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Change in the Kindergarten Educational Practice and Curriculum as a Process of Continuous Evolution – Croatian Experiences / Edita Slunjski.

By: Slunjski, Edita.
Material type: ArticleArticleDescription: 134-141 str.Other title: Change in the Kindergarten Educational Practice and Curriculum as a Process of Continuous Evolution – Croatian Experiences [Naslov na engleskom:].Subject(s): Preschool curriculum, educational policy, quality of educational practice, critical reflexions | Preschool curriculum, educational policy, quality of educational practice, critical reflexions In: Journal of Education and Human Development 5 (2016), 1 ; str. 134-141Summary: Many kindergartens find it difficult to abandon the traditional understanding of children and childhood and that of traditional organisation of educational process. The quality of educational practice in kindergartens usually does not change in spite of the modern orientation of the official curriculum, because it is largely dominated by 'personal concepts' of the teachers employed in the kindergarten. Over the past fifteen years two main approaches to the change in the kindergarten educational practice and curriculum have been observed in the Republic of Croatia. One was initiated by the official educational policy and based on the idea of the creation of an official document which was expected to modernise the kindergarten pedagogical practice and curriculum (the so called 'top-down approach'). This approach has proven to be inefficient since it does not take into consideration the complexities and dynamics of educational practice. The second approach was the 'top-down' approach and its goal was to take into consideration the systematic and other characteristics of educational practice. Qualitative changes in a certain number of kindergartens in various Croatian towns have been implemented through the participatory-action research. This paper presents the basic characteristics of the process of change in the kindergarten educational practice and curriculum with an emphasis on the discussions, i.e. critical reflexions, lead by kindergarten teachers which enable them to better understand the children and the entire educational practice and curriculum. The practice of discussing various viewpoints on educational practice is considered to be the cornerstone of the professional development of kindergarten teachers and an efficient tool for the development of kindergarten educational practice and curriculum.
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Many kindergartens find it difficult to abandon the traditional understanding of children and childhood and that of traditional organisation of educational process. The quality of educational practice in kindergartens usually does not change in spite of the modern orientation of the official curriculum, because it is largely dominated by 'personal concepts' of the teachers employed in the kindergarten. Over the past fifteen years two main approaches to the change in the kindergarten educational practice and curriculum have been observed in the Republic of Croatia. One was initiated by the official educational policy and based on the idea of the creation of an official document which was expected to modernise the kindergarten pedagogical practice and curriculum (the so called 'top-down approach'). This approach has proven to be inefficient since it does not take into consideration the complexities and dynamics of educational practice. The second approach was the 'top-down' approach and its goal was to take into consideration the systematic and other characteristics of educational practice. Qualitative changes in a certain number of kindergartens in various Croatian towns have been implemented through the participatory-action research. This paper presents the basic characteristics of the process of change in the kindergarten educational practice and curriculum with an emphasis on the discussions, i.e. critical reflexions, lead by kindergarten teachers which enable them to better understand the children and the entire educational practice and curriculum. The practice of discussing various viewpoints on educational practice is considered to be the cornerstone of the professional development of kindergarten teachers and an efficient tool for the development of kindergarten educational practice and curriculum.

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