In August 2019, Kirsten Darling McQuistan, Lecturer in Education at Aberdeen University travelled to Uppsala University’s Department of Education to work with doctoral student Sarah Campbell and Senior Lecturer Véronique Simon on the KINDINMI pedagogic kit. We had a really fruitful weekend with much thought-provoking discussion around the key themes and philosophies underlying heartspace, our kit concept, and a lot of concrete progress on the curation, creation and design of the materials.
Drawing inspiration from a Swedish proverb about making space for a newcomer, the heartspace materials are designed to support busy early years educators in reflecting on and developing their practice to create early learning and childcare settings where every child and their family knows that they are able, equal and valued.
Through a focus on ‘spaces’ for, amongst others, migration, situation, representation and communication, the heartspace materials allow practitioners to recognize the positive work they already do day to day, while supporting them in readjusting and reevaluating the habits which inform their everyday practice so that every single family is met, seen and involved equitably.
Despite the fact that Uppsala’s weather had taken a decidedly unsummery turn during Kirsten’s visit, the rain held off long enough for us to show her the sights of the city’s historic university district as we walked to and from our offices, which are adjacent to Carl von Linné’s world renowned botanical gardens.