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Torben Næsby, trn@ucn.dk 1

Quality in Preschool

Inclusion

-confusions, questions and answers

ECER 2016, Dublin

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Inclusion Confusions

Inclusion has not been defined, eg in the Salamanca Statement, and is ‘like an island,

considered as a separate territory from mainstream education, with its own discourses, policies and

practices’ (Thomas, 2012: 3)

Inclusion focuses on discrete groups of children, with, in Denmark, ‘a tsunami of diagnoses’,

especially of ADHD (Langager, 2014: 1)

Training of teachers for inclusion, and support

materials, emphasize children’s deficits (Allan 2014)

Julie Allan. University of Birmingham 2

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Inclusive Questions

What does inclusion do?

Which opportunities do we offer our children?

What’s an inclusive environment for all children and how do we see it?

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Inclusive Answers

The pragmatic (inclusive) approach:

• Inclusive culture (values, approaches, meaning)

• Inclusive strategies (princips, goals, knowledge)

• Inclusive practice (didactics, actions, technologies, iPad as scaffolding… (Booth & Ainscow, 2002)

High quality preschools provide possibilities for participation, learning, well-being, democracy and inclusion (Harms,

Clifford & Cryer, 2015)

Children’s own perspectives, routines and staff lead activities (Sylva et al, 2010).

4

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The Research Project

What is high-quality in Danish preschool, how do we see, meet and develop it?

The Danish Day Care Facilities Act, which provides the curriculum on which day care education is based, does not stipulate very clearly what children should learn and therefore how educational processes should be organized.

This means that we must accept that there are large local differences in the quality of day care facilities in Denmark, and also that we in fact have little knowledge of whether the desired politically

determined targets are being met and what the quality is really like.

Children’s development does not come by itself. There is therefore considerable interest in the quality of the learning environment and the impact on children’s well-being, learning and development.

5

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Design

Critical realistic approach

The bio-ecological model; theory on development (proximal processes); an interactionist perspective on quality and inclusion

Mixed methods

Quality assessment of learning environments: ERS -line (quantitative baseline)

Children’s outcome, measured by LearnLab

Observations of learning environments identifying high quality and inclusion (qualitative)

https://cms.learnlab.dk/index.php?id=7866

LearnLab 6

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Sample and Analyses Strategy

3 municipalities (80 institutions)

24 institutions

Peirce, 1955; Spencer-Brown 1969; Sayer 1992; Robson 2011 7

Empirical data Empirical

data ERS mean scores ERS mean

scores Social demo- graphics Danish register

Social demo- graphics Danish register

Observa tions of

high quality Observa

tions of high quality

LearnLab data Children LearnLab

data Children

High quality charac- teristics High quality charac- teristics

Baseline Baseline

Abduction

Form analysis

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Main Frame:

The Bio-ecological Systems Model

La Paro, Thomason, Lower, Kintner-Duffy & Cassidy (2012) 8

TIME CHRONO

STRUCTURE MACRO CONTENT EXO PROCESS MESO

OUTCOME MICRO

Distal and proximal processes affecting quality in preschool on

different levels (systems)

GLOBAL INCLUSIVE QUALITY

Structural quality:

Materials, curriculum, teacher education, teacher-child ratio, programs etc.

Process quality:

Interactions Possibilities for

Relations, Participation,

Activities

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Global Quality

Global definitions make it difficult to inform policy and practice

Do not provide the level of specificity to guide initiatives

Do not provide the information necessary to understand characteristics of settings most important to child outcomes

Do not capture the depth needed to understand what we need to know to positively affect child outcomes

La Paro, Thomason, Lower, Kintner-Duffy & Cassidy (2012) 9

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Main Frame:

The Bio-ecological Systems Model

La Paro, Thomason, Lower, Kintner-Duffy & Cassidy (2012) 10

TIME CHRONO

STRUCTURE MACRO CONTENT EXO PROCESS MESO

OUTCOME MICRO

Content quality:

What is being taught

Organization and Leading

Measuring across dimensions

Effect quality What children learn

and their well- being

GLOBAL INCLUSIVE QUALITY

Structural quality:

Materials, curriculum, teacher education, teacher-child ratio, programs etc.

Process quality:

Interactions Possibilities for

Relations, Participation, Activities

LOCAL/NARROW

INCLUSIVE QUALITY

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Proximal Processes

In the Process-Person-Context-Time model proximal processes are defined as key factors in development/ engines of development The form, power, content, and direction of the proximal processes effecting development vary systematically as a joint function of the

• characteristics of the developing person,

• the quality of the environment, producing increasingly more complex activities

• the direction and interaction (goals, effects, predicted developmental outcome)

• social continuities and changes, relations to significant others The quality of proximal processes determines the outcome

Bronfenbrenner & Morris, 2006 11

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The Model

– levels and arenas of inclusion

12

TIME CHRONO

STRUCTURE MACRO CONTENT EXO PROCESS MESO

OUTCOME MICRO

Physical (passive) inclusion Social (active) inclusion Mental (experien ced)

inclusion

Formal, professionally managed learning and development

communities Adult-child communities (interpersonal communities Informal, adult

organized communities (relating to the

institution)

Child-child

communities

(interpersonal

communities)

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Pedagogical Quality

A pedagogical perspective of quality has to originate from research and documented evidence but must also inherit the children’s perspectives (Sommer et al, 2013)

It has to be viewed interactively. Neither the objective (global) nor the subjective (or relative) perspective, with their

limitations, should be dominant (Siraj-Blatchford & Mayo, 2012) In an interactionist perspective, dimensions of the society, the pedagogues, the children’s development and the learning

environment continuously and dialectically influence and are influenced by each other

(Bronfenbrenner & Morris, 2006; Sheridan, 2009)

13

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Pedagocial Quality

Divided environments = low quality

Constraining environments = minimal quality

Child-centred and dialogue-based environments = good quality

Innovative, inclusive and learning-oriented environments = high quality

Sheridan, Samuelsson & Johansson (2009): Barns tidiga läranda. Gøteborg

Næsby, T. (2014): Kvalitet i pædagogisk arbejde. I: Kornerup I. & Næsby, T. (red.):

Pædagogens grundfaglighed. Dafolo. s. 69 - 95

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Children play for

themselves all the time

Children never play for

themselves

Children and staff play together most of the time

Note: From a child

perspective and based on dialogue

Children and staff play together/

have interplay Note: From a child’s

perspective and from a research informed and learning oriented perspective

Outcome

1)Low Quality 3)Minimal Quality 5)Good Quality 7) High Quality

Quality Rating, Play

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Children play for

themselves all the time

Children never play for

themselves

Children and staff play together most of the time

Note: From a child

perspective and based on dialogue

Children and staff play together/

have interplay Note: From a child’s

perspective and from a research informed and learning oriented perspective

Outcome

1)Low Quality 3)Minimal Quality 5) Good Quality 7) High Quality

Quality Rating

Research with

children (or listening to children´s own voices) Research with

children (or listening to children´s own voices) Research

about children (or our

knowledge of children) Research about children (or our

knowledge

of children)

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17

”The key to a child-oriented perspective is to deal with the child’s

utterances and actions as if they have a meaning and rationality that adults need to decode and interpret in order to approach the child’s perspective” (Sommer et al 2013, p. 463) .

“By ‘being involved with the child’ in joint activity, it is also possible to enrich the child’s experience of the world by giving meaning, or

explaining, and by giving emotional and enthusiastic support to the child’s interests and initiatives (Sommer et al, 2013, p. 464).

Mental inclusion: the child’s perspective

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Low quality Minimal quality Good quality High quality

Physical (passive) inclusion

Staffs don’t organize various group-size

Staff organize group-size in a pragmatic way, from their own perspective

Staff organize group-size from a child perspective

Staff organize group-size from a child and a

children’s perspective Social (active)

inclusion

Staff let the children play for themselves all the time

Staff never let the children play for themselves

Staff play together with the children most of the time (child initiated)

Staff play together with the children (child and staff initiated)

Mental

(experienced) inclusion

Staff never involve in interactive dialogues

Staff talk to children in an instructive way

Staff listen to the children – from their knowledge of children

Staff listen to the children – from the children’s own voices

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Measuring inclusion

– an environment rating scale

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References

Bronfenbrenner, U. (1994). Ecological models of human development. International Encyclopedia of Education 2nd ed., Vol. 3, pp. 1643-1647.

Oxford: Elsevier.

Bronfenbrenner, U. & Ceci, S.J. (1994): Nature-Nurture Reconceptualized in Developmental Perspective: A Bioecological Model. Psycological Review, 101 (4), pp. 568-586. American Psycological Association

Bronfenbrenner, U. & Morris, P. A.(2006). The Bioecological Model of Human Development. In Siraj-Blatchford, I. & Mayo, A. (eds)(2012).Early Childhood Education. Vol 1. pp. 201-262. London: Sage.

Broström, S. (2016): Ten-year-olds’ reflections on their life In preschool. In Nordic Studies in Education, Vol 36, 1-2016, pp. 3 – 19.

DuFour, R. & Marzano, R. (2011). Leaders of Learning. Solution Tree Press.

EU-Commission (2011): Communication from the Commission: Early Childhood Education and Care: Providing all our children with the best start for the world of tomorrow. COM:2011:0066

Hammersley, M. (ed.). (2007). Educational research and evidence-based practice. London: SAGE.

Harms, Th.; Clifford, R.M. & Cryer, D. (2015). Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale. 3rd.edition. Teachers College press.

La Paro, K.M.; Thomason, A.C.; Lower, J.K.; Kintner-Duffy, V.L. & Cassidy, D.J. (2012). Examining the Definition and Measurement of Quality in Early Childhood Education: A review of Studies Using the ECERS-R from 2003 to 2010. Early Childhood Research and Practice. No. 14/1.

Næsby, T. (2014). Quality in Preschool. Pedagogical Quality and Development of Professional Competencies. Thesis. Aalborg Universitetsforlag. (In Danish.)

Pianta, R.C.; Barnett, W.S.; Burchinal, M. & Thornburg, K.R. (2009). The effects of preschool education. What we know, How public policy is or is not aligned with the evidence base, and what we need to know. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 10(2),49–88.

Robson, C. (2011): Real World Research:. A Resource for Users of Social Research Methods in Applied Settings. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. (3.ed.).

Sayer, A. (1992): Method in Social Science. A Realist Approach. 2.udg. London: Routledge.

Sheridan, S., Pramling-Samuelsson, I. & Johansson, E. (2009). Barns tidiga lärande. [Childrens learning in the early years; in Swedish]. Göteborg:

Göteborg Universitet.

Sheridan, S. (2009). Discerning pedagogical quality in preschool. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 53 (3), 245-261.

Siraj-Blatchford, I. & Mayo, A. (2012). Early Childhood Education. Vol 1. London: Sage

Siraj-Blatchford, I. & Wong, Y-l. (1999): Defining and Evaluating “Quality” Early Childhood Education in an International Context: Dilemmas and Possibilities. Early Years, 20 (1), 7-18. I: Siraj-Blatchford, I. & Mayo, A. (eds)(2012): Early Childhood Education. London: Sage Library of Educational Thought and Practice. Vol 4, s. 77 – 90

Sommer, D.; Samuelsson, I.P. & Hundeide, K. (2013). Early childhood care and education: a child perspective paradigm. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, Vol. 21, No. 4, 459–475. Routledge.

Spencer-Brown, G. (1979): Laws of Form (rev. ed.). New York: E. P. Dutton.

trn@ucn.dk 19

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