ECEC models: European Perspectives Susanna Mantovani

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1 ECEC models: European Perspectives Susanna Mantovani Università di MILANO-BICOCCA 1

2 European ECEC European ECEC, since its origins in the late Eighteenth Century Kindergarten, Casa dei Bambini, Krippe, Crèche, Ecole Maternelle, Nursery Schools, etc. - is rooted in the community as places to live and learn to be cared for and to experience relationships rather than programmes. Over the centuries it has steadily developped into systems with many common features and innumerable local variations. 2

3 CARE Project I will refer to the Project CARE Curriculum Quality and Analysis Impact Review of European Early Childhood Education 3

4 CARE is a Consortium of 11 research groups: Utrecht University NETHERLANDS University of Oxford UK University of Jyvaskyla FINLAND Free University of Berlin GERMANY ICSTE, University of Lisbon PORTUGAL Hellenic Open University GREECE Aarhus University DENMARK Catholic University of Leuven BELGIUM University of Warsaw POLAND Vestvold College NORWAY University of Milan-Bicocca with Reggio Children ITALY 4

5 CARE is a Consortium of 11 research groups: (a preferenza: questa o la prec) Utrecht University, NETHERLANDS University of Oxford, UK ICSTE, University of Lisbon, PORTUGAL University of Jyvaskyla, FINLAND Free University of Berlin, GERMANY Vestvold College, NORWAY Aarhus University, DENMARK Catholic University of Leuven, BELGIUM University of Milan-Bicocca with Reggio Children, ITALY University of Warsaw, POLAND Hellenic Open University, GREECE 5

6 CARE aims to develop a culture sensitive framework for defining and examining curriculum, pedagogy and quality characteristics that contribute most to child development, learning and well-being 6

7 7 European ECEC shares common theoretical sources

8 Common roots Holistic, child-centred view Respect for the unique child Learning as an active process, involving play, exploration and creating Focus on context and community Key role of the enviroment Social interactions and relationships Importance of safety, security, curiosity and pleasure 8

9 But: variability in the interpretation of the common theoretical models reference to specific theoretical models Bruner Isaacs Rousseau Pestalozzi Freinet Bandura Freire Winnicott Dewey Petersen Parkhurst Dolto Doise Schmidt Rosa and Teresa Agazzi Pizzigoni Lezine Pikler Wallon 9

10 European ECEC shares goals Well-being, universal access, inclusion, participation The most common goal is the development of identity/autonomy in children The second most common goal is democratic values/contributing to the community or society The third is academic skills to enable the child to suceed in school 10

11 European ECEC has different ways to conceive/ define/implement curriculum: National Curriculum Framework (centralised, legal status) National Curriculum Guidelines (centralised, non legal status) Local Curriculum Framework (decentralised, legal status) Local Curriculum Guidelines (decentralised, non legal status) Other 11 (Source: CARE)

12 CURRICULUM is a cultural construct and acquires different meanings from the local public discourse, beleiefs and values about children, education and teaching responsibilities It is situated in its explicit and implicit parts. Risks today : - oversimplified stress on «academics» after PISA schock - castling and cocooming chilhood as a golden age - ineffective inclusive practices Need for new balances and hybridization between local approaches 12

13 European ECEC emphasizes and shares general pedagogical practices: Carefully planned enviroments (aesthetics) Observation Documentation interpreted in specific local ways 13

14 ECEC common trends and local interpretations Continuity Increasing Professional Development (pre-service and inservice) Defining quality Defining and practice evaluation Towards an integrated system Implementing research and European research based and evidence based data 14

15 Many of these key-words emerged in Italian ECEC in the Seventies and Eighties and are now common in the EU and international documents: Pedagogia del benessere (well-being pedagogy) Pedagogia del buon gusto (aesthetics) Participation (rather than parental involvment) Formation (rather than training) Space as third educator Pedagogista and many others 15

16 ECEC in Italy as a country metaphor: heritage, challenges, hopes 16

17 Children in Italy Children 0-5: Children birth rate decreasing since 2008 Today: - 1,42% Less children in each family, born later (Data Source: ISTAT, 2014) 17

18 Children attending Scuola dell Infanzia (3-6): Children with Immigrant background attending S.I (3-6): 9,17% Children with certified disabilities in State S.I (3-6): 1,42% Children attending Nido (0-3): ,7%) (Data source: MIUR,ISTAT) 18

19 A Split System Ministry of Education 3-6 SCUOLA DELL INFANZIA 96,7% ECEC SYSTEM in ITALY 0-3 NIDO 0-3 OTHER SERVICES 19,7% (from 0% to 40%) Regions & Municipalities 5-6% 19

20 Children attending Nido (0-3)... 33,5% 31,1% 33,4%?. 6 % 5,1 %.. (Data source: ISTAT 2014) 20

21 We face for the first time in many years a decrease in attendance in ECEC. Cuts have been dramatic: staff turnover, resources for inclusion, in-service PD, innovative projects, research. ECEC for the very young poses affordabiity questions and costs for providers and families show enormous variations. 21

22 Staff looks back at «the golden age» and resists to change : Facing new cultural challenges ( the new Italians) Structural and organizational changes ( new flexibilities) New partnership amnong different actors and professionals New participatory demands Technologies 22

23 Heritage 1 Scuola dell infanzia, the best loved school, is nearly for all Scuola dell Infanzia has shared National Guidelines defined through participatory processes. Rooted in the community General consensus in expanding Nido Outstanding experiences and everyday experiences in dialogue (twinning experiences) Common beliefs variety of interpreations 23

24 Heritage 2 Strong networking traditions Cared environments ( the «piazze») Group / peer) work at all levels (the «discussions») Researcb based PD and Innovation : parnership with Universities and research centres Bottom up evaluation experiments Continuty experiences at local level We have learned endurance 24

25 Perspectives and hopes A changing climate A new pre-service PD system (for educators working with the youngest) Towards an integrated system (law 1260) lex delega? New participatory impulse and awareness of shared responsibilities New ideas and creative solutions( Sezioni Primavera, CBF, new forms of PD) From resistence to active agency at all levels 25

26 ECEC in Italy is holding on and is trying to find new paths with realism and creativity A metaphor of the state of the country 26

27 We need to dig deeper in our tradition and to open up to Europe and the world looking for new sources to reinterpret our heritage, to give voice to new actors and to find new and lasting energies. 27

28 Times are not easy and and we need to find the right pace. With pleasure and beauty For all our children 28

29 29 Exploring the right pace

30 30 Doing things together

31 31 Playing together 1

32 32 Playing together 2

33 33?

34 About twenty years ago we celebrated, in my University, Loris Malaguzzi s birthday short after he had left us. Today more than ever we need to be «nostalgic about our future». 34 Thank you!

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