REC: Reflection, Cooperation, Group support
Strengthening collaborative reflective teaching practice among teachers of children aged 0-10
What is the REC project about?
- In this international projectfunded by the European Union's Erasmus+ programme, we introduced group reflective methods In Belgium, Croatia, Hungary and Slovenia, in a total of ten education and training institutions between 2020 and 2023. The project will be implemented in to support teachers and other professionals working with children aged 0-10.
- In Hungary, 3 kindergartens participated in the programme: the Napsugár Kindergarten II (Budapest, Grassalkovich út 297, 1239), the Pitypang Kindergarten (Budapest, Kondor Béla sétány. 12, 1188), Habakukk Foundation Kindergarten (Budapest, Felvinci út 37., 1022)
- Although reflection is a key teacher competence, in the context of teacher-education work, is done in writing, at most alone. Reflection rarely takes place through collaborative and personalised - let alone joyful - processes.
- A reflection using motivating, collaborative, creative methods in turn, it makes teachers' daily work easier and improves the quality of education.
- Structured, group reflective methods provide support for, reinforce professionalism and increase teachers' sense of belonging and esteem.
What happened in the REC project?
- At the beginning of the process, four different reflection methods were introduced to the participating kindergartens and schools in June 2021, followed by aCommunity planning to choose the most appropriate method or methods for the team.
- Our aim was to support teachers in the institutions in their daily work to find their own way to each child, thus supporting their development.
- To this end, from October 2021 to April 2023, the staff of the institution participated in a monthly group reflection session which helped them to look at their own practice from a slightly more distant perspective, ideaset, encouragementt, recognitionreceive. Structured, creative methods and the power of the group give them the support they need to feel supported: are not alone in facing difficult situations.
- We also aimed to have by the end of the programme sustainable, regular reflection groups in the kindergartens, so that lower stress levelscope with both child-related and systemic challenges.
- One teacher from each of the two kindergartens will have the opportunity to visit Belgian kindergartens and schools in May 2023, where reflective practice is already an integral part of teachers' lives.
- From national and international experience practical manual has been prepared to help institutions not participating in the programme to find their way to the reflective methods that best suit them. A REC manual one click to download!
- Impact reportwe made policy recommendationfor education professionals to raise awareness of the importance of group reflection methods among policy makers, teacher training institutes and other education-related professional organisations. A REC policy recommendations and the REC impact report available for download!
In the partnership, we learned 3 reflection methods and the Most Significant Change evaluation methodology to measure the most significant changes that reflection processes bring to the life of kindergartens and schools. To do this, we collected stories from programme participants to tell us about the changes they have experienced. The interesting thing about the method is that we are not just measuring positive change, as we wanted to see what could be improved. To do this, we interviewed the participating teachers, nursery nurses and managers twice: in the middle of the programme and at the end. The stories can be found in the impact report
Who were the partners in the REC programme?
The REC project consortium five professional institutionswho were more than 10 years of experiencehave the capacity to cooperate with education and training institutions.
- A Partners Hungary Foundation Since 1995, it has worked to promote cooperation and dialogue between individuals and communities. Our methods are based on engagement, shared decisions and agreements that deliver successful, permanent and sustainable solutions. We specialise in Roma inclusion, conflict resolution and education. We develop and implement training programmes in the field of education, with a special focus on inclusion and dialogue, including the Step by Step programme.
- - A VBJK, the Centre for Early Years Innovation (Belgium) is an autonomous NGO founded in 1986 and recognised as a research centre by the Belgian federal government. The VBJK is an official partner of Kind en Gezin, the governmental organisation responsible for services for young children and their parents in the Belgian Flemish community, in close collaboration with the Department of Social Welfare Studies at the University of Ghent.
- From Artevelde University of Applied Sciences (Belgium) currently offers 15,000 students study programmes in the fields of business and management; communication and media design; education; people and society; and health and care. We are a progressive centre of expertise in education, research and development. An international ethos is found throughout the organisation and is reflected in its structures and policies.
- From Open Academy Step by Step (Croatia) mission is to promote and support innovative and quality educational practices to ensure the well-being, development and learning of children and young people. To achieve our mission, we develop partnerships, especially with nursery and primary schools, and facilitate networking of professionals. Our organisation has been providing regular support to education professionals through a variety of reflective practices for 10 years.
- A Pedagoski Institute (Slovenia) works to support early childhood professionals in their professional development, helping them to become reflective practitioners and working with heads of institutions to develop support systems for professionals in institutions. Our organisation is the Slovenian coordinator of the Step by Step methodology. In our professional network, we support pre-school and school-based professionals in creating professional learning communities and expanding their professional portfolios.
REC: Reflection, education and care
Strengthening collaborative and reflective teaching practice - Increasing Quality Services in ECEC
What was the REC Project about?
Although reflection is a key competence for educators, teachers are usually expected to reflect on their practice on their own, filling out documents. Reflection is rarely developed with the help of collaborative and personalised - let alone joyful - processes.
However, when reflection is done with meaningful, motivating and collaborative methods, it facilitates true learning and a shift in the quality of education and care.
Such reflective methods promote systematic and positive support for professional learning within every school and increases teachers' sense of belonging and appreciation.
What activities were carried out in the REC project?
Collaborative reflective methods were introduced in 10 ECEC services/primary schools in Belgium, Croatia, Hungary and Slovenia for practitioners/teachers working with children aged 0-10 - including your school. Our aim was to support educators to find their own path to each child to support their development.
We were raising awareness on the importance of collaborative reflection part of the continuous professional development path for teachers/practitioners, tailored to the staff's needs. Our initiative offered methods for building resilient practitioners' communities from a professional and personal points of view so they could face systemic challenges on a lower level of stress, leading to more successful cooperation among colleagues and with families.
A practical guidebook was written and made widely available on how to choose the reflective methods that suit the specific ECEC institution/school. REC handbook English
To impact report with policy recommendations was written for professionals related to education to raise awareness with policy makers, teacher training institutes and other education-related professional organisations. REC impact report