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Welcome to the power point presentation titled The Finnish Preschool System and Education • Welcome to the power point presentation titled The Finnish Preschool System and Education • Presentation at the congress 'Childhood, Child good' • KATHO Belgium on the 18 th- 20 th of April 2002 • Ph. D Ulla Härkönen • Ph. D, Lecturer in Early Childhood Education • University of Joensuu • Savonlinna Department of Teacher Education • P. B 55, 57101 Savonlinna • FINLAND • email: Ulla. [email protected] fi • http: //sokl. joensuu. fi/harkonen

History of preschool 1 • in the 1840 s: schools for small children • History of preschool 1 • in the 1840 s: schools for small children • in 1863 Uno Cygnaeus: a kindergarten and a model school by the teacher seminar • in 1888 the first kindergarten in Finland; Friedrich Fröbel; Hanna Rothman and Elisabet Alander • in the 1920 s Aukusti Salo: the kindergarten and lower classes are close to each other • in the 1940 s: the kindergarten is like home, not like school

History of preschool 2 • at the end of the 1960 s: the great History of preschool 2 • at the end of the 1960 s: the great school reform, also preschool experiments • 1970: The Preschool Committee • 1972: the first preschool curriculum • 1984: the preschool curriculum for 6 year- olds • 1996: The Basics of Preschool Curriculum • 2000: The Basics of Preschool Curriculum

Authorities behind Preschool curriculums • • • National Social Administration National School Administration Center Authorities behind Preschool curriculums • • • National Social Administration National School Administration Center for Social and Health Studies National Board of Education sometimes alltogether, sometimes separately The last preschool curriculum is published by the National Board of Education, but made together with The Center for Social and Health Studies

Typical things for preschool in Finland 1 • preschool lies between social and educational Typical things for preschool in Finland 1 • preschool lies between social and educational spheres • earlier preschool meant ages: 0 -6 or 3 -6 or only 6 • nowadays preschool means only 6 year- olds • preschool belongs to early childhood education as it has always been • preschool does not belong to basic education

Typical things for preschool in Finland 2 • school obligation in Finland begins at Typical things for preschool in Finland 2 • school obligation in Finland begins at the age of 7 • it has been discussed if the age of 6 would be a better age to start the school • preschool is mainly - 80 -90 % - arranged by social authorities in day care centres • only about 10 % of preschool is arranged by educational authorities at schools

Typical things for preschool in Finland 3 • the average group is 65 000 Typical things for preschool in Finland 3 • the average group is 65 000 children • in 1997: 35 000 6 year-olds were in day care centre preschool groups and 7 500 in school preschool groups • nowadays about 6000 preschool children are at preschool in schools • in 1999: 80 % of 6 year-olds attended voluntary preschool, varying from 20 % to 97 % in different parts of Finland

Typical things for preschool in Finland 4 • the New Preschool Acts entered into Typical things for preschool in Finland 4 • the New Preschool Acts entered into force 1. 8. 2000 • municipalities are obliged to offer preschool education since 1. 8. 2001 • preschool is voluntary for a child • a child has the right to free preschool • The new Basics of Preschool Curriculum could be used from 1. 8. 2001 and be put into full use at least on 1. 8. 2002 • preschool teachers plan local curriculums in cooperation with several partners: other teachers, parents, children, researchers, authorities etc.

Typical things for preschool in Finland 5 • • preschool covers at least 700 Typical things for preschool in Finland 5 • • preschool covers at least 700 hours a year preschool can be max. 5 hours a day preschool can be arranged in many ways preschool children can be in full-time day care groups (8 -10 hours) or in part-time day care groups (4 -5 hours a day) ; preschool can be a part of a day or the whole day! • the preschool children who are at schools may need afternoon care in day care centres or in family day care centres

Schedule of a preschool day Schedule of a preschool day

The aims and goals of preschool • offer better learning possibilities and good learning The aims and goals of preschool • offer better learning possibilities and good learning environments • learn to learn • enjoy learning • positive self-concept • basic knowledge, skills and attitudes • understand the meaning of the group • learn to differ the right and the wrong • good manners • learn equality • enjoy the nature, culture and language • manage in everyday life

Obligatory things in preschool ? • municipality must arrange preschool • local curriculums must Obligatory things in preschool ? • municipality must arrange preschool • local curriculums must be planned on the basis of the national curriculum • the custodian chooses whether a child gets religious instruction or world outlook knowledge or some other ethical instruction • subjects: language and interaction, mathematics, ethics and world outlook, science and environment, health, physical development, art and culture • learning, teaching, playing, learning environment • a child can get a participation certificate (not obligatory)

Preschool-teacher education 1 • kindergarten teachers are trained at certain universities’ teacher training departments Preschool-teacher education 1 • kindergarten teachers are trained at certain universities’ teacher training departments • it lasts 3 years • it is characteristic of the Finnish day care system that the staff is highly-qualified and highly-educated • teachers learn theory of day care and preschool education as well as the latest research and its applications • they know also the day care tradition like Fröbel and other pedagogies (Montessori, Steiner, Dewey, Neill, Malaguzzi) • the preschool teachers themselves are also active in researching the education, learning and teaching

Preschool-teacher education 2 • • educational science early childhood educational science development psychology and Preschool-teacher education 2 • • educational science early childhood educational science development psychology and psychology languages, math. , science, music, art, gymnastics, drama • practices: 3 weeks in the first year, 2 weeks in the second year, 4 weeks in the third year in autumn, 3 weeks in the third year in spring • a student is free to choose only 4 optional cu • we have the year and credit unit system

Preschool-teacher education 3 • one training preschool class at a nearby practice school • Preschool-teacher education 3 • one training preschool class at a nearby practice school • about 13 day care centres in our small town of Savonlinna • students go for two practice terms all over Finland sometimes for 2 weeks practice abroad • preschool teachers instruct students during every practice term • university lecturers come once to guide and instruct a student pair during the first practice • university lecturers come once to guide a single student during the last practice term

Preschool-teacher education 4: Preschool and Primary School Teacher Education • • 3 years: 120 Preschool-teacher education 4: Preschool and Primary School Teacher Education • • 3 years: 120 cu practice 12 cu candidate’s thesis 5 cu methodological studies together • early childhood education for 15 cu • the structure of the curriculum is the same • we are highly integrated • • 4 years: 160 cu practice 14 -16 cu master thesis 16 cu + 4 cu they have more methodological studies • more didactics and school subjects • many professors and lecturers are common (it makes also problems)

Preschool-teacher education 5: Problems or not ? • integration with primary school teacher education, Preschool-teacher education 5: Problems or not ? • integration with primary school teacher education, kindergarten teachers and primary school teachers (1 -2 classes) may teach preschool children in day care centres or at schools • preschool has got most of attention, what about other age groups in day care ? Under 3 year-olds? • theories put stress on learning or on development or on didactics but what about the entire personality and education of the child? • schools put stress on didactics, is it too narrow a point of view? • how are different action forms: basic activities, work, real play, celebrations, trips ?

Some www-addresses • • • http: //www. stakes. fi http: //www. lastentarha. fi http: Some www-addresses • • • http: //www. stakes. fi http: //www. lastentarha. fi http: //www. minedu. fi http: //www. edu. fi/info/system/english/index. html http: //www. oph. fi http: //www. joensuu. fi http: //savonlinnakampus. joensuu. fi http: //www. savonlinna. fi http: //www. operafestival. fi http: //www. yle. fi/opinportti/makasiini/ 20020415/ullaharkonen. shtml http: //www. yle. fi/mikaeli/arkisto/tutkimus/varhaiskasvatus/index. htm http: //sokl. joensuu. fi/harkonen

THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION ! And welcome to Finland to University of Joensuu THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION ! And welcome to Finland to University of Joensuu Savonlinna Department of Teacher Education