• 5. Time for group activities



    Time for group activities: localized and individual curricula as a basis for pedagogical planning

    All children are entitled to gain experiences of success and joy in their actions and of themselves as learners. In the next video, we learn more about the principles of children's participation, pedagogical planning and evaluation, and different forms of group activities. Learning is more than just the content – it's also about the people around you.

    In the video:

    • A multidisciplinary foundation
    • Learning for life
    • Pedagogical planning, documentation, evaluation and development
    • An individual ECEC plan for every child sets goals for pedagogical work
    • Formulation of pedagogical activities in ECEC and pre-primary education 
    • Child group structure and size affect the quality of early education
    • Listening to children 
    • A socially sustainable culture of participation
    • Evaluation: aim to develop pedagogy



    Summary

    The guiding principle is that pedagogical goals adapted to everyday life support the goal of delivering high-quality early education, which is based on a wide range of pedagogical knowledge and methodology as well as cross-disciplinary theory and research. The structure and sizes of child groups are determined with the children's best interest and wellbeing as well as the promotion of learning as the primary guidelines.

    Pedagogical activities in early education are guided by the objectives of transversal competence and support for learning processes. These competencies – consisting of knowledge, skills, values, attitudes and willingness – are considered to be developmental preconditions for full membership in society and lifelong learning and sustainability. The development of transversal competence promotes children's growth as individuals and as members of their community and society. 

    The pedagogical guidance of a teacher's work starts at the level of laws. However, goal-oriented activities in line with the curriculum in an ECEC centre cannot be carried out without pedagogical planning, documentation, evaluation and development. Preparing a child's individual ECEC plan as part of the curriculum process makes visible those pedagogical processes and practices by which each child's individual growth, development and learning are supported. Successful pedagogical planning covers three important issues. It comprises both the process (how something is done) and the content of pedagogical activities (what is done). The most important question for pedagogical planning, however, is why something is done. The implementation of pedagogical activities is supported throughout the day and emotional security is created by routines and the structure of activities. In this way, the child feels supported and safe, even if the ECEC personnel in charge of the small group changes during the day.  

    Finnish early education highlights that children’s thoughts and opinions should be listened to and taken into consideration. Children should have the opportunity to have a say in matters related to their everyday lives and to be understood and accepted as they are.

    In line with the basic values of early education, evaluation focuses on evaluation at the national level, the local level, and self-evaluation in ECEC centres at the level of pedagogical activities, but not on children's learning outcomes.  In Finland, the evaluation of early education is carried out for learning and its focus is not on assessment of  learning. Assessment has two targets: (1) to plan and develop education and (2) to support the wellbeing, growth, development and learning of each child . The child's self-assessment skills are also important. By letting children assess their own skills and  activities, teachers receive valuable feedback on how to develop education and teaching. Pedagogical documentation (e.g. portfolios, notes, videos, photograph and children's art) is an important tool for collecting information for assessment.