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ЕССЕ 2019: New frontiers of preschool education

3 june 2019 г.

From May 29 to June 1 International Conference “Early Childhood Care and Education” (ECCE 2019) was held in Moscow. This year the conference took place in Moscow State Institute of International Relations and gathered more than 2000 from UK, USA, Poland, South Africa, Sweden and 36 other countriesand 58 constituent regions of the Russian Federation Different types of scientific engagement were used within the conference: pre-conference seminars and childcare tours, scientific program on 37 acute childhood research issues in the format of breakout sessions and round tables, the exhibition “Modern Preschool Education” and aposter session.

At the opening ceremony on May 30, the welcoming address of the Minister of Enlightenment of the Russian Federation Olga Vasilyeva was readaloud. It emphasized the significance of this event for the development of preschool education as a guarantee of a successful future for all countries of the world. The Chairman of the Russian “Znanie” Society Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Education and Science Lyubov Dukhanina in her report brought to notice the results of public opinion polls conducted in Russia. The information collected during the surveys shows the role of the digital environment in education, the goals of education (according to parents, scholars and teachers), child-parent interaction at preschool age and many other things.During 8 years its existence, the Conference has become a platform for a vivid exchange of opinions, views and experience, presentations of the latest educational practices. Simultaneous interpreting into English and Russian languages at all breakout sessions increases productivity of communicetion. During ECCE 2019 foreign and Russian researchers presented their reports, which contained current information on preschool education.
Turkey became ECCE 2019 partner country . According to the ambassador, the state in the Russian Federation is taking serious steps in the professional development of teachers capable of providing qualitative education tochildrenliving in remote and poor areasorsuffering from various diseases and staying in hospitals. A report on the ethics observance in psychological practice when working with children was presented by Deputy Chairman of the Turkish Psychological Association, Doctor of Psychology Ilkiz Altinoglu Dikmeer. She proposed on consideration important research and practice issue, which was an example of a responsibility of a behavioral therapist, who is in charge of the mental health of a two-year-old child with possible symptoms of autism.
One of the keynote speeches in the academic part of the conference was reported by the Rector of the International Academy of Preschool Education, Moscow (IAPE), Professor Nikolay Veraksa. Based on the well-known theory of L.S. Vygotsky about the Zone of proximal development (ZPD), Nikolay Veraksa introduced a completely new term - Space for Child Development Implementation. In his opinion, children are the representatives of the future living among us, they are stronger than adults. Therefore, we must be attentive to children’s creative potential : we should create a space for their realization, in which adults try to understand the child’s intention, learn to interpret the meanings, and not dictate to a child adult’s opinion.

Director of the Vygotsky Institute of Lisbon (Portugal) Joachim Quintino-Aires — presented a paper on "Neuropsychological re-education in preschoolers with a diagnosis of behavioural and emotional disorder." He stressed that today 6% of children suffer from behavioral disorders, another 4% have various emotional problems. If previously it was believed that the cause of such disorders is the special structure of the human nervous system, now, thanks to the progress in studying the neurocognitive brain development, it has been proved that communication with parents of children under the age of 3, has the most significant effect: 75% of responsibility for the qualitative education and child upbringing rests with adults. "We are responsible for children thrown by life circumstances overboard," concluded the scientist. .

A leading researcher at the University College of London, Professor Brenda Taggart, for the first time, shared with her Russian colleagues the results of the UK based longitudinal study: it lasted for 17 years and was called “EPPSE 1997-2014”. The main goal of the study was to determinate the impact of high-quality preschool education on subsequent education in primary and secondary schools, as well as socialization and sustainable psychological development of children and adolescents. The teacher told the colleagues about the most important aspects of the study: the importance of the teacher’s contribution to creating a comfortable educational environment in the family communication skills while dealing with parents and solving conflict situations involving a child.

One of the highlights of the conference was the UNESCO round table “Sustainable Development as a Humanitarian Issue and as a Subject of Education for Young Children”. The conference was held under the patronage of UNESCO and with the support of the Commission of the Russian Federation for UNESCO, which underlines the high status of the event and its significance in achieving the global goals of the organization, in particular SDG 4.2 on access of all children to quality preschool education by 2030. The scientists, practitioners, psychologists and public figures who spoke at the meeting signified the importance of preschool education and outlined in their reports existing problems in many regions. For example, children living in rural areas still do not have access to quality education (Tadjikistan); poor professional development of teachers (India), inaccessibility of quality preschool and primary education for children with disabilities due to poor counseling with families with disabled children in the country (Nigeria).

For the first time in the entire history of the ECCE conference, a separately selected region of Russia (Focus-Region) was placed in the focus of attention. The Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) was chosen. Over 100 teachers, psychologists, representatives of the Ministry of Education of Yakutia shared their unique and successful preschool education system organizationexperience . In particular, they presented unique results of motivation to gain knowledge by preschool children in the region. In Yakutia, for instance, the basic elements that are necessary for the development of giftedness are used: chess, artistic and aesthetic perception, music, compulsory bilingualism (bilingual environment) and others
Summing up, the Chairman of the ECCE International Committee, the Rector of IAPE, the head of one of the UNESCO Chair in Russia, Nikolay Veraksa, said that the conference had stressed very important topics for the future work of his colleagues. For example, a discussion with foreign partners on the issue of assessing the quality of preschool education has set specific tasks for Russian teachers to implement. “We also made progress in understanding the global challenges of preschool education,” said the scientist. “We began to participate in international research and feel great support from the expert community, including Russian organizations.”

The International Conference “Early Childhood Care and Education” (ECCE 2019) was dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the International Children's Day and the Year of the Book in the Commonwealth of Independent States. It was held in Moscow with the support of the Ministry of Enlightenment of the Russian Federation and The Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation, The Russian Academy of Education, Russian “Znanie” Society, The Russian Psychological Society, United Nations Association of Russia, the Eurasian Association of Universities, the World Bank, The Commission of the Russian Federation for UNESCO.

The conference was organized by the International Academy of Preschool Education, Moscow (IAPE), Preschool Education Quality Development Association (PEQDA), Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO University).