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CROATIA
Kép Open Academy Step by Step has fifteen-year experience in early childhood education. It has trained more than 3000 preschool teachers in child-centered methodology and has developed a network of more than 20 trainers working with preschool teachers.
We believe that Persona Doll would complement our activities focused on issues of social justice and intercultural education.

HUNGARY
Kép The Ec-Pec Foundation has been implementing ISSA ESJ  from the very beginning. We have been conducting ESJ trainings for teachers through the country. During these trainings teachers are always asking for tools that can be used for solving problems in the area of discrimination. Although we all agree there is no general tool, we decided to offer a wide range of options.

In the first step, we developed training material than can be used for teachers working with children ages 6-14. Still, we were looking for a method that can be used in early years education programs. After contacting some international NGOs, we found Persona Doll Method to be one that fits teachers’ needs and can be offered for early childhood educators.

In 2007, two of our head trainers finished a Persona Doll course in London, and the Ec-Pec Foundation received all of the necessary information and documentation that was needed to start using the Persona Doll method in Hungary. We have also received Hungarian state accreditation for a 30-hour teacher training course. This training course consists of the following elements: countering stereotypes, working with diversity in early childhood education, using the Persona Doll Method.

Since then, we have conducted six pilot mini-trainings in Hungary for 128 teachers. According to the training evaluations, teachers are very satisfied and are eager to use this method. As part of this proposal, the Ec-Pec Foundation has decided to offer Persona Doll Methodology for kindergartens where the whole institution would like to use this method. These – preferably Step by Step kindergartens – will then be Persona Doll methodology kindergartens. These method centers can be visited by new teachers and serve as examples of best practice.

Once these kindergartens have begun to use Persona Doll, we will start negotiating with the Ministry of Education about offering in-service trainings for teachers, implementing these methods in the teacher training curriculum and the national education policy.

SLOVAKIA
Kép Nadacia Skola dokoran working on Early childhood education from 1994. Through our main Step by Step program we created the first Child-Centered Programs in Slovakia that was connected with professional development of teachers, longitudinal studies, experimental verification, Community Initiatives, University Course Reform.

The other services were provided for children with special needs followed by development of appropriate learning and teaching strategies to meet individual needs of children and families, with their integration to the kindergartens creating inclusive classrooms and managing school support (operational, capital) with different community initiatives including establishment of Counseling Centers to promote the integration and combat the discrimination against disadvantaged children.

Belong of different Roma Minority Education Program we developed the comprehensive instructional strategies for Roma minority education based on bias free and culturally appropriate methodology including mothers’ involvement to the institutional education. We also established the position of Roma Teacher Assistant creating legislative framework for its implementation to the education system.

Promoting equal opportunities for a high quality education for and integration of children of migrant workers, Roma and other minorities were developed the supportive system to facilitated the learning of the host country language from pupils whose mother tongue is different from the language of instruction in order to avoid the risk of educational and social exclusion.

To Enhance of Education and Adaptability of Teachers in the Area of Integration of Disadvantaged Children and Youth in the frame of specific project was developed the content of e-learning for the educators in the field of integration children at risk as an e-learning, distance education of teachers following by ongoing tutoring.

Possibility of implementing Persona Doll methodology nationally
- Implementation in different social and cultural environment especially in ethnically and socially mixed localities
- Possibility for implementation on institutional level: preschools, primary schools, community centers, pedagogical methodological centers

TAJIKISTAN
Kép The Step by Step program began in Tajikistan in 2003 with financial support from USAID and OSIAF-Tajikistan through the project, “Introducing Methods of Democratic Education in the System of Early Education in Tajikistan” and through the Participation, Education and Knowledge Strengthening (PEAKS) Project. In Tajikistan, Step by Step works with children from 0 to 14 years of age and provides training for teachers in preschool and primary grades, works with parents of young children, and supports lecturers in pre-service and in-service teacher training institutes.

Late in 2007 the Step by Step Program submitted to the International Step by Step Association a project proposal on implementing the Quality Early Education Initiative in Tajikistan. The program won that grant for the year of 2008 and there were several priorities within this project: maintain close cooperation with MoE and its affiliated
institutions; planning and organizing trainings, meetings for school, inspectors and mentors as a capacity building activity; providing school based mentoring using qualified school
inspectors as mentors (for the sake of sustainability); doing advocacy activities around this initiative.

The other approach that we take for this strategy is to develop policy around Early Child Development through review of the legislation on the field, development of standards for early years and other related activities in the country. This particular action will be developed in cooperation with the UNICEF (national and international offices), the World Bank and also Local Government Initiative (on community centers), Secondary Education and Mental Health Initiative (on inclusive education) of the Open Society Institute Tajikistan. 

Step by Step Tajikistan would like to learn and implement Persona Doll methodology in their pilot sites.