This project has made me more positive and instead of seeing obstacles, I try to find sollutions and different ways to do things.
How easy it is to be unaware of your own frame.
Though I thought that I was openminded I was still just looking over the edge of my frame when I was watching the movies and presentations from Norway, Spain and England. When we watched and discussed the films in in our preschool we asked ourselves “how can this work?” and used our own experiences to find answers “well they have to do it this way” or “Maybe they do it like this? Without this project it would have stayed there.
The shortvisits gave us the oportunity to see and react on the environment before the jobshadowing. In that way we could focus better on working methods, pedagogical approach, organization and how everyday life around routines and structure worked later when we did the jobshadowing. In the short visits we had the opportunity to take a step over the edge of the frame and take a look around, we saw the whole picture of the environment not just bits of it. One of the things we were surprised of was how little space there were in some of the preschools compared to ours, both inside and outside. We still had a lot of questions and still tried to figure out the answers.
Then came the day we had the jobshadowing and we were in it, walking around, exploring and observing how the children used the environment and the materials, the teachers pedagogical aproach and so on. Some of the preconceived notions we had were true but many of the strategies and solutions we thought they used we had all wrong. The job shadowing and physically being in place makes it a stronger experience and creates a greater understanding and curiosity that is difficult to obtain otherwise. Being part of the business is a very important part of this project.
The focus interviews gave us the oppotunity to share and take part of other people’s experiences and discuss our similarities and differences and made everything easier to understand.
At Bönan’s preschool, we work actively with issues such as norms and values, development and learning, as well as giving each child the opportunity to influence.
More information at; https://www.gavle.se/bonansforskola
When one of us went on the first travels she was inspired by the the outdoor environment in england and we started to develop corners outdoor with the purpose to inspire learning situations, such as light, sound, water, art and a “mudkichen” in the forest.
Now when we have been in all the countries and have collected even more inspiration and knowledge of the different conditions we have started the process of converting the methods and the way to use the environments to our own conditions. Something that we got really aware of was how big our preschool yard is an how much more we can do with it. We are planning to develop the corners further and have preschool teachers and childcarers stationed in different corners once or twice a week to get that free flow of the children between stations like they had in England. We also want to be better at using our indoor environments to their fullest potential. In Spain we saw how they used the rooms for many things. They had foldable tables, used the hallway as a gatheringplace when they divided the group in two and they had sensory activity boards that the children could explore in the corridor. In the fall we are going to have a cold meal once a week so that we can take the meal with us during longer walks in nature or other surroundings, inspired by Norway.
Things we have become aware of being unique for us.
- The closeness to nature and the freedom to explore it with the children becouse of the right of public access.
- The space in the outdoor environment.
- The way we se the children as citizens in our democracy and values their opinion.
- Our work with equality and how we challenges standards and stereotypes.
- The way we values children’s play.