To check criterion-validity we will compare the Finnish PF-observation and American CLASS-observation. Both observations will be conducted in the same groups. Yasmin Fong from the Education University of Hong Kong visited Finland to train four observers. Now we have four observers licenced to do CLASS-observations in Finland. It will be interesting to compare the Finnish PF with the American Class. Furthermore, it will be even more interesting to compare Finnish and Hong Kong Early Education based on the two observation methods. Yasmin will train Hong Kong observers to use also PF in Hong Kong. The picture is from CLASS training with Roosa-Maria Laaksonen, Mari Sillman, Yasmin Fong, Jenny Hietanen and Jouni Veijalainen.

Gender differences in self-regulation

If the emotional self-regulation has different criterions for boys and girls, the gender differences may have educational background. How are the teachers self-regulations evaluations and children’s emotional expressions related? Are these relations related to expected gender experiences? Read the article online at

Is child-centered pedagogy really good for children’s learning?

Professor James Ko from the Education University of Hong Kong is visiting Finland.  We will test children’s self-management and pre-academic skills both in Finland and Hong Kong. Then we will observe children’s activities and teachers’ activities. in the follow-up study we will test the children again, seeking to find out what kind of learning environment and teaching style is best for children’s learning. This will help teachers, policymakers and parents understand how effective teaching in two contrastive contexts longitudinally affects children’s learning and their influences at multiple levels of surrounding contexts (classroom, school, education system). We will:
1. Examine the relationships between effective teaching and childhood development:
a) Whether children can learn more from teachers who show more positive teacher-student interactions;
b) Whether child-led, play-based teaching and teacher-led, academically-focused teaching approach have different impacts;
c) Whether a dominant type of teaching approach results in different learning outcomes;
2. To examine a) whether the above relationships change or strengthen over time (following up across three school years) and b) whether there are individual differences.

In the picture, you can see James presenting the pre-academic test. In our project we have already found several key indicators for a deep zone of proximal development. This is the first time we study the longitudinal effect of that zone!

Children dealing with frustration in early education

Jouni Veijalainen has been studying children’s emotional expressions in a stressful situation. The children were asked: Think that you fail, what do you do? Jouni studied how children’s descriptions were related to teachers’ evaluations of children’s self-regulation skills. Self-regulation skills have an important role in guiding children with their use and narration of suitable coping strategies on overcoming the frustration effectively. The concrete strategies allow teachers to work concretely with children in enhancing their SR skills and coping strategies further. In the table you see the relation between children’s descriptions and teachers evaluations. These two measures were independent, which increase the criterion validity of the results. The study has been accepted for publication: Veijalainen, J., Reunamo, J., Sajaniemi, N. & Suhonen, E. (In print.) Children’s self-regulation and coping strategies in a frustrated context in early education. South African Journal of Childhood Education.

Different criterions for boys & girls in self-regulation?

An article by Jouni Veijalainen, Jyrki Reunamo and Minna Heikkilä (Early gender differences in emotional expressions and self-regulation in settings of early childhood education and care) has been accepted for publication in the journal Early Child Development and Care. The article is based on the Progressive feedback data. According to the results, boys practice their self-regulation skills in a different context than girls. Perhaps boys practice their SR skills with a higher intensity of emotions than girls. This may lead to a situation in which boys more easily get into trouble in a school with rules and a low tolerance for disturbance. If boys and girls have different criteria for SR skills in kindergarten, their ability to prohibit their emotions later are different. Is the school ready for both girls’ and boys’ different criteria for SR skills?

Interface for a knowledge based Early Learning

Korea is well-known for its high quality and ambitious education. Especially ambitious is NCSoft with its Laughing Peanut kindergarten, combining research based development, and happy children. Jayoung Koo (Laughing Peanut Design Division, Head of Division) and Juyen Kang (Laughing Peanut Design Division, Team Leader) visited Finland 4-5 April. We seek possibilities to integrate the Finnish Progressive Feedback with the Korean  know-how to make a teacher-friendly interface for a knowledge-based Early Education development.

Progressive play

With the support of Lego Foundation we have produced a white paper for Facilitating play. Play is a essential for children’s learning in all kinds of activities. However, play can also get stuck in dead end, increase segregation and be meaningless. The essential element is progressive play. The book is just out, it is available totally free in here.

Precise feedback for schools and classes

In Finland, in Nummenkylä and Siimapuisto day-care centres, we have piloted progressive feedback, in which it is possible to give timely feedback for the educators and principals to understand, follow and steer the development processes in real-time in the school. In the pilot system, each educator is trained as an observer and each observer observes a random group once a month. This practice gives the keys for educational development to the educators and principals, with the possibility to share the results with parents and children for deepr cooperation.

Facilitating play

At Lego Foundation, we have been writing a white paper about Play facilitation: the science behind the art of engaging young children. The writers are Hanne Jensen, Angela Pyle, Jennifer M. Zosh, Hasina B. Ebrahim, Alejandra Zaragoza Scherman, Jyrki Reunamo and Bridget K. Hamre. Play is important in developing skills, learning, solving problems, in relationships, health and societal development. However, not all play is beneficial. Play facilitates learning when it is joyful, meaningful, actively engaging, iterative and socially interactive. In the paper, it is considered important that play is integrated to all activity, including instruction. The paper includes a lot of research results based on our project. Thank you for everyone for their contribution. The paper is disseminated world-wide by Lego and it is launched officially 27 February 2019 in South Africa.