Practices/3, Finland: A Collective Method of Early Childhood Self-Determination

  • Leif RosqvistEmail author
  • Jarmo Kinos
Part of the International Perspectives on Early Childhood Education and Development book series (CHILD, volume 25)


This chapter is concerned with a Finnish all-inclusive elementary and preschool project (from ages 5 to 13) of assessing and improving indoor facilities of two schools. For the collective method of participation, emotional symbols -based markers were used around the facilities to signify a place as comfortable and cosy, scary and dangerous, noisy and restless, beautiful or ugly. Subsequent small-collective directed conversations, and ultimately, collective decision-making followed. Our case is focused on the participants attending first class and preschool (at the ages from 5 to 8) in the groups of special need, with a tradition of participatory methods.

With help of ethnographic methods (teacher interviews, documentary reviews) we assess and reflect on the participatory project using theories of democratic procedures as well as our work on child-initiated pedagogies. Despite potential shortcomings of the approach, the case can be argued to reflect a genuine self-determined participation of preschool aged children with a special need.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of TurkuTurkuFinland

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