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Swedish pre-school practice attractive

News: Oct 02, 2018

At the end of September, the first of several groups of school managers from Amersfoort in the Netherlands visited Campus Pedagogen for a three-day course on the theme of play, learning and leadership. Swedish research knowhow about combining play and learning in pre-school was the attraction.

Twenty-five senior managers from the Amersfoort school system were present when Maelis Karlsson Lohmander, director of the three-day course and Senior Lecturer at the Department of Education, Communication and Learning (IPKL), held a 90-minute lecture on the theme of Early Childhood Education and Care in Sweden.
The many topics covered included pre-schools’ place in the Swedish education system, how they are organised and what an ordinary pre-school day can be like. The lecture was also about goals and guidelines in the now current curriculum (Lpfö 98), revised in 2016, and the real implications of the changes in Sweden’s new national pre-school curriculum (Lpfö 18), which comes into force on 1 July 2019.

17 compulsory schools

Other lectures during the three-day course included Professor Ingrid Pramling Samuelsson’s Play and Learning in Early Childhood, Professor Camilla Björklund’s Play and Early Maths, Associate Professor Anne Kultti’s Multilingualism and Senior Lecturer Mette Liljenberg’s Distributed Leadership for School Improvement. The leadership workshop and visits to four pre-schools in west Gothenburg, in both cases arranged by the pre-school administration of the City of Gothenburg (the municipality), were other important elements.
Winfried Roelofs chairs the board of KPOA, the Foundation for Catholic Primary Education, which runs 17 schools with 5,500 pupils in the Amersfoort area.
‘Based on the analyses of our schools we’ve had done, it turns out that we risk losing the children who fall behind in their early school years. For these children in particular, Swedish experience of the significance of early intervention and play-based learning in a well-functioning pre-school has proved to have far-reaching positive implications. That’s something we want to take on board and learn from, and so is the high educational attainment of the teachers who work with the youngest children,’ he says.

Lack of research

‘What’s more, in the Netherlands the type of research we can come into contact with here in Sweden, focusing particularly on play-based learning, is lacking,’ Roelofs says.
The Dutch visit from Amersfoort is planned to be a regular skills development initiative. KPOA and IPKL have now signed a cooperation agreement that runs until 31 October 2022.

In the Netherlands, school attendance is compulsory on a full-time basis between the ages of 5 and 16 years, and part-time for a further two years. Broadly, however, every child starts school at the age of 4.



Originally published on: uf.gu.se

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