When Wanda meets Issa

In September 2013 Artevelde University College, VBJK and the international network ISSA started the follow-up project 'When Wanda meets Issa'. The goal of this project is to modify the existing Wanda method to the Eastern European context. This product will introduce the appreciative practice analyse in the early childhood sector in countries of the ISSA network

Project and Activities

As stated before, the roots of Wanda are in the French method of Analyse de Pratiques, and in the Anglo-Saxon method of Appreciative Inquiry. These two methods have been adapted, de-constructed and re-constructed, in order to “fit” in the Flemish Community of Belgium. The same has be done with the Central-Eastern European Countries that participated in this international project. The aim of the Wanda meets ISSA project also was to re-elaborate the Wanda Method in order to build a specific method of reflection that the EU ISSA countries can use with practitioners in their contexts, starting from their own daily practices. With this project we focused on the birth to 10 years age group, in the Baltic and Central-Eastern European countries. More specifically we focused on 4 countries to pilot this approach on quality improvement:

  1. Open Academy Step by Step, Croatia
  2. Step by Step Czech Republic, Czech Republic
  3. Partners Hungary Foundation, Hungary
  4. Educational Research Institute - Developmental Research Centre for Pedagogical Initiatives Step by Step, Slovenia

Roles and Steps:

  • The ISSA NGOs staff were introduced with the Wanda method and its relevance for working on daily practices and with the resources in the Quality Resource Pack - Leiden, 8-9 December 2013.
  • The organizations that are interested prepared a short “proposal” where they tried to underline how they would like to pilot Wanda in their context for improving the quality of practices. 
  • When approved, representatives of organizations were involved with the Project Team in the organization of the “Train the Trainer” (specific 2 days workshop about the Wanda method and the role of the facilitators of Wanda sessions). January–February 2014.
  • The Train the Trainer workshop took place in each of the 4 countries: the “Wanda team” provided a 2 days specific training about Wanda with the NGO experts/staff. February–March 2014.
  • The NGO representatives followed the process of Wanda sessions in their own country: each person who’s been trained tested Wanda in his/her context, and documented the process and the experiences coming out during the piloting. At least two-three groups of practitioners in each country started using Wanda in their context with 1 session every 4 – 6 weeks. Each session lasts 1½ to 2 hours and was guided by a trained facilitator (the facilitator was the NGO expert him/herself or a coordinator/director etc. trained and followed by the NGO expert that participated to the Train the Trainer). It was very important to document the sessions (and the questions, doubts etc.) in English in order to share them with the Wanda team during the online supervision moments. The documentation of the process was crucial also for supporting the Wanda Team in building the “working tool” (the adapted Wanda booklet) contextualized to the countries where the method was piloted. During this period the “Wanda Team staff” was able to go once to each country involved for a face to face local meeting. March–September 2014 (the supervision moments will go on until the end of the project).
  • The first “point of support” came from the person responsible for the project in each country. The second “point of support” came from the Wanda team, with direct supervision moments through Skype or the ISSA Online Community. NGO representatives chose to bring together good practices for the process development in order to prepare the “final working tool” with texts and images of good practices in their own country. Face to face meeting with all the countries, October 2014.
  • Validation of the first version of the “working tool” (booklet) by ESF (European Social Fund). January 2015. 
  • The method and the “working tool” will be disseminated in the pilot countries and in all countries in ISSA network. February – August 2015.

Contacts Project 'When Wanda meets Issa'?

Brecht Peleman
VBJK | Centre for Innovation in the Early Years | Centre d'Innovation de la Petite Enfance
ad. Raas Van Gaverestraat 67A, 9000 Gent, Belgium/Belgique

Tel. +32 (0) 9232 47 35
e-mail: brecht.peleman@vbjk.be

Nima Sharmahd
VBJK | Centre for Innovation in the Early Years | Centre d'Innovation de la Petite Enfance
ad. Raas Van Gaverestraat 67A, 9000 Gent, Belgium/Belgique

Tel. +32 (0) 9232 47 35
e-mail: nima.sharmahd@vbjk.be

Sofie Vastmans
Artevelde University College, Bachelor in earl childhood education
Campus Sint-Amandsberg, J. Gerardstraat 18 - 9040 Sint-Amandsberg

Tel. +32(0)92348848
e-mail: sofie.vastmans@arteveldehs.be 

Mihaela Ionescu
International Step by Step Association (ISSA)
Hooglandse Kerkgracht 17R, 2312 HS Leiden, The Netherlands

Tel. +31 (0) 64 660 88 72
e-mail: mionescu@issa.nl