Tunisia, World bank & UNICEF cooperation

The Tunisian Ministry of Women, Family and Children partnered with Fun Academy to provide equitable and high-quality early childhood education and care (ECEC) in Tunisia. The World Bank and UNICEF are providing the international and technical support for this initiative. The delegation visited University of Helsinki in August to seek possibilities for early childhood development (ECD) and protection. The Orientation Project provides excellent auditing tools to observe how lessons, activities and routines within an early years setup are correlated with ECD outcomes.

Progressive Feedback for kindergarten principals in Helsinki

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.

Progressive feedback in my kindergarten

We have started a pilot, in which individual kindergartens, groups and maybe even children can get real-time feedback of their processes. In the first stage the pilot includes Siimapuisto kindergarten in Vantaa and Nummenkylä kindergarten in Järvenpää. We aim to have the tools ready by spring 2019 and it is applicable then also in other kindergartens and with childminders. The picture is from the first observation training in Siimapuisto 15 March 2018.

Progressive feedback available for the cities and early educators

It is one small step for early educator, one giant leap for early education! To start using the new progressive feedback interface with a regular web-browser. In the interface there are both readymade analysis and a possibility to edit the results in many ways, resulting in a versatile and real-time feedback for the early educators. Now the cities have access to Finnish results in real time. What’s more, now the city’s own results can be seen in comparison. We have started a new era in the evaluation, feedback and development of Early Childhood Education.

Plan – Act – Share

sharingIn 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.

Riverplan in Taiwan

riverplanIn 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.

A grant for our project

The Finnish National Board of Education has granted our project on Progressive Feedback for 280 000 euro. The grant was clearly the largest sum funded of all applications. This funding is a major support and recognition of our project. The participating municipalities include Espoo, Hyvinkää, Hämeenlinna, Järvenpää, Kerava, Mäntsälä, Nurmijärvi, Sipoo, Turku and Vantaa. The project coordinating municipality is Kouvola. Thank you for the team for a succesful project! The funding will help us to make the best of progressive feedback. We will concentrate on accuracy, depth, topicality and feedback.


Online progressive feedback in ECE

ryhIn a meeting with the participating municipalities in Finland 3rd December in Vantaa, we discussed about the needs and interests to enhance ECE in each municipality. The municipalities situation, resources and interests are versatile. Our task is to integrate these interests to deepen the online developmental feedback. The purpose is 1) to enhance municipalities’ possibilities to get essential feedback and impact its collection, 2) to enhance the tools and possibilities for online progressive feedback, 3) to connect the feedback with ECE development and 4) to steer ECE development based on valid and real-time understanding. In December 2015 the municipalities get a proposition for the practical issues of feedback. In the next meeting 26th February 2016 we go through the questions and propositions evoked by the proposition. We aim to make the decision about starting progressive feedback in April 2016.

Just as an example, we can keep up with the variety of children’ mean physical activity in different groups (see the figure above) and study the effects of different enhancements.


Nordic comparison in 2015?

At the 3rd ECEC Conference in Oslo 11 and 12 November we had a workshop on implementing Orientation project research tools on the Nordic level. We concentrated on questions:

  • How to get more resources for professional development?•
  • How to empower educators to develop their work?
  • What are the possibilities for a shared comparative research across Nordic

The need for a research to find out what really happens in ECEC in Nordic countries was clear to all participants. We are seeking for funding possibilities from the Nordic Council. The Orientation project tools were introduced in a presentation. The slides can be retrieved here (children’s pictures omitted). Thank you for the interest and lets hope we can get good aspirations into concrete actions.

Dong Hwa University Conference in 18th May

The 2013 International Conference on Early Childhood Education Pro-Development and Agentive Practice in Dong Hwa University in Hualien was rich both intellectually and emotionally. Both Finnish and Taiwanese developers presented their development models based on the research results. The presenters themselves were best examples of ECEC developers who were aware of the difficulties but also saw the value of their work and presented their results with pride and respect. Thank you all who made it possible! The conference handbook can be retrieved here.