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Five preschool curricula —comparative perspective

  • Ingrid Pramling Samuelsson
  • Sonja Sheridan
  • Pia Williams
Articles

Summary

In recent years the OECD has undertaken the evaluation of early childhood education and care (ECEC) on behalf of ministers of education in a number of countries in order to support quality improvement in this field. This article is based on a workshop for the national coordinators of early childhood policy in Sweden, 2003, which dealt with Curriculum and Pedagogy in Early Childhood Education. The five curricula presented were Reggio Emilia, Te Whãriki, Experiential Education, High/Scope and the Swedish National Curriculum for Preschool. The aim of this article is to compare these curricula, establishing similarities and differences discussing quality aspects and problematising the general and the cultural specifics of each curriculum per se and in relation to the others. A further aim is to raise awareness of curriculum questions in connection with children’s learning and development. The article is based on a pedagogical perspective of quality, which takes the perspective of the child and focuses on what is best for a child’s learning and development in a specific culture. The results of the analysis show that the five curricula are of high quality in relation to each country’s culture. High quality in preschool means giving the children a good start in life. The unique and competent child has rights of its own and should be treated with respect. In focus are the individual child’s opportunities for building up knowledge and expressing their understanding of the surrounding world. High quality is also related to the competent and professional teacher with theoretical and pedagogical knowledge.

Keywords

preschool curriculum pedagogical quality comparative perspective 

Résumé

Pendant ces dernières années, l’OECD, au nom des ministres de l’Education de différents pays, s’est chargée d’évaluer l’Education préscolaire (ECEC) à fin d’améliorer sa qualité. Cet article a son origine dans un atelier qui a réunit les coordinateurs nationaux de l’Education préscolaire en Suède en 2003. L’atelier fut consacré aux Programmes et à la Pédagogie de l’école maternelle. Les cinq programmes présentés étaient les suivants: Reggio Emilia, Te Whãriki, Experiential Education, High/Scope et le Programme suédois du niveau préscolaire. L’objectif de cet article est de détecter les similitudes et les différences existant entre les programmes, de discuter leur niveau de qualité et d’analyser les aspects culturels, généraux et spécifiques de chacun des programmes. Un autre but de cet article est d’accroître la conscience autour des questions relatives à l’apprentissage et au développement des enfants dans le cadre des programmes d’éducation. L’article est centré sur le thème de la qualité du point de vue pédagogique, en prenant la perspective de l’enfant, et il donne priorité au sujet à ce qui est le mieux pour l’apprentissage et le développement de l’enfant dans une culture spécifique. Les résultats de l’analyse montrent que les cinq programmes sont de haute qualité, par rapport à la culture de chaque pays. Haute qualité signifie ici que l’éducation préscolaire est capable de donner à l’enfant un bon point de départ pour la vie. L’enfant, unique et compétent, a des droits par lui-même, et devrait être traité avec respect. On vise ici, en premier lieu, les possibilités de l’enfant de connaître et d’exprimer leur compréhension du monde qui l’entoure. La haute qualité est aussi en rapport avec le fait d’avoir des instituteurs compétents et professionels possédant des connaissances théoriques et pédagogiques.

Resumen

En los últimos años, la OECD, por iniciativa de un grupo de ministros de Educación, ha asumido la tarea de evaluar la Política de Educación Pre-escolar. Este artículo se basa en un taller que en el año 2003 reunió a los coordinadores nacionales de la política de Educación Pre-escolar en Suecia. El tema del taller eran los Programas y la Pedagogía de este nivel de educación. Los cinco programas presentados fueron los siguientes: Reggio Emilia, Te Whâriki, Experiential Education, High Scope y el Programa sueco para el parvulario. Este artículo se propone detectar semejanzas y diferencias existentes entre ellos, discutir aspectos de calidad de los mismos y analizar aspectots culturales, tanto generales como específicos, de cada uno. Otro objetivo es el de incrementar la conciencia de los problemas ligados al aprendizaje y desarrollo del niño, dentro del marco de los programas de educación. El artículo enfoca el tema de la calidad pedagógica desde la perspectiva del niño y se plantea qué es lo mejor para el aprendizaje y desarrollo del éste en una cultura específica. Los resultados del análisis muestan que los cinco programas son de alta calidad, en relación con las culturas de sus respectivos países. Alta calidad significa que el parvulario provee a los niños de un buen punto de partida en la vida. El niño, único y competente, tiene derechos propios y debería ser tratado con respeto. Como foco de primordial interés aparecen las posibilidades para cada niño de conocer y expresar su comprensión del mundo que lo rodea. El concepto de alta calidad se relaciona también con la competencia y profesionalidad del maestro poseedor de conocimientos teóricos y pedagógicos.

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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EducationGöteborg UniversityGöteborgSweden

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