Professor Valerie Sollars will present the findings from a study which sought to identify stakeholders’ definitions of quality in early childhood education. The results which will be reported during the lecture will present the views of just under 2000 parents who participated in the research. Data were collected from among parents whose children were attending one of 50 childcare or kindergarten settings located across Malta and Gozo. The study was conducted with the financial support from the small grants scheme offered through the Research, Innovation & Development Trust (RIDT) at the University of Malta.
According to parents, what are the characteristics of early years settings which offer good quality service and provision? What improvements would parents like to see in the services they use? What expectations do parents have about their young children’s achievements? Why is it important to listen to what parents have to say about their and their children’s learning experiences in the early years? Prof Sollars will discuss these questions considering the local reality where widespread availability and accessibility of early childhood settings requires a focus on the quality of learning experiences provided for young children. The presentation will be followed by a response from Maelis Karlsson Lohmander from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden and conclude with a wider discussion with the participants.
Professor Sollars has worked and researched extensively in the area of Early Childhood Education locally and internationally. She has been instrumental in raising the early years profile in Malta through the publication of the first national policy in 2006, followed by the introduction of the Early Years Cycle in the National Curriculum Framework in 2012 and the policy document outlining the way forward in 2013. She had also introduced the first undergraduate programme of studies for practitioners working in the early years in 2009 and co-ordinated European and International Master’s degree programmes in Early Years between 2007 and 2016. Between 2007 and 2015, Prof Sollars was the Dean of the Faculty of Education.
The lecture will be held on Wednesday 19 June 2019 at Lecture Theatre (LT1) at the University of Malta, Msida Campus between 17:30 and 20:00. Attendance is free but prior booking is required owing to seating capacity. Registration can be secured and will be confirmed on a first-come, first-served basis by sending an email to Ms Jennifer Vella by Monday 17 June 2019.
17:30 - 17:45
17:45 - 18:45
Parents defining quality & expectations about children’s achievements
18:45 - 19:30
Response to the local findings
19:30 - 20:00
Discussion & Conclusion