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ЕССЕ 2017: International Conference on early childhood care and education finished in Moscow

16 may 2017 г.

ECCE 2017 is a key event in the sphere of early childhood research, which brought together specialists from 32 countries. The Conference took place in Lomonosov Moscow State University (Moscow, Russia) from May 11 to 13. International Conference «Early Childhood Care and Education» (ECCE) is held annually under the auspices of the Commission of the Russian Federation for UNESCO and the World Bank.

International conference “Early childhood care and Education” was included in the list of events of European Federation of Psychologists' Associations (EFPA).

On May 11, key figures of Russian education and foreign guests opened the session with a welcoming address. The speakers noted increasing role of early education in the world and marked key topics for discussion.

Every year the Directorate chooses one Partner-Country of the Conference. In 2017, the USA became a Partner-Country of the ECCE Conference. The conference is officially supported by American Psychological Association (APA) and National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The main event of the Opening session was the signing of agreements on cooperation between American Psychological Association (APA) and Russian Psychological Society; Spanish Psychological Society and Russian Psychological Society.

Antonio Puente, President of the American Psychological Association, led the delegation from the USA at the ECCE conference. The Spanish Psychological society was represented by prof. Francisco José Santolaya Ochando. From the Russian side the agreements were signed by Yuriy Zinchenko, president of Russian Psychological Society.

“The singing of memorandums is a historic moment indeed,” – noted prof. Zinchenko. In 2019 European Congress of Psychology will take place in Moscow, Russia for the first time. Working together now on the ECCE Conference enables to show Russian Psychology to the World, worldwide society has an opportunity to learn how Russian specialists work on the example of studying a short but very important period – preschool age. “Investing in the future is studying early childhood. Studying the period of early childhood is our future”-concluded prof. Zinchenko.

The ECCE Conference lasted 4 days. Conference participants discussed the problems of professional development of educators, quality evaluations in preschool, the role of play and artistic development in early childhood. Special attention was paid to the problems of inclusive education and ecological education.
On May 11-13, 17 sections on the most relevant topics of early education were held within the Conference. Leading researchers from worldwide presented their reports on the plenary session.

Roger Säljö from University of Gothenburg (Sweden) spoke on the intervention of new technologies in our lives and the challenges that arise in this regard for society and system of early education. “There are vast opportunities for using technologies in teaching, or rather, the educational process cannot be built without the use of technologies”. The speaker explained ways of implementing technologies in preschool and what success can be achieved if these technologies are implemented reasonably on the theoretical basis of Lev Vygotsky and preschool experience of Scandinavian countries.

President of the American Psychological Association Antonio Puente introduced the results of the newest research on neuropsychology. He pointed to the predominant role of culture in child development relying on the methodological provisions of A.R. Luria and inspired colleagues to develop research in this field.

Silvia Koller, a follower of the great researcher Uri Bronfenbrenner, creator of the ecological approach in psychology, spoke about the need for interdisciplinary research in the field of early childhood. It is necessary to take into account child’s environment in its broader sense than just a family when building educational process: kindergarten, social circle, etc.

Larisa Bayanova, professor from Kazan University introduced a report on the balance in such subtle things as rules acquirement by a child and demonstration of creativity. According to the expert, our culture is oriented towards standardization, but it turns out that the more children obey the rules, the less they are able to demonstrate creativity. The speaker told the participants of the Conference how to build an educational process in order not to suppress the child's ability to think creatively.

The report of Wolfgang Tietze, famous specialist from Germany, was focused on the problem of assessment and development of education quality in preschool. The author told about the German Quality Catalogue. He stressed the need and effectiveness of working with preschool staff, in which we form a team of adherents oriented towards positive changes.

Besides the plenary session more reports were presented on sections by other modern researchers: Elly Singer (Holland), Sonja Sheridan (Sweden), Ursula Stenger (Germany) and many others.

Researchers from University of Gothenburg and Moscow City University introduced results of recent research on quality of preschool of two countries. The conversation turned out to be especially interesting given the fact that Sweden is a country with one of the world's best preschool education systems, a trendsetter in the field of education and training.

The specialists concluded that the most important part is a joint work of assessment specialists and educators. The purpose of education quality evaluation is to provide objective information about the strengths and weaknesses of the kindergarten or center, for which, in turn, the readiness to grow and change in the interests of the child is important.

A number of events of the Conference were timed to coincide with the "Year of Ecology" held in Russia.

On May 11, Nektarios Stellakis, OMEP Regional Vice President for Europe, reported on environmental education and shared his experience with Russian colleagues at the Conference.

On May 12, Section “Ecological education for sustainable development” took place at the Conference for the first time. Natalya Ryzhova, national project manager OMEP in Russia, led the section The section’s outcome were proposals on including ecological topic into Federal State Educational Standards and educational process in preschool.

In the estimation of most participants of ECCE 2017, the program was well-balanced and it managed to build a constructive dialogue between all participants of the educational process.

Official languages of the conference are English and Russian. All events at the conference are provided with simultaneous interpreting, which certainly facilitates cooperation and communication among specialists from different countries.

International Exhibition-Fair “Early Childhood Education Today” traditionally accompanied the Conference. 30 companies presented their innovative developments, technologies and methodologies in the sphere of early education.

Among exhibitors on the fair there were: Mental Arithmetic School Soroban, LEGO education, School of Seven Gnomes, publishing houses: Mozaica Sintez, Drofa-Ventana, Prosveshcheniye, Lomonosov Moscow State University, etc.

The ECCE organizers have already started preparing the next event, which will be held in May-June 2018. There is a discussion of candidates for the role of the partner country of the upcoming event.