected within the Progressive Feedback project by observing children: 20,457 observations of 972 six-year-olds from 360 child groups in Finland. According to the results, the years children spent in ECEC have a connection to their social orientations and main objects of attention, and differences between genders were discovered. The longer the children had attended ECEC, the less adaptive orientation was observed. The children that had attended ECEC for under a year were observed to be the least participative. Dominant orientation increased the longer the children had attended ECEC. Those that had been in ECEC for more than four years rarely paid attention to non-social objects and adults and often paid attention to several children.
As both participative and dominant social orientations include impacting the learning environment in early education, we can conclude that children with more years in early are education are more agentive in comparison to children with less time in early education. The results can be seen in the Table (click it to enlarge it). The observers did not know how long the children had spent time in early education, which mean that the found differences are not based on the observers presuppositions. The results are statistically significant. All in all, the more time you spend in early education, the more agency you have in social situations!
Aada Heikkilä & Jyrki Reunamo (2023) The years children spent in early education in relation to their social relations and objects of attention, European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, DOI: 10.1080/1350293X.2023.2254534
The National Network for Developing Assessment Literacy KAARO has made a video about the evaluation of children’s well-being in early childhood education. The video shows the four cornerstones of well-being, which are learning, movement, emotions, and social orientations, as well as their assessment. In addition, we consider the whole of well-being as part of the diverse hierarchical structure of early childhood education. The video can be viewed at https://youtu.be/bgcecbirjwM . From the settings select English subtitles.
Taiwanese students from Taitung University did their practicum studies in Heikkilän päiväkoti, Kerava. The students showed remarkable sensitivity and consideration to support children and pedagogy. A big thank you to director Johanna Nevala for making it all possible. Special thank you to the staff introducing Finnish early education to the students!
Outi Arvola, Pia Liljeroth, and Jyrki Reunamo have been analyzing the Progressive feedback data of culturally and linguistically diverse children’s physical activity concerning their participation. It is well known that physical activity affects the well-being of children, the average physical activity of children of different language and cultural backgrounds is at a good level (click on the table). However, the problem with these children is their less active social role in early childhood education and more frequent interruptions in the involvement of the learning processes. The data of Progressive Feedback shows that increased movement is connected with increased social participation and increased commitment to sustainable learning processes. A third of the sustainable and developing activity took place during a time of plenty of movement. The observational results show that exercise has increased participation and building social processes with culturally and linguistically diverse children. Movement is not only a physical activity, but it is also important for finding a place in the construction of a common and sustainable social reality. People from different language and cultural backgrounds can brush up on this already in early childhood education with the help of exercise. The research result is significant when developing pedagogical measures. Check out the article via the link below:
Arvola, O., Liljeroth, P. & Reunamo, J. (2023). Is physical activity a pathway to culturally and linguistically diverse children’s participation in early childhood education and care? Journal of Early Childhood Education Research 12(1), 150-168. https://journal.fi/jecer/article/view/117865/76580
Professor Mei-Chun Lin visited Finland for a week to get to know Finnish early childhood education, especially from the perspective of art education and even more specifically drama education. Furthermore, professor Hui-Hua Chen started as a visiting professor to study children’s reading situations in particular. Professor Chen’s visit lasts until February 2024. The data has been collected both in Taiwan and Finland, with the same instruments and measures. In the photo, from the left, Reunamo Education CEO Leena Lahtinen, Professor Hui-Hua Chen from Dong Hwa University, Dean of the Faculty of Educational Sciences at the University of Helsinki Johanna Mäkelä and Dean of College of Arts at National University of Tainan Mei-Chun Lin. We have had a fruitful collaboration for 15 years with our Taiwanese colleagues and new possibilities are opening!
Professor Mei-Chun Lin is visiting University of Helsinki and Reunamo Education 31st July – August 7th. She is the Dean of College of Arts at the National University of Tainan in Taiwan. She is also the founding Chair and professor in the Department of Drama Creation and Application at the National University of Tainan. This is the first department in Asia focusing on the development of research and practice of drama education and applied drama. Pr. Lin is now the president of the Taiwan Drama Education Association (TADEA) and the chief editor of Journal of Drama Education and Performing Arts. We hope to be working together, especially in Aesthetics Education for preschool.
Tiina Kuutti et al. paper Participation, involvement and peer relationships in children with special educational needs in early childhood education was in the list of the Top 10 papers downloaded from EJSNE last year. The article can be retrieved at https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/08856257.2021.1920214
One of the key findings is that children with special needs is a very versatile group of children with very varied skills, needs and practices for participation (click the Table for a larger picture).
Anna-Liisa Kyhälä defended her thesis on 14, 2023 with the topic “Children’s physical activity and early childhood opportunities in its promotion”. The dissertation looked at the overall picture of children’s physical activity based on weekly accelerometer measurements and explored physical activity in different children’s activities in early childhood education, which gives perspective to the selection of priorities. In addition, the factors of the learning environment were connected to physical activity. The results based on observation and evaluation of the learning environment indicated that children’s physical activity during the early childhood education day can be increased through pedagogical choices, planning, and consideration of children’s social needs. Children’s physical activity can be influenced! Unfortunately, the thesis is in Finnish, but luckily the articles are in English, see http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-51-9004-8