Is physical activity a pathway to culturally and linguistically diverse children’s participation in early childhood education and care?
Keywords:multicultural early childhood education and care, physical activity, linguistically and culturally diverse children, participation
The Finnish early childhood education’s main principle is to guarantee all children’s and families' rights, prevent segregation, and enhance equality, inclusion, diversity, participation, and communality. Physical activities are one significant way to support all children’s well-being and participation. According to previous studies physical activities were also connected to participation among culturally and linguistically diverse children (Arvola, 2021; Arvola et al., 2020). The study aims to find out if physical activity is a pathway to culturally and linguistically diverse children’s participation. This study is a part of the large Progressive Feedback research results gathered in Finland (see https://blogs.helsinki.fi/orientate/). The main method of the study is systematic observation. According to these results, culturally and linguistically diverse children move enough during their day care day, but they were more often interrupted, less involved, and less participative in their activities. Physical activity was related to continuous involvement. The most increasing physical activity was in sustaining intense involvement: a third of all movement happened in high involvement. The observation results indicate that physical activity is related to increased involvement and building social processes among culturally and linguistically diverse children.