Evidence Utilization Full Day Kindergarten

Over the past several years, there has been growing interest in what comprises quality early learning and how it should be offered to four- and five-year-olds throughout Ontario.

Project Category:
Strengthening research brokering work
Topic Area:
Early Childhood
Ministry Priority
(2011-2013):
Teaching and Learning
Project Lead(s):
Erica van Roosmalen
Brief Background:
Over the past several years, there has been growing interest in what comprises quality early learning and how it should be offered to four- and five-year-olds throughout Ontario. With the introduction of the Full-Day Kindergarten (FDK) Program in the 2010-11 school year, stakeholders throughout the education and early years fields are seeking strategic direction to guide research-to-practice techniques that will enhance quality programming.
Research Context:
The FDK Program introduced in the 2010-11 school year was a result of compelling early years research and extensive community consultations that were formulated into a report by Dr. Charles Pascal and presented to Premier McGuinty. The proposed program promised to alleviate child care difficulties for families and provide a better foundation to lifelong learning for four- and five-year-olds. Many academic and applied researchers have commenced evaluating the merit of the program for their students, families, schools, and staff.
Knowledge Mobilization Activities:

This project mobilizes knowledge by: (1) supporting the creation of an early-learning community of practice ; (2) offering an interactive open-space mini-conference ; (3) developing four E-learning Modules ; (4) publishing and promoting research findings in useful formats ; and (5) generating an end report .


The Toronto Region MISA Professional Networking Centre (PNC) and its partners intend to generate a community of practice amongst university and school board researchers, teachers, early childhood educators, principals, and supervisory officers through a mini-conference where participants present research-informed strategies for the effective use of evidence and data in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of the FDK Program. The mini-conference will leverage knowledge, resources, and expertise to build capacity around using evidence to produce best practices around play-based learning, parent engagement, and teacher-ECE relationships to maximize student achievement in the Full-Day Kindergarten Program. At the end of the conference, participants will contribute to a report that captures the essence of the discussion that took place.

Outcomes:
It is expected that participants will gain evidence-based strategies of practice for their own role in the program and a deeper inter-professional understanding of their colleagues’ experiences. To support this work – we have developed four E-learning modules: (1) Three Fields of Knowledge (2) Teacher – ECE Relationships (3) The Learning Environment and, (4) Pedagogical Documentation. In addition, Charles Sturt University aims to improve their education programs by taking research to practice, tapping into the expertise within the PNC, making changes to practice, and by then sharing those changes through conference presentations and publications to make this knowledge accessible to others.