We live in a situation where it is clear to everyone that there have been significant changes in the daily lives of early childhood educators, kindergartens, and families with young children. As part of the TinyApp interview series, we had the opportunity to talk with Kati Rintakorpi, Ph.D. in Education, and hear what opportunities the changed operating environment brings in early childhood education. Rintakorpi hopes that good things will also be found in this changed situation. When a large proportion of employees are still in kindergartens, it is time to invest in pedagogy.
Kati is an experienced day care professional and doctor of education, with a wide practical and theoretical know-how. She has been working as a kindergarten teacher, entrepreneur and manager for 20 years. In addition, she has worked as a non-fiction writer, consultant end educator for early childhood education practitioners in Finland and abroad for more than 10 years. Her areas of expertise are Finnish early education curriculum, pedagogical documentation, developmental evaluation, media education, arts education, project based & phenomenal learning, Reggio Emilia approach, participation, agency, and extensive learning modules with children and families.
Today there is more time in the daily life of the kindergarten for the pedagogical documentation. There can also be room for a change in the operating culture, where children are more involved in the documentation, and this becomes a living part of the activity. Pedagogical documentation should, therefore, be a way of carrying out early childhood education together with children and parents, and should not be a technical activity separate from the rest of daily life. Rintakorpi also suggests that with the documentation, the operating culture is made visible all the time, and it is possible to relate the methods to the goals of the early childhood education plan, for example.
The change in operating culture now also involves the issue of combining two active operating environments, the home, and the kindergarten. According to Rintakorpi, different environments can be combined, especially with the support of parents. Rintakorpi presents three practices for kindergartens and early childhood educators to make everyday life and activity planning smooth.
Document: Take photos, record conversations, and video. Ask parents to do the same at home.
Share: Take advantage of communication channels to stay in touch. Encourage parents to do the same.
Create paths: Gather at a common virtual table to reflect on issues related to the topic at hand and create new kinds of encounters in the virtual world. Instead of giving strict or precise instructions at home, it’s a good idea to come up with different ways of how to link learning in different environments together. With pedagogical skills, you will be able to enrich these ideas coming from the home.
Like Kati, here at the TinyApp team, we hope to take advantage of the changed situation. We strive to be able to bring people in different environments closer together with our service, to create paths together with you, and to facilitate the vital work of early childhood educators in the midst of all this.
We invite you to watch the interviews we had with Kati Rintakorpi about pedagogical documentation and planning (only available in Finnish at the moment): https://youtu.be/DYiXtfA3Vds .
We are also happy to hear what kind of practices you have in everyday use and how the encounters have been successful in the virtual world.