How to implement the observation strategies to raise the quality of early childhood education (ECEC) in diverse countries and regions: Experiences from Finland and Hong Kong

Jyrki REUNAMO, Yue On James KO

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Valid feedback is essential for the administrators, educators, parents and, of course, for children to be able to steer their development in a sustainable way. Key influential theorists such as Montessori, Piaget, Vygotsky, and others all used observations extensively to understand how children learn and use knowledge about children's learning to improve pedagogies and children's lives. However, most adults including teachers in the ECEC settings have not always observed children and tracked their growth.
The grantees of Hong Kong Research Grants Council, Dr James Ko, Professor Doris Cheng, and Dr Jyrki Reunamo, have collaborated to find relationships between young children's involvement, adaptation and agency in early childhood settings through systematic observations. More than 100,000 observations were documented in research and professional development programs conducted in Finland, Taiwan and Hong Kong. By using simple cross-tabulation, researchers and teachers can obtain information about the context-specific aspects of learning, emotions and social relations. For example, children’s strategies to confront bullying were connected to their observed activities (Reunamo, Ko, Cheng, Lee, Wang, & Salminen, 2016). Agency and openness orientations observed in children were found affecting their differential development trajectories including their school readiness (Ko, 2015) and some children may show a higher risk in certain aspects of growth (Ko, 2015; Reunamo et al., 2016). It is well-known that "play" related activities in Hong Kong are very different from Finnish one (Cheng & Stimpson, 2004, Cheng, 2012), though western teaching approaches are translated in the Hong Kong early childhood curriculum (Cheng, 2006). By systematic observations, Cheng and Chen (2017) also showed that children in play-based activities showed the strongest class involvement. Recently, three researchers have developed self-accessible training materials with video clips and demonstrated how to conduct observations efficiently with their latest mobile application for practitioners to use and contribute to a big data pool aimed to enhance the teaching quality in ECEC settings (Ko & Reunamo, 2017).
透過日常的觀察,老師可以了解幼兒如何學習和運用知識,從而改善教學法;然而很多老師卻沒有恆常地觀察幼兒及紀錄他們的成長過程。講者將會解釋如何透過有系統的觀察,了解幼兒在學習中的參與度、適應能力,及其他相關因素的相互關係。他們亦會分享其研究成果,以及如何運用科技觀察幼兒,並透過大數據提升幼兒教育的質素。 Copyright © 2018 Learning & Teaching Expo.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


Hong Kong
school readiness
video clip
Social Relations
university teacher


Reunamo, J., & Ko, J. (2018, December). How to implement the observation strategies to raise the quality of early childhood education (ECEC) in diverse countries and regions: Experiences from Finland and Hong Kong. Paper presented at the Learning & Teaching Expo 2018: Tomorrow's Learning Today, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Hong Kong, China.


  • Alt. title: 如何透過觀察策略提升幼兒教育的質素:香港及芬蘭的經驗分享