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Psychological Science and Education

Publisher: Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

ISSN (printed version): 1814-2052

ISSN (online): 2311-7273


License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Started in 1996

Published 6 times a year

Free of fees
Open Access Journal


Pedagogy in Early Childhood Services with Special Reference to Nordic Approaches 4039

Bennet J.
PhD, Researcher of early childhood policy, Visiting Fellow, Thomas Coram Research Unit, University of London, London, Great Britain

This article first outlines the importance of social and family context when making policy for young children. It then treats briefly of the wider goals that early childhood policy can seek – not only economic and social aims but also an early introduction to democratic practice for young children. The Swedish Curriculum for Preschool expresses it thus: Kindergartens shall promote fundamental values such as a sense of community, care for others and joint responsibility, and shall represent an environment that supports respect for human worth and the right to be different. There follows an analysis of different conceptions of pedagogy and approaches to young children that are current in Europe, again highlighting the great respect for young children shown by the Nordic countries. The Russian tradition of kindergarten has much in common with Nordic practice. In terms of structural features, such as the pre-service training of educators or the number of children per staff, many PEI centres in the Russian Regions compare well with most Western countries. In some Regions, more than half the educational staff have university degrees, child:staff ratios are relatively low (though at the moment, under great pressure) and the quality of buildings and amenities, though not without weaknesses, can be extremely high. In seeking to improve quality even further, the Nordic countries offer an excellent model for Russian policymakers to follow.

Keywords: early childhood education, childcare, traditions, Nordic, preschool, pedagogy, Russia

Column: Preschool Education Today: New Challenges, New Approaches

For Reference

  1. Bennett, Shmis and Umarov. Early childhood quality initiatives in six Russian regions: a comparative analysis in the light of international research and best practice (in preparation).
  2. Framework Plan for Content and Tasks for Kindergartens. Ministry of Education and Research. Oslo, 2006. [Free full-text]
  3. Norwegian Framework Plan for Kindergartens Oslo, Ministry of the Family. 1996.
  4. OECD German Country Note, Paris, Author, 2005.
  5. OECD Starting Strong II, Paris, Author, 2006.
  6. Pramling, I. Why do children involve teachers in their play and learning? // European Early Childhood Education Research Journal. 2009. 17(1).
  7. Zigler, E. ”Forty Years of Believing In Magic Is Enough” in Social Policy Report, 2003.
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