Date: 14-11-2019

The power of group reflection for ECEC practitioners: the latest ICDI publication

Everything that happens in ECEC settings has to do with social and emotional well-being. But practitioners are not always aware of its interconnection with all aspects of young children’s lives. Because of this, it is not always easy for them to value and support social and emotional well-being on a daily basis.

This was the starting point of the piloting of a group reflection pathway, called WANDA, with 80 ECEC practitioners in Croatia, Hungary, Latvia, Netherlands, and Norway carried out as part of the Social and Emotional Education and Development (SEED) project (2017-2019).  

Several ISSA Members partner in the SEED project, including Center for Educational Initiatives, Latvia, International Child Development Initiatives, the Netherlands, Open Academy Step by Step, Croatia, Partners for Hungary, Hungary and VBJK, Belgium.

The aim of the group reflection process was to help practitioners deal with daily challenges in their practice so they can better support the socio-emotional well-being of children in their care.

Today we publish the Guidelines for mentors, trainers and ECEC pedagogical coaches that are based on the pilot, as well as on the earlier SEED research. Titled ‘SEEDS of Change: Supporting social and emotional well-being of children in Early Childhood Education and Care through team reflection’ the Guidelines, co-authored by ICDI and VBJK, offer a mix of insights from research and practitioners’ reflections. They also include practical tools that can be used to guide ECEC practitioners to reflect on their practice, including principles of social and emotional well-being in ECEC settings and accompanying questions for reflection. 

Here’s some of the success factors about the group reflection as expressed by the participating practitioners and facilitators:

This process needs time. Time for growing. After 4 to 5 sessions we saw a change in the group: going deeper, more challenging cases, feeling more at ease to share. (Facilitator, Croatia)

What I liked is the fact that we started from us, from our practice.  It was not abstract, it was very concrete. (Practitioner, Norway)

summary version of the SEED guidelines is also available in English. Summaries will soon also be available in Croatian, Dutch, Hungarian and Latvian.

The SEED Project is funded by the European Commission Erasmus Plus programme – School Education, KA2.