04 SES 08 B, Professional Collaboration
Our qualitative research focuses on the educational situation of children at risk in their cognitive, linguistic or emotional and social development. To do so, we analyze how the use of process-oriented methods for monitoring and documenting educational processes of children affect the professional patterns of interpreting and acting of the pedagogic staff in preschool. Furthermore their cooperation with elementary school teachers and children´s parents is considered. Especially for children at the risk of being regarded as having special educational needs, the transitional phase from kindergarten to school can be referred to as a fragile process within their educational biography. In this process it depends on the educational professionals, their form of collaboration with each other, the parents and the children and also if and how the knowledge on the child is transferred from one institution to another. Educational documentations can be seen as an innovative method to broaden the view on the child in a resource-oriented, non-stigmatizing way and therefore consists of a high potential for the successful transition of the child.
Studies so far showed that in the preschool environment a high amount of information on the children is collected by the pedagogic staff (Rothe, 2013, Lichtblau et al. 2013). This happens in various ways i.e. via focused observations or written documentations. For example learning stories (Carr, 2001) come in use quite often in German preschools. This form of educational documentation is based on an individual observation of the child and leads to the writing of a learning story, oriented on different learning dispositions, to the oral exchange on the content of the story with the child. Based on this conversation, the professionals can plan further steps to promote the child’s progress in specific patterns of the learning dispositions. Another method is the IEP (Individual Educational Plan) developed in Germany by Eggert (1997) and adopted from the implementation of the IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Educational Act) in the USA (Lewis, 2005). The aim of the method is to find the best learning environment for the child. The accumulated information based on observation can produce a complex picture of the child, showing his/her specific skills and interests. Especially in inclusive settings, which are characterized by heterogeneous learning requirements of children, analyzed documenting instruments imply the potential to transfer significant knowledge of children´s resources into school with the aim to optimize educational support.
The research-project “Process-oriented methods of educational documentation - Potentials of organising transition from kindergarten to primary school” of the universities of Hanover( Prof. Dr. Rolf Werning), Hildesheim (Prof. Dr. Peter Cloos, Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schröer) and Bielefeld (Prof. Dr. Michael Urban) focuses on three main aspects: First the materiality of the methods documenting educational processes is observed, leading to a direct analysis of the produced documents. Second the communicative settings are examined, showing how the educational documentation is stated in the dialogical processes in nursery school and elementary school. And third the interprofessional perspective on transition is explored in form of discussions between professionals of both institutions.
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