Norwegian kindergartens understaffed / News / The Foreigner

Norwegian kindergartens understaffed. Kindergarten children are losing out because of a shortage of properly qualified teachers. 4,000 posts remained unfilled at the end of last year despite the government’s policy of ensuring adequate staff coverage. “We’ve been in this situation for a while,” Torger Ødegaard, Oslo’s city councillor for culture and education tells NRK. Government legislation stipulates each group of up to 18 children over three should have one child-education expert. Kindergartens with leaders who have other teacher training are exempt.

kindergarten, children, preschool, behaviour, problems, understaffed, unqualified, national, institute, child, health, human, development, nichd, ntnu



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Norwegian kindergartens understaffed

Published on Thursday, 9th September, 2010 at 15:16 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

Kindergarten children are losing out because of a shortage of properly qualified teachers. 4,000 posts remained unfilled at the end of last year despite the government’s policy of ensuring adequate staff coverage.

Revelheia kindergarten (illus. photo)
Revelheia kindergarten (illus. photo)
Photo: Sandivas/Wikimedia Commons


Disadvantages

“We’ve been in this situation for a while,” Torger Ødegaard, Oslo’s city councillor for culture and education tells NRK.

Government legislation stipulates each group of up to 18 children over three should have one child-education expert. Kindergartens with leaders who have other teacher training are exempt.

The Union of Education’s (Utdanningsforbundet) Mimi Bjerkestrand says kindergarten children need qualified personnel who can give them adequate challenges.

“Pre-school teachers have fundamental knowledge about kindergarten disciplines and children.”

American research conducted by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) on children from a few months old up to 15 years of age shows that language development suffers if teacher quality is too low.

“Kindergartens give children indisputable cognitive, social, and language advantages. But this is dependent upon a high enough standard,” says May Britt Drugli, at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s (NTNU) regional centre for child and adolescent mental health.

Mimi Bjerkestrand is concerned that a lack of qualified teachers means the kindergartens cannot function properly.

“It is not a storage facility, but an educational establishment that should challenge children on a daily basis.”

Behavioural problems

There are also concerns about the amount of time children spend in kindergarten. An increasing number of parents are buying full-time places, meaning many spend up to 43 hours a week there if both parents work.

This can lead to them suffering from minor behavioural problems in the classroom, the same US research shows.

“[The children] are slightly more restless, defiant, and impulsive. There do more dangerous things without thinking so much about the others and are a little more difficult to control in the classroom,” Drugli says, underlining there is no clear connection.



Published on Thursday, 9th September, 2010 at 15:16 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

This post has the following tags: kindergarten, children, preschool, behaviour, problems, understaffed, unqualified, national, institute, child, health, human, development, nichd, ntnu.





  
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