GINTL-funded projects: Finnish early childhood education and care webinar series

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TopicsBlog posts & articles, GINTL-funded projects

This webinar series focused on the unique Finnish early childhood education and care (ECEC) system – pedagogy and early childhood teacher education as key elements ensuring the equitability and quality of ECEC. The project involved three universities, two universities of applied sciences and one company in Finland, as well as three universities and one company in China.

‘Pedagogy and early childhood teacher education as key elements ensuring the equitability and quality of ECEC

The webinar series included five webinars, which were organised between March and May 2022. The speakers of all five webinars were renowned early childhood education researchers, and practitioners from Finland. The webinars shared the best research, practices, and concrete pedagogical methods of early childhood education in Finland and discussed them with Chinese partners. The five events were successfully implemented with over 620 active participations from several countries.

Participating institutions from Finland:

  • Global Innovation Network for Teaching and Learning (GINTL)
  • University of Turku
  • University of Helsinki
  • University of Jyväskylä
  • Häme University of Applied Sciences (HAMK)
  • Omnia, the Joint Authority of Education in the Espoo region
  • Helsinki Brief Therapy Institute

Participating institutions from China:

  • Beijing Normal University
  • South-West University
  • Central China Normal University
  • I can do (Beijing) Consulting Ltd.

Topics of the sessions

Webinar 1

‘Introduction to Finnish early childhood education’

  • 22 March, 2022
  • 158 participants
  • Speakers: Prof. Inkeri Ruokonen, Prof. Hannele Niemi  

Webinar 2

‘Supporting children in learning self-management and social-emotional skills using the solution-focused Kids’ Skills method’

  • 29 March, 2022
  • 221 participants
  • Speakers: Dr. Ben Furman, Dr. Jenny Niu

Webinar 3

‘Integrative arts and music pedagogy promoting children’s wellbeing, development and learning’

  • 19 April, 2022
  • 80 participants
  • Speakers: Prof. Mari Tervaniemi, Prof. Inkeri Ruokonen

Webinar 4

‘LUMA center STEM education in early childhood education: Young children’s participation and imagination in play-based science education’

  • 19 April, 2022
  • 85 participants
  • Speakers: Maija Aksela, Reija Pesonen, Dr. Jenni Vartiainen

Webinar 5

‘Technology used for children’s learning, supporting the steps needed for acquiring full literacy using digital learning environments, Digital storytelling pedagogical method’

  • 10 May 2021
  • 68 participants
  • Prof. Heikki Lyytinen, Prof. Hannele Niemi, Dr. Jenny Niu

Take aways from the webinar series

Learning opportunity for students, teachers, and researchers

Based on the participants’ feedback, the webinar series has attracted large amount researchers, students, educators and teachers—not only from Finland and China, but also from other countries, such as Namibia, India, the Philippines, Spain, and more. Additionally, the webinar series has been implemented at part of the curriculum at Beijing Normal University, resulting in a range of learning reports based on the topics covered in the different sessions. One student said: “I am so impressed by the Finnish education system, especially the concepts and implementation of equity, equality, and life-long learning.”

“I am so impressed by the Finnish education system, especially the concepts and implementation of equity, equality, and life-long learning.”

Student from Beijiing Normal University

Another student commented that “the video of Pikkunorssi gave me very deep impression and ideas how the student teachers, educators and teachers work together as well as how the inclusive education is fully demonstrated in Finnish early childhood education.” The organisers are were happy to receive many learning reflections from the students, teachers as well as from the event’s chat messages. This shows that the participants have learned a lot from the webinars and that the interactive discussions among participants were thought provoking and valuable.

Strengthening collaboration between Finnish and Chinese institutions

The webinar series has further strengthened the collaboration between Finnish and Chinese higher education institutions (HEIs) in co-creating research-based solutions for global challenges in early childhood education. It also has promoted Finnish early childhood education, especially the equity, equality, teacher education, life-long learning, inclusiveness education, and transversal competencies for the UN Sustainable Education Goal number 4. As the results of the webinars, there are joint researcher projects and plans for a conference, which will be implemented in the near future between the different universities in China and Finland.

The basis of this successful project is a collaboration mindset, together with clear and continuous communication and discussion. All parties shared common interests and good will in the collaboration, while every partner is appreciated and respected. Each partner had clear understanding of the project and took responsibilities, while the activities were based on collaboration and respect to each other and listening to each other’s needs. The webinar series and the associated coordination has resulted in comprehensive plans of the project implementation with strong commitment from each shareholder. Through this project, we have learned a lot in terms of collaboration, and are confident regarding future collaboration.

Author

Jenny Shuanghong Niu

Postdoctoral Researcher

jenny.niu[at]helsinki.fi

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Project coordinators

GINTL Finnish higher education institutions