Saturday, July 28, 2012

ECCE Internationally

So I was really excited that I would be communicating with a professional in England, but that has not come through.  Although, watching the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics in London last night I was thrilled to see all the children that were incorporated into the event.  Children truly are viewed as the future of the country and it is clear that they are valued.  

Fireworks are set off around the Olympic Stadium
What an amazing image to help us all remember that around the world, we are a group of people.  No matter how different we may be, we are all human and all have the same needs.  And we can come together an unite around one central purpose ... whether it be the Olympic Games or early childhood care and education

Ok ... enough about the Olympics ... Since I have not heard back from my contact, I started this post out by reading Volume 11 of the online journal Current Issues in Comparative Education.    The focus on this volume is the worldwide challenges and accomplishments in the field of early childhood care and education.  Two articles focus on countries in Africa and two focus on Brazil.  The second resource that I looked at was the Center on the Developing Child's Global Children's Initiative.  

What I have come away with from these readings:
  • While ECCE is a global need, the implications on different neighborhoods varies greatly!  There is a common understanding that quality ECCE is the foundation for an individual's future life expectations, successes, and path in life.  How this knowledge is used varies depending on where you live.
  • In Zambia, there is an understanding of the need of ECCE and Primary education, but the government has not been able to provide quality or effective care in this poor nation.  The author of this article recommends that the country not pursue ECCE until the nation develops a better system of education for children of basic and primary ages.  (published 2009)
  • In Brazil, their ECCE program seem to be doing well and reaching families and children because there is a partnership between family, community and coordinated efforts.  There is a focus on reaching children where they are in their current context.  While the information about ECCE is generated in other countries, they are taking the information and applying it to their culture and situation.
  • How exciting to read that the Center on the Developing Child hosted a leadership training on early childhood development for 50 Brazilian politicians, policymakers, public managers, and civil-society leaders so that they can develop programs and initiatives to positively impact the children in their county!  They are bridging the gap between what we know and what we do!
  • This is all information that we need to take to heart in the US as ECCE is being held in front of our policy makers and is being put to the test in regards to funding.  While defense may be able to keep their funds, the rest of the education and domestic program may loose their government funding because we do not have the voice in Congress that Brazil has in their  government.  Check out this great blog!
I could continue, but you have to stop somewhere.

Sunday, July 22, 2012


This idea of doublethink is a great easy to describe so many different facets of early childhood and education right now. Even play is being taken from children in a means of improving test scores....but what will be the long term consequences?

Education Week: Doublethink: The Creativity-Testing Conflict

Friday, July 20, 2012

The NAECTE … part 2

The National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators (NAECTE) is found at  This is my second week discussing this organization and their website.  Check out the first week here

I was a bit disappointed on my further inspection of the organization because in order to get my hands on most things of interest, I need to be a member.  At this point, I am not able to afford the membership, so I am left not being able to see most of their resources for teacher educators.

The organization does offer something called ResearchNets to “facilitate scholarly pursuits on collaborative research projects.”  This is a community network to allow access to other’s research while you are working on your own, allowing for collaboration and conversation on the topics.  The two active ResearchNets are “Teacher Research” and “Technology in Early Childhood Education.” 

Other areas of the site that I can access are

  • The NAECTE Foundation
  • which raises funds to advocate, support research projects, and offer scholarships,
  •  Job Announcements (Which they currently have a great opportunity in Baltimore Maryland…), and

There is a page containing five documents, which are their position statements, by-laws, and policies.  Happily, the Position Statement reiterates everything that I have learned about early childhood appropriate practice and the importance of certification of our early childhood teachers. 

What I found interesting was their second document: The Early Childhood Teacher Certification Toolkit.  This toolkit is put together to help individuals or groups battle the powers that be in seeing appropriate laws and requirements be put in place to support the position statement.  While we all may not be fighting this particular battle, it is a great resource to read through (or skim), because it provides support and encouragement to persist and know that change happens, even if it seems like a grueling long process…. Something that I need to remember in my current state of unsurity of my future in early childhood.  Now I am going to get back to re-reading that first letter of the toolkit!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

International Contacts and Poverty

I have a big bummer to share with you all.  I haven’t heard back from my contact.  L  I’m hoping in 2 weeks time I will hear from my contact from England and another from Costa Rica.

Since I haven’t heard back from my England contact … which I suspect will happen tomorrow!  J … I decided to look up some information about England and poverty and how does it compare to where I live in the U.S.?  I came across the site Child Poverty Action Group.  They state that 27% of children in England (in 2010/11) live in poverty with higher concentrations in different areas of the country.  Which is similar to U.S. statistics of 21.6% in 2010

In the U.S. the poverty level is a national level of income based on the size of the family and the ages of the members and was originally developed in 1963 based on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s designated food budgets and what portion of their income was spent on food.  In 2011 that financial number was determined to be $23,018 for a family of four.  Which is currently equal to £14787.36. 

So how is poverty defined in England?  Where do they get their number?  The Poverty Site reports the poverty level to be determined to be “60% or less of the average household income in that year.” In 2008 that equaled £288 a week or £14976 a year for a family of four.  

While the years are off by 3 and the means of determining our poverty thresholds are different, they numbers come out fairly similarly.  England reports having more children living in poverty in the U.S. and through doing a simple search I found numerous resources on how both countries are combatting poverty similarly and the effects of a child growing up in poverty are the same. 

My prayer is that one day our upper-class citizens will find a way to live a simpler life and help out those who are suffering so deeply.  Just yesterday I was reading with my daughter the passage in the Bible about giving to the least of them was giving to Jesus found in Matthew 25:35-41.  There really is no excuse for the wealthiest countries to have this concern.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Taking a look at NAECTE … part 1

This is my first week sharing information with you about my selected organization.  The National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators (NAECTE) is found at  NAECTE was created and is sustained by members with a common interest in teacher education.  Their purpose is to promote professionalism, professional growth, advocate, discuss issues, share information, and provide a Journal and Conferences to support  growth and learning in the field. 

I first looked for a newsletter that I could subscribe to and found that they produce a newsletter quarterly.  I was disappointed because I wouldn’t be receiving weekly updates from the organization.  The most recent newsletter is dated Summer 2012 and its main focus is on preparation for the Professional Development Institute from the beginning of June.  The NAECTE meets during the NAEYC’s Professional Development Institute and the NAEYC’s fall conference. The newsletter also included highlights from 3 regional reports.  The highlight for me was the focus on Growing up WILD: Exploring nature with young children.  I had heard about this resource, but their information clarified the purpose of the resource in helping educators bring kids into nature and feel confident in the process. 

My next exploration into this site was their Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education.  Through my studies already, I have used this journal in locating additional information.  The purpose of the Journal is to “provide a forum for consideration of issues and for exchange of information and ideas about research and practice in early childhood teacher education.”  Currently there is a call for papers for a special edition titled “Early Childhood Teacher Education: Why does it matter?  How does it matter?”  This may be one that I need to get my hands on when it comes out!

The primary issue or trend that this organization is focused on is the development of quality teacher education programs.  There are three policies that they state should be included in every certification agency and school district. 
1.      Require an early childhood certificate and/or endorsement for those teaching in classrooms for children five years old and younger in state funded pre-kindergarten and in kindergarten programs.
2.      Give priority in hiring and placement to teachers with an early childhood certificate and/or endorsement for public school classrooms for six, seven, and eight-year-olds (1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades).
3.      Require that early childhood certification and/or endorsement be based on completion of teacher preparation programs that meet professional preparation standards consistent with those established by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

Stay tuned for more information about this organization in future blog posts!  AND – I did find a professional contact!  Next week I hope to share some information with you from a home-child-care provider in England.