Professor Hui-Chun Lee from Tzu-Chi University and professor Li-Chen Wang from Chung Gung University in Taiwan have produced a presentation of the project plans from 2014 to 2018. The presentation is in Chinese. Feel free to use it with colleagues or with observers, evaluators, adminstrators or parents. The presentation can be retrieved here.
Xinhuanet is a leading news media in China. Xinhuanet published an interview about Orientation project that considers the connections between learning, well-being and physical activity. In the interview the importance of wholesome development is emphasized. Hopefully the interview instigates a discussion! You can read the interview here.
The research permits for parents have been translated. Still under construction are Albanian, French, Somalia and Turkey. If the research permit has not been translated to the language parents understand, an interpreter needs to be used. The research permit forms can be downloaded from here.
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!
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.
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.
Dr. Cheng’s visit includes preparing future collaboration and research projects. We also work on the comparison of children’s orientations in different educational settings. Dr. Cheng will be in Finland until 9th November 2013. Thus we have also plenty of time to report on our research findings.
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.
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.
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.