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Glossary

active listening 

Active listening is a two-way communication process where both sides of the conversation feel understood.  It shows empathy and allows the listener to interpret and evaluate what they hear.  It is a technique and an attitude that fosters positive communication skills.    

adaptive coping skills 

Adaptive coping skills is the ability to handle life's everyday stressors and the ability to ask for help when needed.   

basic or primary trust 

Basic trust is understood in psychology as the inner emotional security that a child develops in the first months of his life.  For example, the child develops trust in people and the world. This basic trust arises from positive life experiences, exemplifying a secure arrangement in the world, and security that their personal needs will be met.  Primary trust can develop when the parent or another close caregiver continuously and consistently looks after a child, and lovingly supports their development.  

bilingualism 

Bilingualism is the ability to use two languages equally.  These languages can be acquired simultaneously, learning two languages at the same time from birth, or by successively learning the second language after the first language has already been established. 

bonding 

Bonding is the establishment of a relationship or link with someone based on shared feelings, interests, or experiences.   

competence 

Competence is the ability to do something successfully. 

diversity sensitive education  

Children have the same elementary needs, but their biographies and lifestyles make some of their needs unique. Diverse approaches address the different living conditions and group affiliations as well as the different abilities, talents or disabilities of a child and provides the basis of a bias-aware pedagogy. Specialists in kindergartens should perceive the diversity and heterogeneity of the children sensitively and design their pedagogical work on their respective needs. 

Basic dimensions of diversity in a kindergarten could include:  

  • gender 

  • culture/ ethnicity 

  • additional educational needs  

  • socioeconomic situation of children and their families  

Diversity-conscious education aims to counteract the exclusion and stigmatization of people on the basis of prejudices and biases. Respect, empathy, tolerance, acceptance and appreciation towards other people and cultures should be promoted.  

education partnership 

Educational partnership is the shared responsibility and cooperation of parents and educators in relation to the education of a child based on dialogue and communication. Developmental and educational goals are shared, discussed and agreed upon for the benefit of the child.  Parents and educators educate children together by providing them with developmental and learning aids for a variety of situations. Educational goals, topics and interests of the child are exchanged and deepened.  

exploration 

Exploration is independent curiosity and exploratory behaviours used to gain knowledge about objective and social environments.  Exploration is considered to be an antagonist to attachment behaviour, which aims to create subjective protection and security. Exploration is an intrinsically motivated active behaviour, sparked by curiosity. Learning through trial and error is part of the process, and the explorer test hypothesis through experimentation and exploration of their own deficits, which results in learning objectives. 

gender/gender roles 

Gender is the division of people into two categories: 'men' and 'women'.  Gender roles are learned behaviours by a person as appropriate to their gender, determined by the prevailing cultural norms.   

Intercultural competence 

Intercultural competence is the ability to communicated effectively and appropriately with people of other cultures through cultural openness, cultural sensitivity, viewing multilingualism as an opportunity and developing respect for other traditions and ways of life. 

Inter-culturalism 

Inter-culturalism refers to what happens when people from different cultural backgrounds meet and interact with one another under certain structural conditions. The interaction of different cultural systems can open up new spaces, creating a 'third culture'.   

Multi-culturalism 

Multi-culturalism refers to the social structures of an organization or society, where different cultures co-exist, but do not merge.  

multilingualism 

Multilingualism is the ability to use more than two languages equally.  These languages can be acquired simultaneously, learning multiple languages at the same time from birth, or by successively learning languages after the first language has already been established. 

multiple language acquisition 

Multiple language acquisition refers to a situation in which children learn a second language, as well as any additional languages, after they begin to learn their first language. This includes both a natural second language acquired through contact with native speakers and a controlled second language acquired through pedagogical units and provocations.  

prosilience 

Prosilience is the ability to successfully adapt to life's tasks in the face of adverse conditions or to “bounce back” from negative experiences. 

pedagogical/educational love 

Pedagogical/ educational love is when an educator shows love through respect, empathy, care and attention given to the children in their care.   

projection 

Projection is the transmission of one's own unconscious wishes and expectations to another person and their behaviour.   

problem solving 

Problem solving is the ability to successfully address and eliminate problems as they arise.   

role model 

A role model is a person looked to by others as an example to be imitated.  Children look to their families as examples to follow.       

self-awareness 

Self-awareness is the awareness of one's own body and feelings which develops out of experiences.   

self-efficacy 

Self-efficacy is the conviction that a person can master difficult tasks or life problems on the basis of one's own competences. A child with high self-efficacy is confident that they can accomplish their desires. Since this ability is best developed through experience, it is important that the level of difficulty of the task is individually tailored to each child. Positive role models also have a supporting function, e.g. Educators who show confidence in coping with difficult tasks. 

self-regulation 

Self-regulation is the ability to manage disruptive emotions, behaviours and impulses. This is achieved through introspection, self-assessment and metacognition (the awareness and understanding of one's own thought process). This means that the child consciously perceives the different aspects of his or her behaviour, then successfully evaluates and executes the steps needed to redirect their emotions in order to achieve a more positive outcome.  Self-regulating behaviour can be supported through commenting on the problem-solving processes (both our own and/or those of the child) thus modelling and encouraging this practice.  Age appropriate emotional self-regulation is often a core competence a child has to learn (in kindergarten).  

sensitivity 

The concept of 'sensitivity' was developed by Mary Ainsworth as part of her research on the quality of mother-baby bonding. Through a sensitive approach, based on an accepting and appreciative attitude, teachers support the children's education and development processes. The teachers perceive the interests, needs and signals of the children, observe them, listen to the children, ask questions and create an overall atmosphere in which the children feel comfortable, accepted and safe. The pedagogical experts are also aware that general conditions (structures of everyday life, the colleague's absence, etc.) can influence sensitivity. 

sensitive responsivity 

Sensitive responsiveness is the ability to notice a child's signals, to perceive them and to behave appropriately and sensitively. 

social competence 

Social competence is the ability to appropriately interpret situational contexts, the ability to express oneself through language, to show empathy, make contact with others, respond when spoken to and to understand situational concepts such as personal space. 

social-emotional competence 

Social-emotional competence is the ability to interact positively with others, regulate emotions and behaviour, solve problems, and communicate effectively. 

transition 

Transitions are a critical life event that can have a positive or negative effect on the development of a child. If adaptation to the new situation is not successful, stress can arise.  How children manage a transition depends, among other things, on their psychological prosilience. Examples of significant transitions for children are; transition to the kindergarten, primary school and secondary school, transition into adolescence, the separation or divorce of parents, the birth of a sibling as well as moving to a new home.   

Trans-culturalism 

Trans-culturalism assumes that cultures are not homogeneous. Cultures are increasingly mixed, especially as a result of globalization.  

trauma 

Trauma is a type of damage to the mind as the result of a distressing event.  Experiences of violence, lack of empathy on the part of important caregivers, lasting experiences of frustration or similar events can lead to psychological trauma in children if these events remain unprocessed. In a traumatic experience, the neurological patterns in a human being are greatly altered.  Children are unable to process them because of the intensity of the events, and new-borns, infants, and very young children are the most traumatized. If the reaction in humans or their nervous system plays a more important role than the actual cause, trauma can lead to mental, health and social disturbances. Causes of trauma in young children may be: 

  • accidents and falls 

  • medical and surgical interventions 

  • violence / attacks 

  • loss (separation, divorce, death, lost) 

  • environmental stressors and natural disasters. 

The symptoms can vary in children. Behavioural problems and attention deficits may be related to a child's trauma. In a kindergarten, premature trauma should not be inferred due to observed symptoms.