Special Issue Call for Papers – Educational Quality in Institutions of Early Childhood Education in East-Central Europe – Conceptualizations and Key Findings

Posted 30th November 2020

Guest Editors: Eva Pölzl-Stefanec, Oresta Karpenko & Wilfried Smidt
Call for Papers
Background and Concept
The research debate about quality in Early Childhood Education (ECE) primarily focuses on conceptualizations and key findings from parts of Europe (particularly Northern, Western and Southern Europe) and North America. In this regard educational quality in ECE is often defined as an interplay of structural quality, orientation quality and process quality (Harms et al., 2015). A high number of studies show, how important educational quality in ECE is (Ansari & Pianta, 2018; Howes et al., 1995; Pianta et al., 2020; Sylva et al., 2003). Research indicates, that children benefit from a high-quality ECE (Goble et al., 2019). The attendance of high-quality institutions of ECE, such as day care centres and preschools, has an influence on children´s learning and development in the long term and can even contribute to reduce educational disparities (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Early Child Care Research Network, 2005; Siraj-Blatchford et al., 2002). These patterns of findings are well documented.
However, less is known about educational quality in institutions of ECE in East-Central Europe. According to Magocsi (2007) East-Central Europe can be divided into a northern, an Alpine-Carpathian and a Balkan zone. In East-Central Europe, ECE services comprise a variety of institutions types across private and public sectors. Nurseries, kindergartens and preschools are either government-funded or operated as a private service. In addition, the qualifications of early childhood educators vary widely from formal qualifications to master’s degrees (European Commission, 2014; Oberhuemer & Schreyer, 2018). Furthermore, the institutionalization of childhood in the early years is constantly increasing and the attendance of institutions of ECE is a regular part in the biography of most children (European Commission, 2014).
We are particularly interested in contributions that focus on concepts and methods to achieve, improve, and further develop educational quality in ECE. In addition, we welcome debates about diversity, gender, inclusion and transitions into the formal school system. The special issue aims to consider research from the following countries: Albania, Austria, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine.
Aim and Timetable
The aim of the special issue Educational Quality in Institutions of Early Childhood Education in East-Central Europe – Conceptualizations and Key Findings is to provide an overview of the discussion about conceptualizations and key findings on educational quality in institutions of ECE in East-Central Europe. Proposals should be submitted to Eva Pölzl-Stefanec at eva.stefanec@uni-graz.at.
• August 31th, 2021: Submission of 250-300-word proposals by e-mail to Eva Pölzl-Stefanec at eva.stefanec@uni-graz.at
• September 10th 2021: Abstract proposal decision sent to author/s
• December 31th 2021: First full paper submission due for review.
• January 2022 – June 2022: Review and revision process
• July 2022: Final submission
• 2023: Publication available
Ansari, A., & Pianta, R. C. (2018). The role of elementary school quality in the persistence of preschool effects. Children and Youth Services Review, 86, 120–127. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2018.01.025
European Commission. (2014). Proposal for key principles of a quality framework for early childhood Education and care report of the working group on early childhood education and care under the auspices of the European Commission. Retrieved from https://ec.europa.eu/assets/eac/education/policy/ strategic-framework/archive/documents/ecec-quality-framework_en.pdf
Goble, P., Sandilos, L. E., & Pianta, R. C. (2019). Gains in teacher-child interaction quality and children’s school readiness skills: Does it matter where teachers start? Journal of School Psychology, 73, 101–113. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsp.2019.03.006
Harms, T., Clifford, R. M., & Cryer, D. (2015). Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (Third edition). New York, NY: Teachers College Press.
Howes, C., Smith, E. W., & Galinsky, E. (1995). The Florida child care quality improvement study. Interim Report. Families and Work Institute: New York, NY.
Magocsi, P. R. (2004). Geography and borders. In M. Cornis-Pope & J. Neubauer (Eds.), History of the literary cultures of East-Central Europe: Junctures and disjunctures in the 19th and 20th centuries, Volume I (pp. 19–32). John Benjamins: Amsterdam.
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Early Child Care Research Network (Ed.) (2005). Child care and child development: Results from the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development. New York: Guilford Press.
Oberhuemer, P. & Schreyer, I. (2018). Workforce profiles in systems of early childhood education and care in Europe. Retrieved fromhttp://www.seepro.eu/English/Home.htm
Pianta, R. C., Hamre, B. K., & Nguyen, T. (2020). Measuring and improving quality in early care and education. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 51, 285–287. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecresq.2019.10.013
Siraj-Blatchford, I., Sylva, K., Muttock, S., & Gilden, R. & Bell, D. (2002). Researching Effective Pedagogy in the Early Years. (REPEY). Research Report No. 356. Norwich: Queen´s Printer.
Sylva, K., Melhuish, E., Sammons, P., Siraj-Blatchford, I., & Taggart, B. (2009). Effective Pre-School and Primary Education 3–11 (EPPE 3–11) project. Final report from the primary phase: Pre-school, school, and family influences on children’s development during Key Stage 2 (age 7–11). London, UK: Institute of Education, University of London.

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