Interdisciplinary research project on the effects of demographics on early childhood education and primary education acquisition

MDI acted as a subcontractor to ITLA in OKM’s project: “Impact of population development on early and basic education”, which was carried out with ITLA by the University of Helsinki.

Research issues for the multiannual project are: 1. The current impact of population change on early childhood education and pre-primary education?2. Municipal strategies and needs to meet change in early childhood education and primary education? 3. The effects of population change on the rights of the child and the implementation of civil equality? 4. The experiences of children and young people?

MDI participated in answering the first research question through extensive research based on statistics and literature. MDI’s work consisted of 1. literature review on regional demographics (causes and effects of this) from the perspective of the age group of children, 2. analysis of long-term demographics from the perspective of early and basic education 3. on the analysis of development of children’s age groups in the 21st century and 4. on predicting future development, as well as alternative development costs.

The literature review explored extensively both academic research and various reports of themes of demographics and school network development. The literature review created a frame of reference for the study itself, first examining long-term demographics from the perspective of children’s age groups at national, regional (provincial) and local (municipal) levels. In the third phase of work, the review was deepened in the development of the 21st century, with the aim of demonstrating the key factors of change behind the development of the child age group and regional differences in this development. The final stage of work anticipated future development through population projection and numerous population scenarios. Prediction of the last stage of work produced a range for future child age group development that will help assess the supposed trajectories of the future.