The MCU’s Laboratory of Child Development reported at the ECERS Meeting

On April 16, professors Igor Shiyan, Tatiana Le-van, and junior research fellow Anna Yakshina of the Laboratory of Child Development presented a new tool for assessing conditions that support children’s play in preschool groups at the 22nd ECERS International Conference.

The 3rd online session of the 22nd ECERS International Conference (2020/21) has brought together more than 20 participants from the U.K., Denmark, Canada, the U.S., Sweden, South Korea, and Russia. The ECERS community includes over 60 world’s leading experts in the field of preschool education quality assessment from more than 20 countries. The MCU’s researchers have regularly participated and reported at the ECERS international conferences since 2017.

The presentation of the scale “Provisions for Play” has drawn a keen interest of the professional community. The ECERS leading experts approved the scale and suggested that it should be employed by different countries along with the other supplements to the basic ECERS-3 scales developed at the MCU’s Laboratory of Child Development. These developments are currently being pilot-tested in the kindergartens of Russia. The scales clearly indicate the connection between the theoretical framework of the Cultural-Historical approach and the international tradition of criteria-based assessment of the quality of learning environment.

The results of pilot-testing the scale “Provisions for Play” have been published in the article “Development and Testing of a Scale for Assessing the Conditions for the Development of Children’s Play in Preschool Groups” in the peer-reviewed journal “Preschool Education Today. Theory and Practice“.

Professor Olga Shiyan shared impressions of her colleagues’ work:

The research takes a huge amount of time… Sometimes it feels endless, but when you look at your work through the eyes of your colleagues, you realize that a step forward has been made. We are looking forward to publishing the scale — then it will be available for kindergartens.

Professor Igor Shiyan noted:

Feedback from Kathy Sylva, Dick Clifford, and Sonya Sheridan was priceless. They gave very positive feedback. Kathy Sylva made an emphasis on the scales for evaluation and scales for development.

And here is a piece of opinion from Professor Tatiana Le-van’s Facebook page:

It is important to the international community that our new scale “Provisions for Play” is closely connected to the ECERS-3 scale, that these scales complement each other. The scale’s theoretical framework aroused special interest since it can be used to show the practising teachers what conditions are required to arrange high-level play in preschool groups. The studies reveal that it is this type of play that contributes to preparing children to study at school (an article on this topic authored by Anna Yakshina has been recently published in the journal “Preschool Education Today. Theory and Practice”).

Another scale developed by the MCU’s researchers aimed at evaluating the conditions that stimulate creative abilities of preschool children will be presented in October 2021.