|Sumár projektu:||According to the report „Competence Requirements in ECEC“, University of East London, EC 2011, “both in academia and in international EU policy documents, there is a broad consensus that high-quality early childhood education has long-lasting beneficial effects on children and society, but that ECEC of low or mediocre quality may also harm children“. ECEC services are founded not only to facilitate the labour market or other aims but, above all “to improve the present and future well-being of children.” Positive child outcomes are a major goal of ECEC programmes all across Europe. Also, there is a similar consensus that „the competences of the workforce are one of the more salient predictors of ECEC quality“. Based on the opinion of Slovak Committee of the World organization for Early childhood Education, reviewing new State educational programme for pre-schools in Slovakia, 2015, there is a discrepancy in the number of performance standards in different educational areas, while more emphasise is put on mathematics and processing of information (47) than on health and physical movement of children (13). Therefore, the more balanced approach is recommended. Concrete educational programmes or relevant materials for teachers, supporting the elimination of this discrepancy, however, are currently missing. The need for relevant training programmes, focused on outdoor education, was clearly defined and confirmed by the Slovak pre-school teachers, participants of the online research, carried out by INAK in February 2016. Through this research, with 326 respondents, 286 - 88% of the total number expressed their interest in new training materials and resources for outdoor activities. Moreover, this interest was confirmed by cca 200 participants of the workshops carried out during the ERASMUS+ TAKE ME OUT I. project, in 8 regions of SK, in February 2018. The situation with integrating the outdoor approach in ECEC differs in European countries. The idea of using this approach, originated in Scandinavia in the 50ties, is nowadays practiced in many European countries, e.g. SE, DK, UK, DE, CZ etc. So called „Forest schools“, based on this approach, providing alternative to mainstream education, are well established in the UK (app. 300 schools). Few of them can be found in CZ (120), where they were officially recognized by the law in March 2016 (http://www.lesnims.cz/aktuality-na-uvodni-strance/lesni-ms-maji-sve-misto-ve-skolskem-zakone.html). Very few can be found in Slovakia (less than 20). In Denmark, it is common to integrate the aspects of the Forest school approach into the regular pre-school environment, linking it to official curricula. Research in the UK and Scandinavia, as well as all the other countries, where outdoor education is commonly used, shows many benefits of this approach on child´s development.
Based on the proven benefits as well as very strong interest and need of the teachers and managers, expressed before, as well as during the implementation of TAKE ME OUT I., this project focuses on:
- developing project outputs O1 – O4 related to previous project, which this project is closely linked to, further enhancing the support and implementation of outdoor education in ECEC and professionalizing the use of this teaching approach on the institutional level in the public kindergartens in all the project countries
- improving the quality of ECEC services in the public sector through the use the project outputs and developing new training programmes supporting the skills of the pre-school managers on implementing outdoor education approach in their daily practice, in all partner countries – SK, EE, DK, CZ, (UK) with possible future use also in the countries outside of the current project partnership and on European level
- supporting, strengthening and further developing a new European network of cooperating institutions established through TAKE ME OUT I., http://takemeoutproject.eu/ with great feedback and interest of all the involved institutions and target groups, addressing the outdoor education in ECEC, in order to support the use of new teaching approaches related to outdoor and sharing of best practices in this sector
- taking outside as many children as possible in public kindergartens across Europe|