HAMK and Hattula to cooperate on the development of early childhood education
Häme University of Applied Sciences and the local education and culture department of Hattula municipality have signed an agreement of cooperation on creating innovative learning environments for early childhood education.
The cooperation agreement between Hattula and HAMK will deepen knowledge-based pedagogical competence in early childhood education. The cooperation will include a lot of mutual and participatory planning, as well as guidance and training for employees in early childhood education. Service Coordinator Niina Mäkinen, who is in charge of Nipsula, an open centre for early childhood education, will be responsible for coordinating the procedures on HAMK’s side.
For students in the Bachelor’s programme in Social Services, the cooperation will provide authentic environments for activities and learning. Already this spring, students will go out to the day-care centre to observe children’s activities and learning environments under the guidance of Social Services Teacher Samu Toivonen.
The collaboration between HAMK and Hattula in the development of early childhood education will create a base for continuous cooperation between the university and operators in the area in the development and research of physical, social and pedagogical learning environments.
“Although not everything old and functional has to be changed or removed, it is necessary to update our operational methods and ways of thinking”, says Jari Wihersaari, Director of Education and Culture in Hattula.
Collaborating on a project
Early childhood education is going through a reform in Finland, and in the autumn 2017, a renewed local curriculum for early childhood education has been implemented. Its aim is to respond to the challenges of the changing world, and take into consideration latest research as well as changes in society and the environment of early childhood education.
In Hattula, the reform is taken further with the project “Promotion of innovative learning environments in early childhood education”, which is funded by the Finnish National Agency for Education. Also HAMK is involved in the project. The project will take place at the Viiriäinen/Tiitiäinen day-care centre.
The objectives of the development project are innovating open and social learning environments, as well as developing unhindered functional environments which utilise digital technology and encourage physical exercise. All the objectives and procedures put emphasis on strengthening children’s active participation. Moreover, a strong spirit of working together will be required.
“The active participation of educators in the day-centre, working together and commitment are the driving forces behind the project. We will stop, look around us and pay attention to current practices which function well. This will provide a foundation for a new organisational culture run on the principles of the new curriculum for early childhood education”, says Sari Sahlman, Service Supervisor in early childhood education in Hattula.
Niina Mäkinen, Service Coordinator, HAMK, +358 50 574 5552
Paula Rantamaa, Head of Development, HAMK, +358 40 046 1402
Jari Wihersaari, Director of Education and Culture, Hattula +358 50 577 8722
Sari Sahlman, Service Supervisor in early childhood education, Hattula +358 50 576 8904