Knowledge transfer to help vulnerable children

University of Roehampton has signed a partnership with Universidad del Norte, Colombia to expand on existing collaborative research into early childhood support and developmental care.  

Posted: 28 January 2015

image for news story Knowledge transfer to help vulnerable children
Professor Urban and members of the Programa Pisotón team in Barranquilla.
The Early Childhood Research Centre (ECRC) in Roehampton’s School of Education plans to expand on existing research carried out by the Colombian university through 'Programa Pisotón'. The programme has been running for the past seven years and is designed to support children affected by trauma, violence and displacement in Colombia.

Programa Pisotón uses story telling as a way to enable children to cope with traumatic experiences, as well as training teachers and facilitators in the best ways to support them. So far, it has had a positive impact on 50,000 children and their families and has been adopted by over 7,000 schools and institutions not only in Colombia but also in Panama, Bolivia, Ecuador and Mexico.

The collaboration between Roehampton and Universidad del Norte will facilitate knowledge transfer across regions in the form of staff exchanges and joint research activities and bids. Professor of Early Childhood Studies and Director of ECRC, Mathias Urban said: “Experiences in Pisotón can help us better understand how to support vulnerable children in Europe (e.g. Children from Roma and Traveller communities, migrant children) and our experience can be useful for programmes like Pisotón to further develop and better understand their work with educators and teachers.”

While Europe can benefit from some of the learnings of 'Programa Pisotón', Colombia can also benefit from Professor Urban’s research within the European Union on early childhood support. The research was funded by the European Commission and, based on data from all European Union member states, outlines conditions for a ‘competent system’ in early childhood education and care.

Roehampton’s ECRC is involved in numerous other collaborative activities, such as this, at a local and global level. Drawing on the traditions of Friedrich Froebel, it investigates early childhood practices from a critical perspective and believes in sharing knowledge to help improve each child’s well-being as well as ensuring that they reach their full potential. For more information about the ECRC click here.

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