The book focuses on the issues of child and adult participation and engagement in early childhood education practice, as well as the wider community and society. The authors provide deep insights into the potential of every actor to influence the implementation conditions of Sámi early childhood education.

The book was born from a Sámi early childhood teacher education project launched in December 2016 in response to the great need for Sámi teachers by the University of Oulu, Sámi Education Institute (SAKK), Sámi Parliament and Giellagas Institute of the University of Oulu. The first part of the book reviews the current state of Sámi early childhood education, while the second describes the implementation of Sámi early childhood education and related research. This topical scientific debate on Sámi early childhood education is directed at professionals, decision-makers, employees, researchers, parents and students involved in early childhood education, as well as all those interested in Sámi education. The articles are in Finnish, while the book abstract is in English, and the article abstracts are in Sámi.

The articles discuss the values, practices and dimensions of participation in Sámi early childhood education. The values of Sámi education and child-rearing include the meaning of family and community, the connection between nature and freedom, and the indirect ways of communicating, such as storytelling. Values play central roles and are manifested in many ways in Sámi early childhood education curriculum and practices. Practices are formed in social interactions. As ways of being and interacting, practices have their own history and are closely related to goals, ideals and values. In the everyday life of education, therefore, it is important to create possibilities for shared understandings of practices, goals and values: What are we doing and for what reason?

This compilation consists of articles written by Sámi education experts, researchers and professionals who have either been involved in the education project or contributed important research: Marikaisa Laiti, PhD; Rauni Äärelä-Vihriälä, PhD; Aimo Aikio, Lic. A.; Professor Eila Estola; Raija Erkkilä, PhD; Maria Peltola, M.A, PhD student; Teemu Suorsa, PhD; docent Pigga Keskitalo; class teacher Aura Mari Pieski; education coordinator Unni Länsman; Riikka Kess, M.A, PhD student; Jaana Juutinen, PhD; Onneli Sieppi, B.A.; and Nina Hirvonen, B.A.

The book is edited by Maria Peltola, Pigga Keskitalo and Rauni Äärelä-Vihriälä. Peltola is coordinator and university teacher of Sámi early childhood teacher education and is completing a doctoral dissertation in the field of educational psychology at the University of Oulu. Keskitalo is docent at the University of Helsinki and associate professor at Sámi Allaskuvla in Norway and the University of Lapland. Keskitalo completed a doctoral dissertation at the University of Lapland in 2010. Äärelä-Vihriälä is a class teacher and vice-rector at Sompio School, Sodankylä, and completed a doctoral dissertation on language nest pedagogy in 2016.

For more information:
Maria Peltola, tel. +358 44 382 4567,
Pigga Keskitalo, tel. +358 40 484 4153, or
Rauni Äärelä-Vihriälä, tel. +358 45 274 8726,

Peltola, M., Keskitalo, P. & Äärelä-Vihriälä, R. (ed.). (2019). Sámi Early Childhood Education Now—Values, Practices and Participation in Everyday Life. Acta Universitatis Ouluensis F13. Oulu, Finland: University of Oulu.
Number of pages: 198

Online book:
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