From stories of actors of change to competent early childhood education and care systems

October 4th, from 9:30am – 10:30am

Throughout my whole career, I have been fascinated by the following question: why is it that certain early childhood education and care (ECEC) centres innovate and improve their practices all the time, while others reproduce the same mediocre quality for years and years?

Years ago, as a pedagogical coach in the city of Ghent, I focused on individual characteristics – what motivates professionals to question their own pedagogical practice? Later, I had the opportunity to visit outstanding, quality ECEC centres in Europe and around the world. During those field visits, I had interesting conversations about the history of those success stories. I realised that it was not only a question of motivated individuals and teams, but also of open minded policy makers who made it possible for centres to experiment with new approaches.

Along with scholars from Eastern and Western Europe, I have been involved in European policy research on how to implement change in ECEC. Through this work, all the pieces of the ‘change’ puzzle came together – excellent ECEC centres are a product of an ongoing collaboration within a competent system between committed local and national policy makers, researchers connected to ECEC practice, and practitioners and passionate professionals who are in constant dialogue with parents and children.

In my keynote address, I will tell stories about actors of change from around the globe with whom I worked. I will describe the competent system that motivates practitioners to provide high quality ECEC.

Dr. Peeters highlights some of the points he will touch on in his keynote address here.