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Narrative environments for play and learning
Start date: Sep 1, 2015, End date: Aug 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Narrative Environments for Play and Learning Background Narrative environments, play and learning have been the research object of scientific team since 1990’s. New scientific evidence about the importance of early years comes from the fresh brain research (Shonkoff, 2001; Greenspan & Shanker, 2004, Mustard, 2010). The World Bank has recommended investment to early education in 2005 based on available evidence. The earlier projects of our team have produced some methodological recommendations. On this bases the following objectives are set for the project: 1. To develop culturally relevant narrative play and learning environments in each country (classroom/school) as a result of new narrative pedagogy. 2. To develop evaluation practices of narrative play and learning practices in classrooms (recording and evaluating play interactions, relation between co- and self-regulation, use of ICT – technology, and etc.). 3. To develop NEPL guidelines for dissemination and further training of ECEC professionals in all participating countries. Participants 1. International multidisciplinary scientific team LEU, Lithuania (4 persons), UKW, Poland (3 persons) and HY, Finland (3 persons). 2. Practitioners in Finland, Lithuania, United Kingdom and Poland (12 kindergarten/school teachers) 3. Participants of dissemination seminars 4 times 70 participants. Activities I phase - at the beginning of the project international scientific team in collaboration will prepare training material for initial teaching/learning and training activities and for the implementation of the first narrative project. II phase - the teaching/learning and training activities (5 days) will be implemented in each country: Finland, Poland, Lithuania, United Kingdom. After each teaching/learning and training session international scientific team together with the teachers-practitioners reflect and prepare recommendations for the next narrative play project in a new country. III phase - as a result of teaching/learning and training activities in spring 2019, international scientific team in collaboration and following recommendations of practitioners will prepare a package - NELP guidelines for new ECEC teachers. This material will be presented during dissemination seminars to the new teachers in each country (Finland, Poland, Lithuania, United Kingdom). Methodology - a preliminary methodology how tales and stories are transformed to children’s imaginary learning environments is published in Hakkarainen & Bredikyte (2013). The methodology will be enhanced and elaborated. Video taping will be used for collecting data at different sites. The scientific team will be elaborating evaluation methods. Results - child development and learning will be enhanced while using child friendly learning approach. Methodological awareness and professional competences of teachers will grow (this can be seen in pilot study results). Guideline documents will be produced in four languages for the dissemination of the methods developed. Benefits - we can offer concrete methods for solving the big challenge of many educational systems: school transition.
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