servizi bassa reggiana
barnpedagogiskt forum
            ruskin university
The BRIC Project last for 3 years, from 1st September 2014 to 31st August 2017. The project involves preschool teachers, young children and parents in exploring democratic engagement in public and civic spaces. Participants in the project are from England, Italy and Sweden. The project is funded by the European Union (Comenius Project KA2) and led by Professor Tim Waller at Anglia Ruskin University.

BRIC acronym is derived from the partner involved in the project: Barnpegagogiskt Forum (Sweden), ASBR – Azienda Servizi Bassa Reggiana (Reggio Emilia, Italy), CYRI – Children and Young People’s Research Institute (UK). The BRIC project evolved through a mutual desire to enable young children’s democratic engagement facilitated in a shared dialogue emanating from the Barnpedagogiskt Forum 30th Anniversary Conference in Sweden (March 2013).

Please note this is currently a temporary site whilst the main BRIC website undergoes essential maintenance.

International conference
16 June 2017 – Göteborg, Sweden

The BRIC project is funded by the EU under the Erasmus + programme and involves the democratic engagement of young children in public spaces in their community in England, Italy and Sweden.

International Conference PROGRAMME
> Download here the programme of the International Conference

This conference is for those concerned with early childhood education and care and democratic engagement in civic society. In particular, it is especially relevant for preschool teachers, parents of preschool children, politicians, policy makers and academics in the field of early childhood. The conference will disseminate and debate the actions of the BRIC project over the past three years.

The conference programme includes keynote talks and dialogue around why young children should be visible in their communities and how this has been achieved in the BRIC project. The conference will also include workshops, displays and video material from the project and the opportunity to meet and network with the BRIC participants, including preschool teachers from Italy, Sweden and England.

This conference is free to attend and all are welcome.

To have more information please contact:

There are also a small number of funded places for international travel to the conference and travel over 100km in Sweden please contact the following people for further information:
Sweden – Monica Hallborg email:
Italy – Patti Benedetti email:
UK and other EU countries – Tim Waller email:

The venue for the conference is in Goteborg city centre at the University of Göteborg, School of Business, Economics and Law:
Handelshögskolan, Vasagatan 1
Göteborg, Sweden.

The Project

The BRIC Project last for 3 years, from 1st September 2014 to 31st August 2017. The project involves preschool teachers, young children and parents in exploring democratic engagement in public and civic spaces. The project is funded by the European Union and led by Professor Tim Waller at Anglia Ruskin University (UK) with Patti Benedetti Progettinfanzia (Italy) and Monica Hallborg Barnpedagogiskt Forum (Sweden).

Aims and objectives
BRIC aims to achieve the following objectives: 1) An exchange of ‘good practice’ between preschool teachers in three countries (Italy, Sweden and the UK); 2) Systematic education and training around democratic engagement in public spaces; 3) The development of open educational resources and targeted activities to engage early childhood professionals, parents, the local community and key stakeholders, including local politicians and representatives from business.

Two main methods are used in BRIC –
1.Participatory Action Research (PAR) – the construction of a common grammar through PAR.
2.‘Polyvocal’ – many voices.
First Voice – The film of young children in public spaces
Second Voice – Reflections of children and pedagogues in setting
Third Voice – Reflections of pedagogues in the same culture
Fourth Voice – Reflections of pedagogues in different cultures
Fifth Voice – Reflections of the parents, community and researcher/s.
BRIC methods are drawn from the well-known studies of Preschool in Three Cultures by James Tobin and colleagues (Tobin, Wu and Davidson, 1989 and Tobin, Hsueh, and Karasawa, 2009).

Project Activities and Actions
BRIC will involve teachers, children, parents (citizens) and politicians seeking to participate in democratic engagement around three specific Focus Spaces:
the pavement (footpath, marciapiede, or equivalent)
an indoor space (such as a library, but not a preschool) and
a green outdoor space (such as a park or woodland).
These activities will be documented and reflected on by the participants and disseminated through Local Forums, Transnational Exchanges and Webinars.

Impact and dissemination
Wider dissemination of BRIC will be made via the project website and Documentation Centre. In addition, impact will be strengthened through: The publication of a series of Case Studies and Vignettes drawn from BRIC activities The establishment of Permanent Open Forums in each participating country. An International Conference in Brussels will be held at the completion of the project in 2017.

BRIC Pilot Project
A pilot project was established to explore the validity of the BRIC model of cross-cultural dialogue, documentation and reflection between preschool teachers in three countries; England, Italy and Sweden. The pilot took place between November 2013 and February 2014. The BRIC pilot project demonstrated that there was a generally very positive response to the BRIC project, from all preschool teachers and head teachers in the three countries involved. In addition, the pilot has shown how an exchange of ‘good practice’ between preschool teachers in three countries is feasible and is both desirable and highly valuable for the preschool teachers’ continuing professional development, leading to deeper reflection and understanding. The participating preschool teachers in England, Italy and Sweden agreed that for the main BRIC project the starting point is the dialogue with children and that there is a need for sustained and frequent engagement in a particular place – or public space. Also, for the BRIC project to succeed it is important for the children to leave traces of their engagement and the project must involve and inform local politicians and policy makers as well as parents.

Read and download the BRIC BRIEFING
Read and download the PILOT PROJECT BOOKLET


Anglia Ruskin University is an innovative, global university with over 39,000 students from 177 countries studying with us across four continents. Anglia Ruskin is located in the east of England on three main campuses, in Cambridge, Chelmsford and Peterborough. 12 of our research areas across our five faculties were classed as world-leading by the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014. Our graduate prospects are among the best in the UK, with 9 out of 10 starting their career or in further study within six months. 3 out of 4 of our students secure professional jobs, outperforming most other graduates. The BRIC project is managed within the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education which has more than 6,000 students and is the largest provider of health, social care and education courses across the East of England. We’ve been educating nurses, midwives, social workers and teachers for over 25 years. We have regional, national and international partnerships including strong links with over 20 healthcare trusts and organisations, as well as 400 schools and early years settings across East Anglia.

Tim Waller

Contact person:
Tim Waller


Barnpedagogiskt Forum is a nonprofit organization based in Gothenburg, Sweden – formed in 1983. Its purpose is to collect and disseminate information and knowledge development in preschools and schools. Activities are conducted through lectures, seminars and study visits. The association also disseminates information in the form of reports and various forms of study materials. The association is headed by a board of directors who represent a spectrum of representatives of preschools, schools, universities and colleges, and similar activities. In this project two units from two different municipalities are represented.

Monica Hallborg

Contact person:
Monica Hallborg


Azienda Servizi Bassa Reggiana is an association of municipalities managing the development, the qualification and the education of preschool teachers working in sixteen preschools in the Italian district called Bassa Reggiana in the Province of Reggio Emilia. ASBR belongs to 8 municipalities of the district called “Bassa Reggiana” and has been created to allow the municipalities to manage directly the preschools, the overall school system. ASBR has also the aim of developing the participation of parents, politicians, citizens and members of the public society in order to create a community around preschools and, moreover, around children. Another aim of ASBR is to contribute to the creation of an international network that supports the dissemination and reflection around educational connected subjects. Every year ASBR runs, in collaboration with Progettinfanzia, preschools and municipalities, an event in the squares of every village of the district called Piazzedinfanzia ( Children take care and express their opinion about the “piazza”, the square of the village and, together with parents, educators, teachers, develop activities for other children.

Monica Hallborg

Contact person:
Patrizia Benedetti

BRIC associates

We invite you to be formally involved in the BRIC Project by becoming a BRIC Associate.

Please fiil in the form below and send it back to Tim Waller
Download the form as a PDF
Downoad the form as a WORD file