TRACKs - TRAnsitions Children and Kindergarten

Scientific Coordinator: Lucia Balduzzi








Sector: School

Unibo structure involved: Department of Education Studies “Giovanni Maria Bertin”
Unibo Team: Arianna Lazzari


Project Duration in months: 36
Start Date: 01/09/2017
End Date: 31/08/2020

Budget: euro 372.724,00     


  • Instytut Komenskiego sp. z o..sp. k.(Poland)
  • Cooperativa Assistenza Disabili infermi Anziani Infanzia (Italy)


The aim of TRACKs is to provide high quality learning opportunities for several target groups, namely (1) ECEC professionals currently working with children aged 2,5 to 6 years, (2) future ECEC professionals such as pre-school teachers and Kindergarten personnel still in teacher training. Our approach envisions dynamic knowledge and practice exchange between the two target groups in the three countries involved in the project, Poland, Belgium and Italy. Furthermore, the project will benefit from the cross-sectional and cross-country exchange between the ECEC professionals across three European states. This transnational approach fosters an improved quality of learning, assuming that the international contexts can feed into each other, exchange solutions and compare the 'best practice' responses to particular ECEC challenges. To achieve this goal, each key country-partner cooperates with one teacher training institution as a partner and – in a later phase - two ECEC institutions to cooperate within the realm of the project.

In this TRACKs project, the ECEC professionals take centre stage, since they are the key actors impacting the wellbeing and development of children through ECEC practice. As a starting point, we will focus on the perceptions that the ECEC professionals / (future) teachers have on poverty, social exclusion, deprivation, diversity and transition. We will observe whether 'deficit thinking' is a recurrent phenomenon in interaction settings with children. 

Early childhood education and care can make a substantial contribution to cognitive, social and emotional development. A more dialogical approach is necessary. In the micro-processes of exclusion and detachment, interaction is extremely important.

Based on newly gained insights we will use the innovative and active learning method of video coaching to reflect with ECEC staff on pre-school/class/Kindergarten interactions. Through this approach, we will stimulate educational change in these institutions. As earlier studies demonstrate, action-research-inspired initiatives and research initiatives addressed towards professionalization of ECEC staff that focus on daily interactions with children, have very positive effects on the development of these interactions and reflexive competences. Video coaching is a strong tool for achieving the goals since it offers good prospects when working with children.

We distinguish three phases in our project: working with ECEC professionals (first phase), working with students in teacher training institutes (second phase), ECEC institutions and their trainers/educators in general (third phase). During the first phase we will work intensively with ECEC professionals in their own contexts and daily interactions with children, by means of the video coaching technique, in different sessions. During this phase we will develop an experimental toolbox to be used by the students in the second phase (guided by their lecturers). In this phase the development of the final toolbox will be started. In the last phase we will organize 'train the trainer' sessions, to promote and disseminate the final toolbox. Each country makes his own toolbox based on common starting points, objectives and pedagogical principles, which will be translated into English to get a wider audience in Europe (and outside).

The final toolbox will contain all three country toolboxes and a version of each of them in English. It will contain all the necessary content concerning ECEC and poverty, diversity, a.s.o. It will contain experiences from the ECEC professionals, the students, the lecturers from the first two phases, manuals, guidelines, tips and tricks, … If possible, we will add video footage into the toolbox. This depends on the quality of the collected material and the informed consent obtained of the participants in the first phases. The aim of the toolbox is to help raise awareness regarding the (missed) learning opportunities. Further, it will constitute a point of departure for discussion, reflection and feedback on daily interactions with children. The toolbox can also be used in distance learning, blended learning or e-learning modules for teacher training.

It is also worth noting that the project has a broader impact and outreach to the larger community of ECEC professionals and students in teacher training. The tangible results of the project focus on usability and practical assistance in the daily practice, especially in the sense of handling inequalities, non-take up and heterogeneity. The toolbox that will be available to ECEC community as the result of the project include.

Co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union