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THRIECE logo  erasmus logo

MIE is leading a major new Erasmus+ research initiative on Early Childhood Education and Care. Beginning in December 2017, the THRIECE (Teaching for Holistic, Relational and Inclusive Early Childhood Education) project is a response to the current shift in European education towards neoliberal discourses that prioritise ‘valuable’ knowledge while devaluing areas not seen to have utility in a global economy. This relentless drive for ‘quality’ is resulting in the narrowing of curricula, the standardisation of achievement through testing and international ranking, and in a fixation on quantitative measurement as the true arbiter of quality education.

The THRIECE partnership believes that this current situation is insufficient if contemporary Europe is to effectively address social inclusion. Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) is widely promoted as a means to achieving inclusion for the 508.5 million young people in Europe. THRIECE will address the worrying focus on bringing settings and children to predetermined fixed points, irrespective of background or culture. Such approaches may propagate deficit models, with some children and communities seen as insufficient based on social class, language or ethnicity. If treated uncritically, measures of ‘quality’ can become instruments of social exclusion.

Comprising three pre-schools, three primary schools and four HEIs, THRIECE is a unique Irish-Polish-Portuguese partnership, coordinated by Dr. Leah O’Toole (MIE,) that proposes an alternative view of quality in ECEC that supports inclusion through recognition of the crucial nature of relationships and interactions.

Partnership

Ireland:

MIE (Coordinator)

Trinity College Dublin

Carlow Educate Together

An Cosán

Play Together Childcare Carlow

Portugal:

UPORTO

Agrupamento de Escolas Soares do Reis

Agrupamento de Escolas Alexandre Herculano

Poland:

University of Gdansk

Zespół Szkolno-Przedszkolny nr 3 w Gdyni

Przedszkole Niepubliczne Żyrafa

Contact

Leah O'Toole_Website Profle_2016_resized

Dr Leah O'Toole

leah.otoole@mie.ie