Topic outline

  • Welcome to Finnish Early Education and Pedagogy: The Right to Play, Learn and Participate!

    Join us on a journey through daily practices of Finnish ECEC and pre-primary education! We are pleased to invite you on an adventure that aims to elaborate possibilities to bring quality education to children and young people everywhere!  This course is the second of the five Education in Finland: Learning for Life MOOCs exploring the joy of learning and equal opportunities in Finnish education.   

    Suitable for everyone!

    The course is suitable for everyone interested in high-quality teaching and comprehensive education for all levels, from ECEC to upper secondary education and working life. In this course you will learn the basic elements of Finland's early childhood  education and care, and its role as a steppingstone to the Finnish educational path and as a part of the Finnish education system. There are no requirements for previous studies. The general quidelines can be found on the next tab: "Course instructions".

    Our mission

    • Support teachers, instructors, mentors, caregivers, students, parents, and anyone who works with or is interested in working with children to organize high-quality early education activities.
    • Provide the confidence and skills to support pedagogical activities throughout the whole day in various situations using the daily structure of Finnish ECEC as a model.
    • Provide insights on the importance of quality interaction as a basis for inclusive play-based pedagogy.
    • Suggest some ways to listen to children and support their active participation and play.
    • Offer assignments planned for continuous learning: the process of learning new skills and knowledge on a continuing basis.

    Note: There are subtitles available (a quotation mark at the bottom right corner of the video player).

    Reflect on how you may apply the principles and practices of Finnish early education in your own community

    In the course assignments, you can reflect on how you may apply the principles and practices of Finnish early education in your own community. The assignments are applicable to various environments. Reflect on the topics with your own family or work community (e.g. school, ECEC, children's hobbies, care or rehabilitation). 

    After completing the course, you will be able to do the following:

    • Explain the Finnish early education system and its main principles and values
    • Describe in broad terms the different levels of the early childhood education and care (ECEC) curriculum (national, local, individual)
    • Understand the importance of play in children's learning and in Finnish ECEC and pre-primary education
    • Be familiar with the principles of child-centered, inclusive and holistic pedagogy
    • Understand the importance of multiprofessional teamwork and educational partnership/cooperation with guardians 
    • Know the key principles of diverse and pedagogically planned use of learning environments
    • Justify the importance of positive learning experiences and education for sustainable living

    Finland is known for the high quality of its education

    Finland has often been described as the happiest country in the world. Education system, and how it embodies country’s deep-rooted values is seen as the key component to the nation’s possibilities for success. Finland is also known for the high quality of its education. The foundation of the world-famous Finnish school system was created at the University of Jyväskylä in 1863.

    This course is built with respect for the rights of the child and an interest in high-quality teaching. At the University of Jyväskylä, we want to support high-quality early education and contribute to children's happy everyday life with good ECEC experiences. Pedagogy  should  be  organized  around  the  principles  of  cooperation,  collaboration,  and  solidarity (UNESCO, 2021). 

    Come join us and experience a child's day in ECEC and pre-primary education. Learn about the pedagogical principles and the implementation of pedagogy at various stages of the day.  We warmly welcome you to Finnish Early Education and Pedagogy: The Right to Play, Learn and Participate!

    Best regards from the course team,

    Tiina Lämsä (course responsible teacher), Piia Parviainen, Otto Virkkula and Essi Rutanen.

    Authors of the course materials: 

    Tiina Lämsä (PhD, Customer Relationship Manager, University Teacher, Open University, University of Jyväskylä  | Adjunct Professor, University of Canberra), Piia Parviainen (University Teacher, Department of Education, University of Jyväskylä), Otto Virkkula (University Teacher, Department of Education, University of Jyväskylä) and Essi Rutanen (University Teacher, Department of Education, University of Jyväskylä). 

    The professionals that have been interviewed are Niina Rutanen (Professor, Department of Education, University of Jyväskylä), Jenni Salminen ( PhD, Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Teacher Education, University of Jyväskylä), Eija Väyrynen (teacher in ECEC, Keltinmäki ECEC centre, City of Jyväskylä ), Elina Laine (teacher in ECEC, Kukkumäki ECEC centre, City of Jyväskylä ), Pia Malin (teacher in ECEC, Kukkumäki ECEC centre, City of Jyväskylä) and the children from various ECEC groups. Participants in the production and technical implementation of the course content are Tony Melville (video voiceover) along with Teppo Haapasalo, Kari Toiviainen and Jani Lahtinen from Rotia prkl ltd. Our warm thanks for everybody!

    Copyright of the material: CC-BY-NC-ND

    The copyright to the videos and materials in this course belongs to the authors. You must give appropriate credit and provide a link to the licence. You may not use the material for commercial purposes.  The licence may not give you all of the permission necessary for your intended use. For example, other rights regarding publicity, privacy, or moral rights may limit how you use the material. Historical photographs in video 2: University of Jyväskylä / Open Science Centre, Jyväskylä University Museum.