IELS is the International Early Learning and Child Well-being Study of the OECD. The IELS analyses the development and well-being of five-year-old children. The study focuses on early childhood education, children’s s home background and early learning environment and experiences.
The study focuses on early childhood education and the learning environment that influences it at home and in the kindergarten or school. The study includes several areas of early learning: cognitive skills (emergent literacy and numeracy), self-regulation skills (inhibition, working memory and mental flexibility), and social and emotional skills, such as empathy (emotion identification and attribution). The children participate by solving playful tasks on a tablet. Children’s background and skills, including prosocial and non-disruptive behaviours and trust are analysed based on parents’ and teachers’ evaluations.
In 2018, a large-scale main study involving more than 7000 children, their parents and teachers was carried out in Estonia, England and the United States. More than 2100 children from 200 kindergartens, about 1800 parents and 700 teachers participated in the study in Estonia. In addition, 200 kindergarten coordinators contributed to coordinating the study in their kindergartens, many of whom also participated as study administrators. Other educational staff members were also involved as study administrators, meaning that more than 300 educators contributed to the study’s success.
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Based on the results of the main study, the OECD has produced an international report as well as a report for each participating country. The reports are published in English. Foundation Innove, Tallinn University and Ministry of Education and Research is preparing a national report in Estonian. This report will be published on the Innove’s website in June this year.
Results of the study