StarT in early childhood education
StarT aims to encourage kindergartens and other early childhood education units to implement suitable project-based learning for children of different age groups. Through project-based learning children can discover and learn about phenomena that are of interest to them through inquiry and hands-on work.
In project-based learning the children’s questions and areas of interest are used as starting points for the learning process, where the children are given an active role.
With young children play has an important role in project-based learning; stories, tales and role play are great ways for them to learn. A project carried out as a part of StarT can be a learning adventure also for the staff at the daycare unit. Everyone learns together when new questions and perspectives come up in the projects.
Parents are a great resource to help support the children’s projects. Does one of the parents have relevant knowledge or skills that could help the project forward? Or could a parent’s work place be a suitable place for the children to visit?
The project could be, for instance, a week-long project about snow. In the project the properties of snow could be investigated, the group could think about how snow affects living in Finland or make snow-themed artwork.
It could also be a longer project, in which children might identify a challenge in their daily lives to which a solution could be developed together. Or perhaps you might want to try out drama with your group; the children could help write and carry out a play about a trip to a forest? Whatever the topic, the key is collaborative learning!
Like other types of learning communities, preschool groups are also to submit their projects through the StarT website. Reporting is done through the online form (starting in autumn 2018), and instructions can be found here.