Taiwanese indigenous children’s emotions in preschool

The indgenous people are a minority in Taiwan. The unique characters of their versatile culture is in danger and the families tend to suffer of segregation. The children’s education needs to be enhanced. Professor Elaine Shih and professor Hui-Chun Lee have studied the activities and emotions of the indigenous children by using Progressive Feedback observation. The results show that integrating learning with physical activity and outdoors produces the most positive emotional experiences for these children. The traditional teaching with work at the desk is not enough for these children, they need more versatile ways of learning. The article will be published by Tzu-Chi University publications. The article is in Chinese, but you can easily translate it! Read the article here.

The participation of culturally and linguistically diverse children

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

Participation & special needs

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

Many congratulations!

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).

Supporting physical activity in early education.

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

We can change the world only if we see the opportunity!

Teemu Nikkola researches the connections between children’s creativity and the everyday life, views and sociality of children’s early childhood education. According to Teemu’s article, children’s ability to see social situations (openness and influence) measured by interviews is related to creativity measured by an independent measure (Torrance). Creative children are more open and influential in their social roles. The tendency to develop situations in creative ways is interestingly reflected in new ways of developing social situations as well. Social creativity was particularly evident in children’s peer relationships, but with adults participation was lower. Thus, with adults, the child sees less opportunity for social creativity than with friends. This article has just been published for open access at https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/03004430.2020.1813122. Check out Teemu’s interesting article. The future is open and we can only make a difference if we are able to see and describe real ways to change the world! The child needs the opportunity to practice his or her own social creativity as early as possible to strengthen his or her ability to participate in building our shared world.

International open access webinar about ECEC research and practices (panel with Finnish researchers)

In this video, Finland’s leading researchers on the field of early childhood education and care discuss broad themes, such as: – developing and understanding today’s teacher education programmes – developing pedagogical practices – critical reflection of the processes and future orientation The panelists are following: Professor Heidi Harju-Luukkainen Professor (Emerita) Eeva Hujala Docent, University Lecturer, Jyrki Reunamo Docent, University Lecturer Jonna Kangas University Lecturer Merja Koivula Postdoctoral Researcher Jenni Salminen Postdoctoral Researcher Samuli Ranta This international open access webinar is hosted by JECER (https://jecer.org/) and is posted by Early Childhood Education Association Finland (https://eceaf.org/).

The link to the video: https://youtu.be/tPO9gdhRkUQ

How can physical activity be measured in a valid and reliable way?

JOYPAM (PIILO in Finnish) is a research and development project on monitoring the joy of motion, physical activity and motor skills of young children, Piilo in Finnish. The project was implemented in 2019–2021 through multidisciplinary expert work. It was used to select and develop measurement methods based on population-level data collection, which were used to assess physical activity and motor skills of 4–6-year-old children and the factors related to movement. Progressive Feedback was one of the evaluated methods. Measuring physical activity is not an easy task and it is important to compare different methods and measures to increase reliability and validity. The report is available at https://www.likes.fi/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Piilo_tulosraportti-1.pdf

Children’s social orientations in Taiwan

Professor Hui-Chun lee from Tzu-Chi University and Li-Chen Wang from Chung Gung University in Taiwan have written an article about children’s social orientations in Taiwan based on the Progressive Feedback data. The participants were 366 Taiwanese three- to six-year-old children in day care centers. The children were interviewed to collect their perspectives. The results indicated that the adaptive-accommodative
orientation is the most frequent in the teacher situations. The second most frequent response was the agentive-accommodative orientation. Responses in the agentive-accommodative orientation increased with age while the adaptive-assimilative and agentive-assimilative orientations decreased with age. The most frequent response to peer situations was agentive-accommodative, and this orientation increased
steadily with age; children were more and more likely to express themselves with peers. The young children actively tried to control and change their environment. They displayed their emergent agency. The Table shows the social orientation among peers (同儕情境) and with teachers (師長情境).


Music linked with well-being for 1-3-year-old children

The data of the Progressive Feedback reveals that, especially for young children, music and singing have clear and important connections to children’s well-being. Children in groups with an emphasis on music/singing expressed more positive emotions and were more committed to the activity. In addition, these children were more socially adaptive and had more participatory interactions with adults. The music was thus connected to a strong, lasting, and creative interaction. The same positive effect was not observed in older children. At the age of 1-3, music is associated in many ways with quality pedagogy, when the same was not observed in older children. This suggests that for younger children, music is better integrated into the pedagogical enhancement. However, for the older children, the connections between music and pedagogy were invisible. The results highlight both the importance of music for the well-being of young children and the low pedagogical integration of music in older children, which needs attention. Article can be accessed at https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14613808.2021.1965564. Article information below:

Ruokonen, I., Tervaniemi, M. & Reunamo, J. (In print). The significance of music in early childhood education and care of toddlers in Finland: An extensive observational study. Music Education Research. DOI 10.1080/14613808.2021.1965564.

Dissertation on Culturally and linguistically diverse children’s participation and learning

The Faculty of Education of the University of Turku has granted Outi Arvola a dissertation permit to defend her dissertation “Can you play with me? Culturally and linguistically diverse children’s participation and learning in the context of Finnish Early Childhood Education” in a public dissertation. Congratulations!

The material of the dissertation is the Progressive Feedback data. It highlights in a unique way how broad structural factors are clearly reflected in the close interaction of early childhood education as mechanisms of exclusion and inclusion. The future of the inclusion of children from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds is being built right now in early childhood education.