Posts in June 2022

How to document young children's learning?

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Have you heard buzz words like Portfolio Learning and Pedagogical Documentation? Have felt you should do it to guarantee quality learning, but don't really know how? You are not alone. It is still a new thing. Used cleverly it will improve your teaching, give you an advantage, and increase the parent's appreciation for your work. Here is how to take the first steps.

Portfolio Learning or Pedagogical Documentation is an essential working method in early childhood education and it guarantees the best possible learning path for all children. It is one step in the learning process consisting of planning of activities, documentation, and formative assessment. The whole learning process must also be tightly aligned with your curriculum.

Simply, Pedagogical Documentation is observing for example children’s play, projects, discussions, ideas, and inventions via taking photos, making notes, writing down explanations as well as tricky questions, saving artwork, videoing action, recording voice...and using all the documents purposefully as part of the formative assessment of children's learning. What makes documentation Pedagogical Documentation is the idea that educators use the documents wisely - reflect on them and modify their planning and teaching accordingly (Katz & Chard 1996.)

What makes documentation Pedagogical Documentation is the idea that educators use the documents wisely - reflect on them and modify their planning and teaching accordingly (Katz & Chard 1996.)

Pedagogical documentation gives educators new views of children’s behavior, thoughts, ideas, challenges, and creative processes. Each lovely, unique child deserves to be known and understood as an individual (Katz & Chard, 1996).

The process of pedagogical documentation is meaningful only if you take advantage of the possibilities and challenges it offers. It is important to think about how you can develop the activities. What themes, methods or goals should you choose next? What is your next step toward better early childhood education? (Tarkka 2018.)

Before documentation

Can children really learn through play?

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Children just LOVE to play! Therefore, in early childhood education and care, play is the most important way of learning. See the tips and a practical example of how to incorporate learning in play in a pedagogical manner - and soon the children love love love to learn too!

What is Finnish ECEC?

Why play?

Play motivates the children and simply brings joy. In early childhood education and care, it is necessary to understand the value of play for the children. The play has also pedagogical significance in learning as well as in children’s holistic growth and well-being.

Do adults have to play too?

Play is a key practice in early childhood education and care. It is important for teachers to observe children’s play and either guide it from outside or participate in it. The presence of teachers in play situations supports interaction among the children and prevents conflicts.

Teachers must also document the children’s play. Observation of play gives tons of information about their world - thoughts, interests, emotions, experiences, fears...

How do we make children's learning visible?

Where to play?

Children’s learning environments need to be flexible, as play and games can take place anywhere depending on the children’s imagination and wishes. Play and therefore also learning happens everywhere, not only during guided activities or circle time. Children might learn various things while for example taking a stroll in the forest (tree species), building a lego tower (counting blocks), or dressing up a doll (body parts).

How to combine playing + learning?

1. Observe what the children are interested in. What they talk about and what they like to play with.

2. Define the theme or project for the next activities based on children's needs and skills.

2. Define the learning objectives aligned with the children's individual, group, and center curriculum. 

3. Plan activities that involve the children's interests + learning objectives


Are you ready for the new education policies?

Monday, June 13, 2022


In many countries, the government has given prime importance to Early Childhood Education. This will no doubt raise the bar for quality education across the whole market.

  1. The curriculums and pedagogical approaches are renewed significantly:
  • Play-, activity- and inquiry-based pedagogy is in focus.
  • Learning objectives guide the planning and implementation of activities.
  • Assessment is all about examining and developing the learning process.
  1. Parents need to be empowered
  • Parents have an important role in the child’s learning.
  • New ways for them to participate and take responsibility need to be developed.
  1. Preschools and childcare centers face increased competition
  • The renewal underlines the achievement and accountability of prescribed curricular standards.
  • Parents ask for proof of the children’s learning and want to see Return on Investment.

New competencies and new working methods are now required to achieve the desired outcomes in the preschool. The use of new technology is also a prerequisite for making the change successful.


The whole learning process needs to be revisited to support holistic learning:

Does Finnish Education work in India?

Sunday, June 5, 2022

“Systems in one country cannot be copied as such,” says  Jouni Kangasniemi, program director at Education Finland. “However, many good practices can be exported and adapted in another environment.”

Recently several international media have explored this transition to clarify how schools in India can go forward. Sources:

  • Deutsche WelleIs the Finnish school model gaining traction in India?
  • The Indian ExpressLearning by experience: Finnish model of education is growing in India"
  • Al JazeeraFinland’s big new export to India: Education

What is the transition about?

Ashish Srivastava of the Finland Education Hub added that the Indian education system is now being transformed for good:

How do we know that children learn?

Thursday, June 2, 2022

In Finland, children learn through play and we don't score children!

"Preschool educators must now ensure that cognitive, social-emotional and academic curricular goals are met within the context of children's play."

Curriculum learning areas and learning objectives guide the planning of playful activities with the children. But we don’t test how well they have reached each skill or objective.

Instead, new means and methods for formative assessment are required across the whole learning process. We want to understand how children develop and guarantee the quality of children’s learning. As well as engage families and gain their confidence. 

Pedagogical documentation, portfolios, and formative assessment give children a voice and reveal their thinking

Pedagogical documentation also known as portfolio learning is an essential working approach in early childhood education and care. 

 It is a continuous process where learning objectives, observations, documents, and their interpretation in interaction create an understanding of the pedagogical activity.