Prof. Dr. Britta Dawal und Prof. Dr. Claudia Henrichwark von der Fachhochschule Südwestfalen kooperieren in dem DAAD-geförderten Projekt "PIECE - Participation and Inclusion in Early Childhood Education" mit dem West Lothian College (UK). Das Projekt ist im März 2023 angelaufen und läuft bis Dezember 2023. Die Projektkoordination übernimmt Neil Davie.
What kind of society do we want to live in and what impact do educational systems have on societal developments? How do they differ in their national contexts and how can we learn from each other by working transnationally?
South Westphalia UAS (Germany) and West Lothian College (UK) understand childhood educators as central architects in the process of society's development and their responsibility in dealing with diversity, participation and inclusion in their educational settings. The joint blended module “Participation and Inclusion in Early Childhood Education” is designed to address these pertinent and urgent issues of today’s fragmented, complex, and diversified Western societies by offering students´ perspectives on the German and the Scottish early childhood education systems and their institutional settings. Set up as a joint blended course, it mixes independent study phases with transnational group work in a virtual teaching-learning scenario that includes visits in actual institutions to put research and study results into real work experiences.
In a preparation phase, the partners are developing digital Moodle-learning-environments consisting of explanatory videos, H5P elements and short texts that will help students to learn comprehensively about participation and inclusion in their domestic early childhood education system. Already in this phase, accessibility is visibly implemented.
Project phase 1 takes place in national groups, which initially work in self-study based on the prepared digital learning environment. The students of early childhood education will first theoretically explore perspectives on inclusion and participation for the domestic education system. On this basis, accessible media products are prepared cooperatively for the international phase.
With project phase 2, the international exchange starts, which initially consists of several digital meetings. After a getting-to-know-you phase, the respective own system of early education with reference to inclusion and participation is presented with the help of the media products. Thus, after the completion of phase 2, all seminar participants have a theoretical understanding of both education systems.
In project phase 3, exchange visits are planned. In this visit phase, they will interview professionals in the institutions on the implementation of participation and inclusion and investigate the topic by structured observations.
In project phase 4 the results will be compiled collaboratively. When all results of the field research have been compiled, the students meet again online and firstly present the national results. In cooperative settings, the national results are compared internationally. The international teams will prepare a presentation for the hybrid Childhood Practice Conference at West Lothian College.
An additional part of the project will take place outside the project period, but is a very good occasion to consolidate the partnership. Since it is a hybrid event, the German students can also participate virtually and present the results together with the Scottish students.