Inclusion and diversity management in kindergartens and preschools in Europe as a basis for an intercultural society

Summary

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was adopted on the 13th December 2006. Germany signed it on March 30th 2007 in New York and ratified the Convention on February 24th 2009. It is mandatory for Germany since March 26th 2009. This was a first important step towards equality for the 8 million disabled people living in Germany.

"Education in early childhood is important, because it is the basis of lifelong learning. Implementation of inclusive pedagogy into day care centres and schools implies a rethink process of educational specialists, teachers, parents, school-and kindergarten authorities”. This results in a paradigm shift. Inclusion means, that children with disabilities must not be treated with a special needs education anymore, but with pedagogy where heterogeneity is the normal case. This new type of inclusive education in early childhood has already been taken for granted and was successfully implemented in other European countries. However, this paradigm shift in Germany implies that kindergarten management and nursery teachers have to achieve new competencies for a successful implementation of inclusion of children with disabilities. We make this application to develop these competencies.

Target audience/group of this project is the qualified staff for vocational training of kindergartens/ day care centres, specialist staff of vocational colleges and academies as well as kindergarten authorities. These participants are responsible for the vocational training of the qualified staff and have a key position in terms of implementation of the European dimensions of training as well as quality and human resource development.

The following objectives are pursued with the project:

1. Set up a regional, national and European network of organisations, associations and institutions of early childhood education for improvement of mobility and inclusion.

2. Increasing awareness for the importance of mobility and inclusion for participants in the field of nursery education/ pedagogical studies.

3. Distribution of European instruments for transparency and quality of mobility, for example the “Europass”.

4. Establishment and provision of administrative and logistical competencies for facilities of early childhood education.

5. Elucidate the importance of mobility and the necessary participation of people in the European life and working environment. The participants of this exchange project should compare their competencies with qualified staff of early childcare institutions in Spain, Italy, Iceland, Slowenia and Estonia and transfer these experiences into work and further education in their home institutions. Therefore the ERASMUS+ project will begin at the first interface in the field of lifelong learning.

This means in detail:

- Comparison of training courses and study programs for nursery teachers / kindergarten teachers, kindergarten management between Germany and the host country.

- Comparison of support programs on “Inclusion and Diversity Management in early childcare education”.

- Hosting, Job coaching and work shadowing in kindergartens/ day care centres in the field of “Inclusion and Diversity Management in early childcare education”.

- Transfer of potential models / modules in kindergartens/ day care centres in Germany and in the host country.

The 5 flows will be completed before the end of 2020. The implementing agencies of this project are the district Paderborn with 97 organizations, the protestant congregation of Paderborn with 18 organizations, the Caritas Association for the diocese Paderborn e.V. with 620 organizations, the Kolping-Academy NRW with over 1000 participants at kindergarten-teacher level and the Kolping-Bildungswerk Paderborn as applicant. Major task of these executing organizations is the professional qualification of teachers/staff/employees in kindergarten/ day care centres and especially the kindergarten managers. The cooperation partners are working together closely due to an excellent qualification offering. Their experiences and competencies will be clustered to use the common resources to provide an attractive and good advanced training for qualified educational staff in Paderborn and the surrounding area.

 

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Kerstin Abel

EU funded Projects

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