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Welcome to the power point presentation titled The Finnish Preschool System and Education. Presentation at the congress 'Childhood, Child good' KATHO Belgium on the 18th- 20th of April 2002 Ph.D Ulla Härkönen Ph.D, Lecturer in Early Childhood Education

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Welcome to the power point presentation titled the finnish preschool system and education l.jpg
Welcome to the power point presentation titledThe Finnish Preschool System and Education

  • Presentation at the congress 'Childhood, Child good'

  • KATHO Belgium on the 18th- 20th 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: [email protected]

  • http://sokl.joensuu.fi/harkonen


History of preschool 1 l.jpg
History of preschool 1

  • in the1840s: 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 1920s Aukusti Salo: the kindergarten and lower classes are close to each other

  • in the 1940s: the kindergarten is like home, not like school


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History of preschool 2

  • at the end of the 1960s: 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 l.jpg
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 l.jpg
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


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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


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Typical things for preschool in Finland 3

  • the average age 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


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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.


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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



The aims and goals of preschool l.jpg

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

The aims and goals of preschool


Obligatory things in preschool l.jpg
Obligatory things in preschool ? environments

  • 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)


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Preschool-teacher education 1 environments

  • 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 the 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


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Preschool-teacher education 2 environments

  • 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


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Preschool-teacher education 3 environments

  • 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 and 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 l.jpg

3 years: 120 cu environments

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 4:Preschool and Primary School Teacher Education


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Preschool-teacher education 5: environmentsProblems 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 l.jpg
Some www-addresses environments

  • 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 l.jpg

THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION ! environments

And welcome to Finland and to University of Joensuu

Savonlinna Department of Teacher Education


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