Transitions in focus for the Iceland POET team
Kristin Norðdahl and Hrönn Pálmadóttir are both lecturers of the School of Education at the University Iceland and are currently researching the continuity of children’s education from various angles, focusing on the transition between home and school, pre-school and school. They are also part of the Icelandic POET team.
- In the Icelandic team we are studying children’s learning and play, and if there is a continuity in their learning as well as in the curriculum. The Icelandic project consists of many different smaller studies integrated into one big project, explains Kristin Norðdahl.
POET stands for Pedagogies of Educational Transitions and is based around the sharing of expertise across and beyond country projects on educational transitions. POET builds on and extends existing research collaborations and, in opening this up to a wide range of early stage and experienced researchers across Europe, Australia and New Zealand, contributes to the European Research Area aim of making Europe more attractive to researchers.
Five universities are involved in POET: Mälardalen University in Sweden, the University of Strathclyde in Scotland, the University of Iceland, Charles Sturt University in Australia and the University of Waikato in New Zealand. The programme was instigated by Aline Wendy Dunlop of the University of Strathclyde, and Anders Garpelin of Mälardalen University is the leader of the programme. The leader of the Icelandic team is professor Jóhanna Einarsdóttir.
- We are currently exploring the educational systems in the different countries and are finding that the ideas are similar and that we face the same problems and challenges in our different countries, says Hrönn Pálmadóttir.
- It is very interesting to meet, make connections and learn from other researchers. We discuss the findings and also the role of the researcher in the field and the ethical issues that can arise in the studies, explains Hrönn Pálmadóttir.
In Iceland children start school at the age of six and often in the last year of pre-school there is a preparing program where the teacher’s cooperate between school levels and the children can visit the school they will be attending. In the new official guidelines for pre-and compulsory schools in Iceland increased emphasis is on transitions with focus on collaboration between the teachers of both school levels to improve the educational transitions.
- In our project we are trying to create continuity, to get the teachers to work more closely together and get more acquainted with their respective fields of expertise and the pedagogies of different stages, concludes Kristin Norðdahl.