Promotion of Children’s Cooperation and Physical Development in the Pre-School Outdoor Space [PDF]

Agita Ābele1, Agrita Tauriņa2, Tija Zīriņa2, Dace Rutkovska3
 Latvian Academy of Sport Education, Latvia
2 University of Latvia, Latvia
3 Riga 275th preschool educational establishment “Austrina”, Latvia

Abstract: In order to follow advice of epidemiologists on measures for limiting the spread of COVID-19 in Latvia, employees of pre-school educational establishments are increasingly paying attention to ensuring the availability of a safe outdoor setting. Children’s transferrable skills and a healthy lifestyle are a topical matter within educational reform and the competency approach in pre-school. Observations by teachers indicate that children’s cooperation skills at the age of five and six years are insufficiently developed, and adults struggle to promote them, especially in the outdoor environment where it’s often associated with new challenges, and the work of organizing activities is more involved. Teachers have difficulties ensuring the availability of materials necessary for children’s cooperation and physical development and directing attention towards promoting dialogic speech and cognitive interests. To purposefully promote children’s cooperation in various outdoors activities, improve dialogic speech, and make examples of pedagogical work experiences more widely available to teachers, it would be important to promote the points recognized in the project “Teaching learning spaces competence from early childhood education” [TELESPA] (2018-1-RO01_KA201_049545, PVS_ID_3910), which was done in collaboration between Riga 275th pre-school “Austrina” and the EU education, learning, youth and sports program ERASMUS.
We discovered during research that children of the oldest pre-school age group tend to be interested in determining characteristic traits of objects, looking for causality, and doing practical work. However, their abilities to come to an agreement, justify intentions, think critically, and ask questions are insufficiently developed. We have noticed that good pronunciation of sounds, learning of grammar, and broadening of vocabulary improve children’s relationships with peers and grown-ups, they also make it easier to enact cooperation and various physical education activities outdoors. Purposefully made sensory gardens in the pre-school outdoor setting, available thanks to the EU education, learning, youth and sports program ERASMUS+ project “TELESPA” achieving its goals, provide an opportunity to evaluate children’s cooperation and opportunities for physical development promotion, and determine teachers’ experience in evaluating children’s achievements. It is important to find out the given children’s needs, interests, and abilities during the planning stage of pedagogical work – points recognized during this project’s trial runs should help with this task.
Keywords: cooperation, older pre-school child, physical development, pre-school outdoor environment, transferrable skills.

In: Human, Technologies and Quality of Education, 2021 = Cilvēks, tehnoloģijas un izglītības kvalitāte, 2021
Rīga, University of Latvia, 2021. 1148 p. Ed. L. Daniela
ISBN 978-9934-18-735-3