Professor Hui-Hua Chen from the Taiwanese Dong Hwa University Department of Early Childhood Education has been granted to join our team in Finland July-November 2023. The Taiwan ministry of science and technology has given professor Chen a grant to study children’s processes of learning to read. The pedagogical choices connected with learning to read will also be explored. Finnish and Taiwanese practices will be compared based on a large random sample conducted in Taiwan and Finland.
We have observed children’s reading sessions when the adult reads for the children and when children read books themselves. We have thousands of random observations of children’s reading processes. A comparison between two cultures gives perspective to understand the learning process not just as a personal learning task, but also as a culturally mediated production of shared understanding.
Finnish Education Evaluation Center organized a meeting for the content producers of evaluation 17 June 2019. The goal of the meeting was to enhance the information exchange on the national level, increase national cooperation, decrease overlaping data collection and add perspectives, openness and effectiveness. Jyrki Reunamo presented Progressive Feedback, which has deep, fresh and comprehensive early education evaluation system running in Finland, comprising of more than half of the Finnish Early Education. You can see the presentation at https://karvi.fi/app/uploads/2019/06/Jyrki-Reunamo.pdf.
In Tzu-Chi University, the early educators have completed the final exhibition and sharing workshop 23 November 2018. This sharing exhibition of the project lasted for three weeks in front of university library., On 17th November was the final sharing workshop including 40 minutes of statistic report of observation and 3 hour oral presentations of development tasks(8 preschools presented), 1 hour of educational market (11 preschools presented), and one hour of river plan workshop. There were also parents bringing their child to try to activities in the educational market. The six oral reports were excellent in developing the curriculum, and educators said that they learned a lot from the project!
Kindergarten heads, teachers and parents have the liberty to look at the data from a cross national perspective, compare it with science of learning as well as ECD goals, and decide the best way forward.The Orientation Project provides practical and meaningful instruments for researching, monitoring and evaluating early learning. We have started collaboration with the Fun Learning approach, starting in China.
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!
Taiwanese researchers, teachers and students have arrived in Finland. They will be introduced to Finnish Early Education, day care centers, kindergarten teacher studies and research on the subject. Our colleagues also have produced new development models for their work and they are eager to discuss them with Finnish teachers. We have also done similar data collection in Finland and the comparison have resulted in a lot of interesting similarities and differencies across cultures. You can meet the Taiwanese colleagues, for example, at the Progressive feedback conference in 16th August in Helsinki.
The 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.
The 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!
In Taiwan children spend time outdoors on average only 29 minutes a day and they are highly physically active only 23 minutes a day. In several pre-schools, the teachers have chosen as their development task increasing both outdoor activities and physical activity. In the picture there is a map of the pre-school yard. Before children go out, the map and outdoor possibilities are discussed with children to enrich children’s ideas. The time of outdoor activities has been extended from 30 minutes to one hour. Both children and teachers feel good. The weather is hot and the children sweat a lot! All teachers are outdoors together with children. After washing up children come indoors and the map is used again to deepen the experiences. In the photo, teachers of the group share their experiences with the teachers of other pre-schools and new ideas are developed. For example, the heavy rubber tiles that have been removed may not be thrown away, they can be used in building, math and exercise. The map can be left on floor for children to play and deepen their outdoor horizon.
In Taiwan, the pre-schools have been using the results of the 2015-2016 data collection in their development of the activities. The development model is Riverplan. In the picture, the teachers are planning to increase the support of play. In the Riverplan, north bank is for the opportunities and the south bank are the dangers of the trip. In the river there is the process. First we have to make a good map of the environment we are about to travel. Then we need to clarify what tools and skills we need for a successful journey. Furthermore, in a meaningful trip the differences and personal interests need to be considered if we want the trip to be meaningful for everybody (participation). Finally, we need to consider how we can share our fruits of the trip for everybody to enjoy.