Children in Europe - elaborating on principle 7 - evaluation: participatory, democratic and transparent

The paper will elaborate Principle # 7 of the Policy Paper Young Children and their Services: Developing a European Approach, which deals with evaluation of services quality: "Evaluation should be an ongoing, participatory and democratic process. Evaluation should be open to all citizens, children and adults, providing the opportunity for everyone to discuss real, concrete things and to take responsibility for making judgements of value with fellow citizens - rather than hiding behind the assumed scientific objectivity offered by experts and managerial evaluations. This requires methods such as pedagogical documentation that make practice visible, transparent and subject to reflection, dialogue, interpretation and value judgements - and leave space open for finding unexpected outcomes".
In 1991, a document by the Childcare Network of European Commission argued that the definition of quality is an ongoing process in which all the stakeholders (children, parents, and professionals) should be involved. In 1996, a new EC document proposed some criteria to design evaluation procedures. The paper will discuss recent examples of quality definition and evaluation in the EU countries and the political and cultural issues related to implementing Principle 7. It will be argued that evaluation of services is a crucial issue both for guaranteeing high quality services to all young children and their families and for further developing a participatory and democratic culture of early childhood education.

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Contributo in atti di convegno
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19th EECERA Annual Conference. Diversities in early childhood education, Strasbourg, (F), 26-29 August 2009
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Tullia Musatti's picture
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