Browsing by Subject "PRESCHOOL"

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  • Sairanen, Heidi; Kumpulainen, K.; Kajamaa, A. (2022)
    This paper investigates adult–child interaction in the early years of education. The intention is to understand how children's initiatives and practitioners’ responses support and/or hinder children's agency. Our ethnographic data include 150 h of video data supplemented by observational field notes from a Finnish Early Childhood Education (ECE) centre with eight five-year-old children and two ECE practitioners. The video data were analysed abductively by using an Interaction Analysis method. The children's initiatives were found to manifest in several modes, namely asking a question, suggesting, challenging, refusing and ideating. The responses to these initiatives by the ECE practitioners included accepting, accepting after a rejection, adapting, rejecting or ignoring. The analysis points to ways in which adult–child relationships are negotiated in everyday activities, showing the relational nature of agency and suggesting that the ways in which adult engages in the child's initiations are an intricate part of children's agency.
  • Ang, Lynn; Lipponen, Lasse; Lim, Sirene (2021)
    The early childhood years are pivotal as they mark the beginning of a young child’s life journey into education. This paper offers critical reflections of the early childhood care and education landscape in Singapore as it has evolved over the last decade. The discussion will draw on findings of the study Vital Voices for Vital Years 2 (2019) to explicate the issues, debates and challenges facing the early childhood care and education sector. It argues that recent developments in the sector with stepped increases in government funding and strategic policy development, augmented by the establishment of national agencies committed to improving the quality of care and education, have achieved significant milestones in the country. However, a more critical perspective of the role of early childhood in policy and practice to meet the diverse needs of young children and families is necessary for envisioning education as a pathway to inclusion and social equality, and for building a truly inclusive society.
  • Syrjämäki, Marja; Sajaniemi, Nina; Suhonen, Eira; Alijoki, Alisa; Nislin, Mari (2017)
    The aim of this article is to investigate the pedagogical learning environment in early childhood special education (ECSE). The theoretical framework is based on a conception of interaction being as well a basic human need as, according to sociocultural theories, the basis of learning. Our study was conducted in ECSE kindergarten groups (N = 17) in the area of Helsinki, Finland. We were interested in the overall quality of the pedagogical environment, the quality of enhancing peer interaction (EPI) and the pedagogy for EPI amongst children with diverse characteristics and needs. Quality was evaluated using the quantitative Learning Environment Assessment, completed with qualitative data, which consisted of the researcher's observations and interviews. The quantitative data were presented with descriptive statistics. Qualitative content analysis was used to make a closer examination of EPI pedagogy. The study indicated good pedagogical quality. EPI quality was predictably good due to high overall quality. Our findings highlighted ECSE professionals' versatile pedagogical modes in structuring activities and space and intensive methods in EPI and participation, especially in scaffolding communication (with augmentative or alternative communication systems when needed) and supporting social competence.
  • Viljaranta, Jaana; Aunola, Kaisa; Mullola, Sari; Luonua, Marjaana; Tuomas, Anne; Nurmi, Jan-Erik (2020)
    It has repeatedly been found that temperamental inhibition and low academic achievement are associated with each other: children with cautious and wary or shy behaviour are at risk for low academic achievement. Several suggestions about the mechanism behind this association have been made, these highlighting for example, the fewer learning opportunities of cautious and wary children and more negative interaction between teachers and inhibited children. However, the empirical studies about these mechanisms are rare and, thus, they have remained unclear. This study examined whether children's maths-related self-concept of ability acts as a mediator between their temperamental inhibition and maths performance. 156 children (M-age 7.25 years) were followed during the first grade of primary school. Children's temperamental inhibition was assessed in the beginning of Grade 1. Their maths performance was tested twice, in the beginning and at the end of Grade 1, and their self-concept of ability was measured at the end of Grade 1. The research question was analysed using structural equation modelling. The results showed that children's self-concept of ability did mediate the association between temperamental inhibition and maths performance at Grade 1: that more inhibited children feel they are less capable and competent in maths than less inhibited children, and this contributes to their poorer maths performance. The findings highlight that it is important for teachers and other practitioners to be aware of this effect of temperamental inhibition on self-concept and put effort on promoting positive views of children's competencies and abilities.
  • Kumpulainen, Kristiina; Sairanen, Heidi; Nordström, Alexandra (2020)
    This socioculturally framed case study investigates the digital literacy practices of two young children in their homes in Finland. The aim is to generate new knowledge about children's digital literacy practices embedded in their family lives and to consider how these practices relate to their emergent literacy learning opportunities. The study asks two questions, 'How do digital technologies and media inform the daily lives of children in their homes? Moreover, how do the sociocultural contexts of homes mediate children's digital literacy practices across operational, cultural, critical and creative dimensions of literacy?' The empirical data collection drew on the 'day-in-the-life' methodology, using a combination of video recordings, photographs, observational field notes and parent interviews. The data were subjected to thematic analysis following an ethnographic logic of enquiry. The findings make visible how children's digital literacy practices are intertwined in families' everyday activities, guided by parental rules and values. The study demonstrates children's operational, cultural and creative digital literacy practices. The study also points out the need for more attention to children's critical engagement in their digital literacy practices.