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Núria Rajadell: "Taking good care of children means setting the bases of our future society"

Núria Rajadell, lecturer from the Department of of Teaching and Learning and Educational Organization, is the director of the Master's degree on Childraising 0-3 and Coaching Networks for Families.

Núria Rajadell, lecturer from the Department of of Teaching and Learning and Educational Organization, is the director of the Master's degree on Childraising 0-3 and Coaching Networks for Families.

The master’s degree aims to deepen on the specific knowledge on the evolutionary development of children and their needs, to favour a proper atmosphere for their development.

The master’s degree aims to deepen on the specific knowledge on the evolutionary development of children and their needs, to favour a proper atmosphere for their development.

We have some university research groups, specific publications, but this is always under a unifocal perspective.

We have some university research groups, specific publications, but this is always under a unifocal perspective.

17/12/2019

Entrevistes

The lecturer from the Department of Teaching and Learning and Educational Organization of the University of Barcelona, Núria Rajadell, is also the director of the Master’s degree on Childraising 0-3 and Coaching Networks for Families, which intends to offer a look into childraising during their first three years of life and to highlight the importance of social networks and intersectoral ones (education, health, social attention, culture, sports, justice…) regarding family.

Aimed at professionals who work with children and families –educators, pedagogists, social workers and health professionals, among others-, the master’s degree intends to deepen on specific knowledge on the development of children and their needs, to favour a proper atmosphere for their development. Other objectives of the master are to train new professionals to keep company to women and men in the assumption of a new identity when becoming parents, helping to understand their needs and emotional state and their children’s too, and acquire strategies and skills in support groups for childraising.
 

Many have said children should come with a book of instructions. Is this master’s degree the book of instructions?
We do not need any book of instructions, but society has become so complex that families do not enjoy this wonderful time with a kid when they are 0-3. Parents, in general, are more ready than ever, but they feel alone and worry too much: they worry about not being good enough and not being able to do everything. Also, they receive a lot of information –which is not always true-, and sometimes professionals give divergent information.

Why is it important to take good care of babies during early childhood?

There are many reasons to justify this importance, but I choose two: first, because this life stage is when neurological and psychological bases of a person are set, in all ways. And then, because taking good care of babies is setting the bases of our future society

Is there any lacking information in this field?
There are trained people –with good education- in this 0-3 period, but in a partial way. The new view of this master is that it offers a holistic training under the perspective of different professionals who come up in one or another moment, with more or less depth.

When and how does this UB training idea appear?

Actually, this results from the work by people from different professional fields, we knew this training was necessary and we wanted to create the first postgraduate studies in the academic year 2011/2012.

And after these studies, you got a second postgraduate degree.

Yes. The master’s is made of two independent postgraduate degrees, but they complement each other. On the one hand, one is more focused on childraising and family wellbeing, considering the current situation of educating children from 0 to 3, family and personal transformation as well as parenting wishes. It also works on the formation of the bond and diversity in childraising, and last, it values the possibilities in the environment regarding services and policies on children and family. The other focuses on family companionship networks. It shows the possibilities that are offered in Family Spaces (a city service aimed at families with children aged less than 3, which offers a place for games and interaction, where children can explore and be with the adults, and where families can share their experiences). It also has a block on historical perspective, as well as the sociological and political ones: a couple of blocks unfold the aspects of health and the child-family-community trio. They learn to work in groups. And last, it also focuses on management and entrepreneurship aspects in this network.


Is there any similar training in the other Catalan or Spanish universities? And in Europe?
There is not such training in Spain. There are some more global trainings in Europe: in Germany, France, Norway and Denmark.

Why would you recommend taking these studies?
I would sum it up in four reasons: its good combination between theory and practice; its holistic and intersectoral nature; its participative and open methodology on learning and personal enrichment, and its solid professional recruitment.

What is the master’s student profile like?
There is not a majoritarian profile, but there is –and this is very positive- a mix of profiles (pedagogues, psychologists, social educators, social workers, early childhood education teachers, nurses) who share their interest in the 0-3 ages. Since these are reduced groups –less than 20 people-, this has a dual training, in lecturers and in students. Also, recent graduate students coincide with active professionals who know their professional field.

We have raised children intuitively or following our mothers’ and grandmothers’ advice. As a mother, I think I would have enjoyed this master’s degree. Do you have parents in the class?

We have had some mothers with a child aged 0-3 or some mom-to-be. But this was a very low percentage. Most of the students are training professionals or recent graduates, although some use their experience as mothers to share their experience and give information.

I guess you do not have a lot of men in these studies.
No. It is a pity to say they do not cover more than 10% of enrolled students. The gender imbalance in this period is outrageous. It seems things are changing, but this is very slow. We know about experiences and policies in other countries of the European Union, which are a lot better than us, and we should mirror ourselves to have a fair and balanced society in this period of our lives.

Regarding the teaching staff: which fields do lecturers come from?
The pride of this master’s degree is the richness in knowledge fields regarding lecturers: the staff is formed by professionals who work in different fields such as education, health, justice, culture and sociology. There is a wide range of profiles and collaborating institutions.

Is there enough research in this educational phase or has it always been underestimated?

The health and educational field works well in Catalonia, but research is too fragmented and focused in specific fields. We have some university research groups, specific publications, but always under a unifocal perspective. The immediacy of results current society requires together with the science concept in which research is still dug do not fit with the longitudinal research needed by the 0-3 stage nor the approach of social sciences. The extorted dissemination, and which sometimes is not true, in publications related to these topics, has made a lot of damage.
 

 

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