Activities and outcomes during our project
The KINDINMI-project was divided in different outputs. Here is a summary of the activities we eventually performed.
Output 1: Initiating and mapping
01-09-2017 - 30-04-2018
All partners made an investigation about good practices/obstacles about young migrants and their families´ inclusion in each country/local context. We tried to map the contact between school or other educational units for toddlers, with their guardians and the education/skills of the employees taking care of those children.
We also looked for statistics about migrants, especially new arrivals in preschools and were having a close look at the strategies used to encourage the families to put their children at preschool. We mapped the contacts, through preschool, between immigrant families and other families.
The investigation led to presentations in order to inform each other. Those presentations are now online, in open access (updated until February 2020) on our digital platform.
Out of our findings, we started at an early stage to elaborate material including not so much guidelines than incitements and invitation for practitioners to self-reflection and team work.
In December 2017, we had our first Transnational meeting in Uppsala. During this first meeting, beside presentations by all partners and discussions about the budget and the repartition of the tasks, visits where organized at an open preschool and a public library both engaged in inclusion of migrant families with small children.
Output 2: Setting up a digital platform
01-09-2017 - 29-02-2020
This output has shown to be a more complicated one than expected, because of changing of confidentiality rules for some partner (Aberdeen), and GDPR (General Data protection, May 2018).
Uppsala university was finally able to set up a platform. The main instrument of dissemination has though throughout the time life of the project been the KINDINMI blog, hosted by PH Wien.
The platform was updated with the project products and activities at the end of the project and will be sustained by Uppsala University. Even the blog will be fed and maintained, by PH Wien.
Because of confidentiality rules, the communication tunes between partners were not maintained through the platform or Google drive, but in addition of e-mail and Skype meetings, through an internal portal at Uppsala University (Medarbetarportalen).
We had initially thought having a “learning platform” for interested users, but decided to proceed otherwise: all products are accessible in open access or distributed on request, and can be adapted by the users depending on their context or needs. For the pedagogic material, there are some guidelines, examples and suggestions. This way, the platform has become a sustainable dissemination tool for the outcomes of the project. It can also function as a forum for professional discussions open to other organizations within the EU and elsewhere.
Output 3: Collecting, sharing and analyzing data
01-02-2018 - 19-10-2018
Out of the mapping from output 1, we started to collect more data, through:
- Collecting research materials
- Observations and interviews with preschool staff, families, municipal actors, NGOs, etc.
- Case studies
We started to develop an issues framework within each country to detail the initial findings that were to inform the next stage of data collection.
We also had local workshops, mostly informing about the main goals of the project and the situation in our contexts, in order to get some feedback, but also with activities conducted with practitioners around the themes of the project: new arrivals and inclusion, language learning and multicultural contexts. Due to GDPR, interviews and observations with children and families have unfortunately become, especially in Scotland and Sweden, strongly restricted.
The second transnational meeting took place 4-8 May 2018 in Aberdeen. One of the aims of the meeting was to better settle the financial reports and the internal and external assessments.
The main goal, though, was to share the results of output 1, which was done through presentations both for the project partners and staff, students at the university of Aberdeen, and practitioners in preschools, sharing our materials and starting to structuring our products. Out of our findings, was could be innovative?
We were even given the opportunity to visit several preschools in Aberdeen and have a closer look at practices in multilingual contexts.
A first course, including professional development activities and aimed at teachers in preschool class and primary school and mother tongue pedagogues, had been developed and implemented in Vienna in July 2018, led by Rainer Hawlik (PH Wien) and Marita Gareis (Uppsala University)
Output 4: Production
01-10-2018 - 29-02-20
We had a third transnational meeting with the project group 14 October-16 October 2018 in Vienna, in order to report, analyze and compare data from the local workshops leading to development of new knowledge and innovative methods and strategies regarding good practices in social, linguistic and cultural inclusion for young migrants and their families in relation to early schooling at preschool/kindergarten.
We had a Joint Staff Training (also in Vienna, 17-19 October 2018) and an international workshop. Una Cunningham (professor at Stockholm University and author of "Growing Up with Two Languages: A Practical Guide for Multilingual Families and Those Who Support Them" was invited to lecture for the project’s teams and lead discussions around the project and its topics. It helped us to narrow our goals for products (a bit too ambitious in the application) and better identify key themes/ideas to work further with.
During output 4, the project teams kept on collecting learning materials and best teaching practices through research in the local area:
- Finding out if any institutions already have products or experience in working with non-native speakers of every age.
- Collecting results of research undertaken by the project partners in their countries.
- Collecting information on an international level.
In order to develop teaching materials, it was also necessary to build up a wide range of interested teachers in the idea of plurilingualism, who had already experienced different kinds of materials with different target groups. This was important for both testing our ideas and get into contact with families. However, as already mentioned, due to the GDPR law, it was proven difficult to get guardians consent, especially in Scotland and Sweden. The project coordinator had to write an ethics application, which was sent in April and first approved in May 2019.
The innovative teaching materials could then be based on the results of the pedagogical activities carried out with learner’s groups (practitioners in professional training) in order to involve them in investigations and self-reflection about their perception of inclusive education for new arrivals at a preschool level. All partners were involved but the activities performed could vary, depending on the opportunities for partners to conduct activities within their university/community.
During this period, and especially after the Transnational Meeting, we also started to more concretely develop and test innovative methodologies. A first course had been developed and implemented in Vienna in July 2018. Out of this first course, we started planning other courses/training structures, as independent course or part in the curriculum of courses.
Some results were put on our blog (case studies, reports).
We also started precising the contents of our publications and podcast.
In April 2019, a fourth Transnational meeting was held in Olomouc, followed by a Joint staff training event.
Our goals were:
- Keep on informing each other about developing, testing and analyzing innovative methodologies, and about the local workshops adapted to each context´s situation and needs
- Producing innovative methods and strategies based on new knowledge developed in the project
- Producing professional development activities
- Producing courses for students in the initial teacher training for preschool
- Finalize the production of guidelines, publications and podcasts
During the Joint Staff Training we invited Glynn Kirkham (consultant in Education and Educational Leadership and management in Prag, focusing on the importance of diversity in education) to lecture for us and to discuss our ideas.
The discussions were very fruitful, and we agreed on producing a set of two didactic products: one more aimed at practitioners and stake holders, the other, a “sharing book”, for practitioners, guardians and children, the two latter being an important target group in the project.
Output 5: Implementation, dissemination and evaluation
01-05-2019 - 29-02-2020
For output 5, we were updating data about the immigrants´ situation in the project’s context. New regulations had for instance occurred due to political changes or new immigration rules and educational policies.
In order to even include non-migrant families and make them part of the inclusive process, we collected more data and information about the characteristic of the linguistic diversity : national/official languages; linguistic minorities; immigrant languages.
We developed, structured and finalized our set of material, material which can be used by children and families as well as practitioners. This rather simple material can even be used to map differences between the languages of native pupils and other children, to develop more knowledge about even cultural items. The material will hopefully serve as a model for teachers who work with multilingual classes.
Dissemination, implementation activities:
- Courses aimed towards the targeted groups have been developed, some translated and adapted to local or national contexts.
- Presentation of the pedagogic kit in and outside of European contexts (Japan)
- Demonstrations of good practice and innovative methods for stakeholders for example municipalities, governmental organizations dealing with 1) educational matters concerning preschool 2) inclusion of migrants
- A final conference was held 28-29 October 2019 in Uppsala, during which we had invited representative from the university leading and UHR (Swedish Council for Higher Education), but also with the participation of preschool children and parents to Swedish and multilingual children as well as preschool staff and international students.
We were able to present the project’s preliminary results by the coordinator, Sweden, and teams from Austria, the Czech Republic and Scotland.
The activities/lectures during the conference were based on our choice to focus on multimodal material (including music, pictures, acting, etc.) as means of inclusion. We had for instance a picture book exhibition and quiz at Blåsenhus student library. Some stress was even put on "The Open Preschool as a Good Practice for Inclusion" (lecture and workshop led by two practitioners), and multilingualism (lecture and thematic guided tour in the city, "From taxonomy to translanguaging: a glimpse into language and inclusion in Uppsala").
We also had an introduction and workshops, aimed at both researchers, students and practitioners, about the "KINDINMI’s pedagogic material".
We are since the end date of the project even locally (in each country) working with the implementation and ongoing improvement of the pedagogic kit.
For instance, a pilot project is conducted in Uppsala, in cooperation with the municipality, during Spring 2020 and will result in a conference in September 2020 and a new Erasmus+ application in 2021.
In Olomouc, the project’s partner cooperates for the dissemination with for example ARPOK (A, Activity, R, Respect, P, Interconnectedness, O, Openness, K, Complexity) - a non-governmental organization founded by the Palacký University in Olomouc in 2004, and the National Pedagogical Institute of the Czech Republic.
Courses are planned by all partners. The curriculum has been adapted by the partners in order to match both contexts and target groups. Different versions are in open access on our website.