Obs.training in Hong Kong


The observation training in Hong Kong was conducted successfully. Doris Cheng and James Ko were the leading actors during the instrument validation. Often the simplest definitions were the hardest. What are eating situations? How to consider emotions in role play? Scaffolded play definition produced a lot of talks.We agreed on a broad definition somewhere between direct education and free play.We could not find one universal definition.  The other observed items will be helping us in defining the more refined aspects of guided or scaffolded play. Hong Kong is a surprisingly versatile and complex place. A good challenge for our refined tools!

Observation training

The amended observation tools and observation training materials are now ready. The finishing touches of the training were completed during Taiwanese colleagues visit 16-28.8.2014. In the observation training we will use the same video material and same example coding in every country to make the observations as reliable across countries as possible. In Hong Kong the training will start on 4th September, in Singapore on 10th September and in Finland on 16th September. The purpose of the observation is to find out what really happens in early childhood education and which paths increase children’s balanced learning and well-being.

Taiwanese colleagues have landed


Our precious colleagues from Taiwan arrived in Helsinki today. Their input is essential in agreeing on the final versions of the 2015 data collection. We need to go through the observation definitions, interview questions, child evaluations and the learning environment evaluations. Furthermore, we also need to agree on the definitions of the observation training videos. A laborious but exciting work ahead! We will use the results in the Finnish, Hong Kong, Singaporean and Taiwanese training.

Children’s orientations and Learning Environment qualities

Dr. Doris Cheng Pui-wah from the Hong Kong Institute of Education has applied the Orientation project interview instrument to compare two different types of learning environment. The preliminary results show for example that in academic-oriented pre-schools children have more uncertain and adaptive views which are related to uncertain relationships with teachers and peers. On the other hand in a more child-centered kindergarten children have more agentive and open views describing more harmonic interaction with teachers and peers. These preliminary results reveal exciting possibilities for building a nourishing social LE, for analyzing social interaction and for evaluating social interaction. The  first glimpses of the mind-blowing research can be found here.

NAER conference presentations

2013 International Conference on Agency and learning took place 14-15 May 2013. The conference was thought-provoking and fruitful. The conference handbook can be retrieved here. Thank you all at the National Academy of Educational Research and especially Rosalind Wu. It was amazing to see tentative ideas from 2008 becoming reality in 2013.

Inspiring Hong Kong collaboration

Jyrki Reunamo visited Hong Kong Institute of Education 25th May – 3rd June to share research initiatives and to present development tasks. Concrete research initiatives and development projects were started, mutual interests found and the future collaboration looks fruitful, to say the least.  There are things we can learn from each other and there are interesting things that we can compare and get perspective on. In a blog it is not possible to elaborate on the possibilities. The project will reveal itself bit by bit as the process advances. In the picture below you can see a gym in a day care center in Hong Kong.