PROJECT "NARRATIVE ENVIRONMENTS FOR PLAY AND LEARNING"
The quality of ECEC is among the most important questions raised by the educators, families, European Comission, OECD and other similar organizations. The requirements for the quality requires additional skills and abilities from the early years educators. We proposed an innovative approach towards construction of ECEC curriculum and organization of the activities with young children. By introducing NEPL approach and methods the project developed a holistic and age appropriate pedagogical framework for ECEC.
The main idea of the project was to involve the ECEC teachers into genuine narrative play activities in their own classrooms and while doing so to develop the full range of competences that traditional ECEC teacher education doesn't provide. Through participation in narrative play teachers acquired new perspectives to their role in educational situation. They practiced adjusting their educational plans to the real needs and interest of the concrete group of children and to the needs of each individual child. Teachers became oriented towards child-centred construction of the learning situations and become more sensitive to the developmental and learning needs of children. Collaborative narrative play activities involved adults and children into construction of a shared imaginative playworld where participants are constantly learning from each other. Adult participation in children's play enhanced the activity and fostered child's development and learning through age-appropriate activity. Children's play skills were constantly growing, they developed better communication, imagination, independence and general creativity. All these abilities could be called general abilities and create a basis for school learning.
Also, narrative play improved skills such as storytelling, problem solving and cooperating. Narrative play activities seem to be very good and safe environment to practice emotional control and self-regulation. It was also very good environment for the children with special needs. We noticed that those children´s skills took the biggest developmental leaps and their parents noticed that too. In Narrative play activities and with the help of sensitive teacher children could control their behaviour much easier than in ordinary preschool situations.
This project was funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union.