In this podcast we welcome our guest Bryndis Gunnarsdóttir who speaks about the Icelandic National Curriculum and the Icelandic context for playschool teachers. With passion, Bryndis also shares her research which examines friendship relations and social interactions in the toddler peer group in an early childhood education and care setting in Iceland using conversation analysis (CA). Throughout the conversation, we weave perspectives of early childhood educators/ playschool teachers, instructors, and students.
We welcome your thoughts and comments, Antje, Selena, Patricia, and Bryndis
Setting the mood Little feet tap with excitement, Little eyes wait with longing, Few little minds forget its coming, ‘Its time for snack’ as the teacher remarks. The gates open to meal prepped tables, number of little feet scramble to spot their seats, oh , the joy to see the familiar(their snack boxes), ‘Its time for snack’ as the teacher hums. The mood is calm, the mood is focus, munching into their snack with a sense of purpose, a spill or two is cleaned with care, ‘Its time for snack’ as the teacher smiles 🙂
The choices From cottage cheese to applesauce, to crackers and sandwiches. The choices are one too many, For little minds to fathom hastily. A spoon, a bib, ”I’ll open it” an excited friend speaks, the cold strawberry yogurt is savored with every spoon. Across the table a little friend perplexed, pushes away all the choices with a sudden reflex. A patient educator with a calm and softness in her tone, offers time to process the choices that lay forth a momentary pause later a decision is made, ‘I want this’ the little finger points to the quinoa salad that awaits.
The closing ” I want something else”, “I’m done”, Few little fingers play with an empty container in sight, Snack time is coming to an end Let’s get you cleaned up, Here’s a wet cloth and a wipe, Little hands wipe and clean themselves I want water, I want milk, Little faces and tummies flooded with joy, “I want to go play again” As tables and chairs creak across the floor, Little friends are excited to return to play, A teacher stays back, humming a rhyme, as she wipes and cleans every little crumb.
The outdoor circle was recently built using paving stones. On top of these stones are 11 seats that are made out of cement blocks that have caps on them. I was sitting on one of the seats and began pushing the snow, back and forth, between my boots. There is one child sitting across from me. There is no conversation between us, but he observes me moving the snow, back and forth. We notice that this action results with some of the stones peeking through the snow. This child gets up, walks across the circle and sits beside me on one of the other seats. I make eye contact with the child as I continue slowly moving the snow, back and forth, between my boots.
Child: “We need to cover it.” Amanda: “Why do we need to cover it?” Child: “So nobody finds it!” Amanda: ” Finds what?” Child: “The treasure, Amanda!”
As it states in the BC Early Learning Framework (Government of BC, 2019), “Children can engage with their own ideas, theories, and inquires in ways that are meaningful to them” (p. 68). With this recent snowfall, the snow created an additional material in this child’s outdoor learning environment. This additional material gave this child an opportunity to engage, to be curious, to create wonder and to imagine- and all of these opportunities were created because of just one additional layer, a hidden layer, to what was once familiar to this child.