A group of representatives of 9 members of the National Network for Children visited Edinburgh, Scotland in the period 9 to 12 September 2014. The purpose of the trip was a study visit and exchange of experiences within the frame ot project “Exchange and cooperation for improving the welfare of children.” The project is implemented under the Operational Programme “Human Resources Development” and it aims to promote practices and policies for early childhood development, especially those with a focus on preventing dropouts.
The practice in Scotland is carried out by the local organization LicketySpit and it is focused on the early intervention and working with children through theater practice. The organization puts child plays in municipal centers for children in nurseries and kindergartens and applies drama techniques, which encourage active participation of children in the play. The practice focuses on learning, emotional, and social change through experience.
The intervention through dramatic techniques is held within two half-day sessions that are led by actors with pedagogical profile. It aims at groups of a maximum 10 children at the age from 3-5 years and it involves children and teachers. In addition, LicketySpit conducts continuous training courses for educators and teachers in nurseries and kindergartens in order to increase their ability to engage children in creative games and encourage them to apply the art techniques to ignite the imagination of children.
The Bulgarian participants had the opportunity to participate in a short warming theatrical techniques that the hosts from LicketySpit apply to children, to watch a video of a theatrical performance with children, to learn more about what creative and art techniques are being used during the learning process in schools in Scotland. Also the seminar discussions included a summary of the strategic documents in the field of early childhood development in Scotland and the main problems in the field, a presentation of practices of music education for children at an early age and presentation of a program for encouraging and promoting reading in Scotland.
The participants had the opportunity to visit 2 kindergartens in Edinburgh, to discuss with teachers the basic practices used there and to talk about the main achievements and challenges in the field of early childhood development.
By the project “Exchange and cooperation to improve children’s welfare” the National Network for Childrdn funded 3 training trips to visit the practice abroad, except Edinburgh, members of the organization had the opportunity to visit the practice for early childhood development in Tulcea, Romania and Belfast, Northern Ireland. The participants in each trip are selected on the basis of experience, expertise and their sent best practices in the same field from Bulgaria.