Peer review toolkit
The peer review toolkit (IO3) is a tool to evaluate all preschool services in Europe on the correct implementation of play based learning methodologies in play activities. The aims of the IO3 are:
Enhancing ongoing personal practice
Engaging in reflective, constructive and analytical discussion with a peer on the use of play based learning activities
Sharing good practice and allow for ongoing professional development
The IO3 developed explicit and defined criteria for peer reviewers to apply that will guide the reviewers through the whole peer review process, starting from how to get into peer reviewing, how to organize the peer visit, how to write the reports and provide constructive feedbacks, including review templates. Through this output, it is delivered a tool capable to support teachers, pedagogical coordinators from preschools in Europe in evaluating the quality of their peers. The guidelines and the tools are replicable in every other preschool and this will ensure the transferability of the output.
What is a transnational peer review in preschool?
Peer Review is a form of external evaluation with the aim of supporting a reviewed preschool in its quality assurance and quality development efforts. In the peer review activity we have a group of Peers, external experts, who are invited in a preschool to conduct observations and interviews times to assess the quality of one or more fields of activity of the hosting preschool. The peers are external but work in a similar environment in their country ( preschool teachers, pedagogical coordinators) and have specific professional expertise and knowledge of the evaluated subject. The peers are a group of 3-4 “persons of equal standing” with the persons whose performance is being reviewed. The peer review can be bilateral or multilateral and can be inside the region/ country or transnational. In the framework of the PLAYING project it was transnational and based on reciprocity since the Peer review was conducted in the preschool services of Elmer - Brussels (Belgium), Linkoping (Sweden), Parma (Italy), Escola Sant Jospep - Terrassa (Spain).
The PLAYING project group has developed a set of materials and documents, tested in the different peer reviews conducted that can be useful to anyone who wants to perform a peer review. Note that the project team conducted a transnational peer review, but what is applied internationally can also be done nationally.
The PLAYING project focused on play activities, learning through play and the role of the educator during children's play, for this reason specific quality areas, criteria and indicators were chosen to be analysed during the process of the peer review.
The toolkit for the peer review includes several materials: