Welcome to the CARE video library! Watch these examples of good practices
and learn more about European early childhood education and care!
The videos can be used for professional development activities, sharing examples
of good practice, and contributing to raise awareness of cultural diversity in European ECEC.
Defining and measuring quality of Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) practice has been a great challenge for European researchers.
In order to examine cross-cultural aspects of quality of ECEC provisions in Europe, the CARE team conducted a multiple case study that involved classroom video observations, combining several methods, and a range of quality indicators.
This video library is the result of a joint venture between researchers and practitioners from different cultural backgrounds, and their shared agreement on high-quality ECEC practices. The videos were selected to be used for professional development activities.
The quality indicators are not intended to be exhaustive, but rather aim to build a common ground for discussion around quality among practitioners, policymakers, and researchers.
The chosen videos presented in this library illustrate examples of good practices in ECEC, highlighting cross-cultural commonalities in several ECEC systems (Germany, Finland, Italy, Netherlands, Poland & Portugal) while respecting the cultural diversity in Europe.
The video clips are grouped into two categories, based on the group age:
For each video, a set of materials were prepared:
The materials were designed to be used with flexibility, according to the user preferences and interests.
Because the videos are currently stored in a different site, you will have to login into each video after logging into the website. If you are using a private computer, we recommend you allow your browser to save the login information to facilitate access. We apologize for the inconvenience.
The videoclips were selected based on a set of quality indicators derived from well-established observational measures (CLASS & The Leuven Scale for Well-being and Involvement); qualitative analyses of educational dialogues among teachers and children, and quality indicators that emerged in the scope of the CARE research project.
For an overview of the measures, please see CARE report 2.3: 'Multiple case study in seven European countries regarding culture-sensitive classroom quality assessment'.
The CLASS (La Paro, Hamre, & Pianta, 2012; Pianta, La Paro, & Hamre, 2008) is a well-developed, theory-based standard observation scale that assesses the quality of teacher–child interactions. It has been used in several European countries, namely Finland, (Pakarinen et al., 2010), Portugal (Cadima et al., 2016a, 2016b), Netherlands (Slot, Leseman, Verhagen, & Mulder, 2015) and Germany (Suchodoletz, Fäsche, Gunzenhauser, & Hamre, 2014), with empirical evidence suggesting its usefulness and relevance to capture important aspects of teacher-child interactions in European ECEC settings.
The CLASS includes several quality indicators, grouped into two categories as follows:
The tool is an observational measure that focuses on two central indicators of quality in ECEC settings from the perspective of the child: child well-being and involvement (Laevers, 2003). This measure has been developed in Belgium and has been disseminated across several countries, including Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Portugal.
Well-being is evident when children’s basic needs are satisfied and refers to the extent to which children feel at ease, act spontaneously, free of emotional tensions, and show self-confidence. Child well-being can be expressed in various ways, namely, enjoyment (e.g., children are having fun, smile, and laugh, taking pleasure in interacting with others); relaxing (open facial expressions); vitality (e.g., children’s look is lively and expressive; openness (e.g, children are open and happy with the attention they receive); self-confidence.
Involvement is considered to be a necessary condition for deep level learning and development and refers to the extent to which children are concentrated, focused, interested and fascinated in the activities. Child well-being can be expressed in various ways, namely, motivation (e.g., a child being truly interested and driven to engage in a task or activity); intense mental activity; satisfaction; exploratory drive; and at the limits of child capabilities.
An episode of educational dialogue is defined as a segment of an extended exchange between the teacher and children, in which the topic continues to be essentially the same. Further, each episode must manifests three of the five principles of dialogic teaching (Alexander, 2006):
Choosing to use the aforementioned three criteria is founded on the work by Muhonen et al. (2016), who has gathered empirical evidence on the validity of exploring dialogues with 6–8-year-old children.
The international application of standard-based measures to assess ECEC quality raises crucial questions about the cultural complexities and the problematic validity of instruments migrating out of their cultural cradle.
Within the European study CARE and a national extension, a qualitative study has developed a critical-cultural approach to the Classroom Assessment Scoring System. In three countries (Italy, Portugal and The Netherlands) ECEC experts and teachers form the centres involved in the video-clips construction have been involved in focused discussions of the CLASS recognizing elements of continuity, differences and disagreements and key-features of the teacher-child relationship not captured by the tool.
Results offer interesting insights to a methodological reflection on the international use of standardized evaluation tools and to a theoretical reflection on ‘universal vs culture-related’ views on education and quality.
Emerging dimensions/indicators listed below come from this study.
(See also: Pastori G., Pagani V., Is validation always valid? Cross cultural complexities of standard-based instruments migrating out of their context, forthcoming in European Early Childhood Education Journal).
Children are resources and a high-quality teacher-child relationship takes place where the adult supports their active role and their competence to share and co-construct projects and activities, knowledge, products, or to discuss social rules. It is an overall pedagogical approach, not a limited attention dedicated to a child or a group of children’s point of view during a single dialogue or just during a specific activity. This idea is in tune with the idea of ‘emerging curriculum’ and with the conceptualizaton of the teacher as ‘enabler’ and ‘scaffolder’.
Peer interaction is a key-factor in promoting children’s learning and socio-cognitive development. Teachers intentionally foster peer interactions, socialization, reciprocal support and learning, as a quality indicator of teacher-child/children interactions.
Learning is not solely cognitive and linguistic, a broader vision of learning embraces children’s socio-emotional development and the role of teachers in fostering it providing children with opportunities to learn to cooperate, to be responsible for others (social-skills), to be part of a group, of a community (sense of belonging), to regulate their emotions and to understand and recognize those of others (emotional regulation and competence), to acquire basic life skills,.
Intercultural and inclusive competence is an essential aspect of classroom quality. Teachers should promote inclusion, encouraging children to be aware of and respect all forms of diversity and difference, between individuals and groups, and giving them opportunities to learn to deal with and respect diversity.
Teachers need to be aware of children’s needs, concerns, conflicts and unacceptable behaviours. However, an effective teacher should refrain from acting always at the first signal from the child. Rather, he/she should take enough time to observe the child and the peers’ reactions before deciding if and how to intervene.
This idea is in tune with a conceptualization of the teacher as a reflective professional, whose professionalism lies, indeed, in his/her ability to question, reflect and observe children and their own educational practices. It is also in tune with the idea that children have resources to overcome obstacles (such as conflicts) and the adult can support their implementation and development monitoring and non-intervening.
A detailed description of the procedures used to conduct the video observations is provided in the CARE report 2.3: Multiple case study in seven European countries regarding culture-sensitive classroom quality assessment.
Authors (main authors in bold):
Research team responsible for the video-clip recording, selecting, and editing and for the presentation of the centers and clips:
Researchers: Kathy Sylva; Katharina Ereky-Stevens; Alice Tawell
Researchers: Marja-Kristiina Lerkkanen; Jenni Salminen
Researchers: Yvonne Anders; Franziska Wilke
University of Milan-Bicocca - Department of Human Sciences of Education R.Massa
Scientific Supervisor: prof.sa Susanna Mantovani,
Research Coordinator: dott.sa Giulia Pastori
Research Collaborators: dott.sa Piera Braga, dott.sa Valentina Pagani
Technical expert: dott. Cristiano Mutti
Translation: Jennifer Coe
Teachers involved as protagonists of the clips and in the video selection process:
Cleo De Carli
Giulia Pastori – email@example.com
Piera Braga – firstname.lastname@example.org
Teachers Case 1: email@example.com
Researchers: Paul Leseman; Pauline Slot
Researchers: Małgorzata Karwowska-Struczyk; Olga Wyslowska
Researchers: Joana Cadima, Cecília Aguiar, Clara Barata
Research Collaborators: Carolina Guedes, Teresa Aguiar
Teachers involved in the video library process: Teresa Carvalho, Joana Tavares, Nubimar Santos, Ivone Monteiro, Catarina Baptista, Sílvia Bereny, Isabel Barros
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