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Current Theories Related to Early Childhood Education and Preschool as Frames of Reference for Sustainable Education. PhD Ulla Härkönen Lecturer in Early Childhood Education University of Joensuu Savonlinna Department of Teacher Education [email protected] 2003.

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Current Theories

Related to

Early Childhood Education

and Preschool

as Frames of

Reference for

Sustainable Education

PhD Ulla Härkönen

Lecturer in Early Childhood Education

University of Joensuu

Savonlinna Department of Teacher Education

[email protected]

2003

http://sokl.joensuu.fi/harkonen


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In Finland:

* school begins at the age of seven

* early childhood education means all education under 7

* preschool means education of six-year-olds

* sustainable education means education for sustainable development (Åhlberg 2003)

* sustainable education is a part of ECE and preschool

* care, education and teaching


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U. Bronfenbrenner’s paradigm

  • Lewin: B= (PE) (Behaviour is a joint function of person and environment)

  • Bronfenbrenner: D=f (PE) (Development is a joint function of person and environment)

  • D t = f (t-p) (PE) (t-p) ’t’ is a certain time; ’t-p’ is a time period


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Bronfenbrenner asks:

The answer that is the most difficult to reach is concealed in the letter ’f’. He asks:

What is the process that is to be created by the person and the context?


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L. Vygotsky´s Theory

”The central issue in Vygotsky’s theoretical thinking is in the Development of qualitatively novel (’higher’) psychological functions in the history of cultures and ontogeny of children in the process of organisms’(i.e. culture, or child) goal-directed acting upon their environments” (Valsiner, 1987: 64).


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Vygotsky underlines

  • the social roots of development:1) cultural-historical factors2) interaction of individuals

  • social situations of development

  • environment´s qualitative changes lead to psychic changes (Vygotsky, 1978: 52-57)


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Vygotsky´s Socio-Cultural Theory

* language has a most significant meaning for the development of mental activities

* learning influences in development

* the zone of proximal development (ZPD)

* interaction, internalisation, genetic law of cultural development: two plans (social and psychological)


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Didactics

  • is a discipline, the study of teaching

  • school pedagogy: between school and society

  • teaching is a process of planning, action and evaluation; values, goals, contents and methods

  • Kansanen (1991): ”pedagogical thinking is a basic skill behind a teaching of teachers”


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Theories of Learning

  • constructivist theory; knowledge is seen neither absolute nor objective

  • changing nature of knowledge

  • children learn in activity, in relation to other persons and environment


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Friedrich Fröbel

A.S. Neill

Johann Pestalozzi

John Dewey

Rudolf Steiner

Maria Montessori

Helen Parkhurst

Célestin Freinet

Vasili Suhomlinski

Loris Malaguzzi

period:1746-1994

Philosopher-pedagogues


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Categories of history’s philosopher-pedagogues’texts

  • world outlook

  • concept of man

  • concept of society

  • concept of knowledge generation

  • concept of education

  • main method of education

  • practical pedagogical process


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The text analysis

has been made from Finnish textbooks of early childhood education and preschool published during 30 last years.


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Study of the books

  • the definitions of ’Early childhood education’ and ’Preschool’ have focused

  • the concepts ’Early childhood education’ and ’Preschool’ have been analyzed

  • the concepts ’Early childhood education’ and ’Preschool’ have been modelled


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Three dimensions in the definitions

  • the definitions of ECE and preschool have meant

    1) practice

    2) science

    3) subject

    (sometimes administration)

  • preschool has always been a part of ECE


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Systems theory four dimension model of the concept of early childhood education. Explanation: ECE=early childhood education


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Systems theory four dimension model of the concept of preschool.Explanation: ECE=early childhood education


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The ECE curriculum in relation to the systems theory four dimension model of the concept of early childhood education. Explanation: ECE=early childhood education


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Usefulness of the Systems Definition for ECE and SE dimension model of the concept of early childhood education.

  • this kind of theory is an educational theory for educational phenomenon

  • it is a systems theory for systems phenomenon

  • it gives many components of whole concepts

  • it gives also the sub-components, such as practice: care, education, teaching


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The Usefulness of the Systems Definition of ECE for SE dimension model of the concept of early childhood education.

  • SE can be placed in the centre of the systems model and it must be discussed:

  • what is the function of SE in ECE and preschool paractice?

  • what is SE as science, related to ECE science?

  • what is SE in ECE and preschool subject in teacher education?


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  • what does SE mean as the contents of thinking in dimension model of the concept of early childhood education. the sphere each separate dimension?

  • it is possible to plan how scientific reasearch can be focused on any of specific model-based combinations according to the needs emerging from the issues of SE

  • life context: historical, social, community and personal dimensions

  • goals have to be created for SE, we ought to know what is worth of aspire for


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The result which has been created and which has to be further developed:

Systems Theory of

Early Childhood Education

http://sokl.joensuu.fi/harkonen


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