The KINDINMI multiplier event "Put yourself in someone else’s shoes!" took place at Uppsala University, Blåsenhus, 28th - 29th October 2019.
During this two-day conference, the KINDINMI partnership invited participants (preschool staff, stakeholders, university staff and students, international students and researchers) to listen to lectures, participate into workshops or other activities, visit exhibitions and share the pedagogical material created as part of the project.
Preschools children, a few parents and preschool staff were directly involved in some of the activities. One of the exhibitions was the result of a joint work on "Envelope houses" with contributions from over a hundred preschool children from all partners countries. Some of the houses were pasted on boxes in order to build a small city, others were exposed on panels.
Twenty children from preschools in Uppsala had a performance, under the direction of PhD student Sarah Campbell and with the participation of international students. The event was deliberately placed to make maximum use of the space in order to involve as many people as possible – it was planned in order to claim the space with color, sound, movement, age diversity, collaboration (staff, students, children, local community). By holding the event in this way, we made it memorable – even after the event we remained visible by having our box display in the library window – a prominent position. The children also participated in a craft activity together with international students and each child was given a diploma. All the children from the preschool class had a multilingual background.
The event was deliberately held using two languages. Involving the exchange students was another way of providing a positive experience of languaging and migration for the children in attendance. During the conference, many lectures and activities were stressing the importance of multimodal tools for inclusion. The lectures were connected to the materials elaborated during outputs 4 and 5. As the multiplier event took place before the end of the project, it was a great opportunity to present not only our conclusions and reflections on good practices of inclusion through preschool, but also to present, test and discuss the pedagogic kit which could afterwards be readjusted. The feedback was very good, and out of the conference, a pilot project building upon the KINDINMI pedagogic kit was initiated. Some lectures were bilingual.
The invited speakers were:
- Fernando Alvarez, who has led a number of continuing education courses for language teachers and teachers of mother tongue in Sweden and in recent years taught Swedish for immigrants. His lecture and performance “Preschool and inclusion then and now, a personal journey”, was followed by an exchange with Véronique Simon, Senior lecturer, Uppsala university and the participants.
- Lucinda Geoghegan, who is currently a lecturer at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Creative Learning Director for the National Youth Choir of Scotland. Her work involves
Staff Development training across Britain and many other countries, presenting workshops on
Kodály musicianship and methodology. Her lecture, “Singing should belong to everyone”, was followed by a discussion with Catriona Mc Donald, Senior lecturer, university of Aberdeen, Scotland.
- Tore Otterup, who is a former senior lecturer in Swedish as a second language at the University of Gothenburg and researcher on multilingualism and the teaching of multilingual pupils. Tore has published books on the teaching of newly arrived and multilingual students. His lecture, “Languages for Life”, was followed by an “Open mic.” moderated by Prof. Mag. Dr. Rainer Hawlik, PH Wien, Austria.
- Jaana Pesonen, who is a researcher and lecturer at the University of Helsinki, Finland. She works in teacher education, mainly on intercultural education and gender sensitive education. She has done research on diversity in children’s literature, especially related to representations and norms. The title of her lecture was “Inclusion through Literature - Examining Refugee Narratives in Children’s Picture Books”.
- Tove Österling Wallner, who is project manager for the “Va Med!” project and Nadja Boucheloukh, a preschool teacher and founder of the open preschool Kristallen, a meeting place for the newly arrived family. Together, Tove and Nadja have since 2006 developed several projects, both national and transnational, with the newly arrived family as the target group. Their lecture was about “The Open Preschool as a Good Practice for Inclusion”.
At the end of the conference, a Round table was moderated by Dr. Alena Vavrdova, Senior lecturer, Palacký University Olomouc, Czech Republic.