Sunday, January 22, 2012

Professional Contacts

My appologies for posting this entry late.  We have a had a week of snow storms here in the mountains. Between lost power and lost internet, I have struggled to play catch-up this week,
I have been corresponding with  Dr. Ingrid Pramling Samuelsson, she is a professer and head of the Education, Communication, and Learning  Department at University of Gothenburg in Sweden.  I have  had a few email conversations with Ingrid about the issues facing preschool children and teachers in her area.  She talked about the changes that are happening in the curriculum.  In the past individual districts and even teachers were allowed to choose the types of curriculum they used.  There were no national tests given to children in the early years.  Currently the Government is looking at providing a National Curriculum for all schools and possibily lowering testing ages.

Dr. Samuelsson has written several papers and co authored books in Sweden.  Some of those papers have been reprinted in English.  She gave me a reading list of her papers on these issues. I have read two of them already.  The first paper was a comparison how teachers regarded the importance of play in Sweden, Japan and the U.S.  It was an interesting paper and  from the answers to the survey questions, it appears as if Sweden places the highest value on play folowed by the US, and then Japan.  Although, all of the teachers stated the importance of allowing children time to be creative.

The second international contact I have made is with Maria Hill.  She is a child care provider at the YMCA in Calgary Canada.  Maria and I have talked about poverty in Calgary.  She feels that it is very similar to the US in that they have a lot of immigrant families that have migrated to Canada and face language and cultural barriers.  The types of funding for programs there are are very similar to what we have here.  There are government funds available for families who cannot pay for preschool but those who can afford it  pay for preschool and childcare.
I look forward to hearing from both of my contacts and enjoy learning about the issues and trends in the various countries.  I wish more of the emails I sent had been returned, this is a very interesting assignment.

 References
Pramling Samuelsson, I. (2007). Democracy: The Curriculum Foundation for Swedish Preschool. In R. New & M. Cochran (Eds.), Early Childhood Education – An International Early Childhood Encyclopedia. Vol. 4, pp. 1270-1273. Westport: Praeger Publ. [209]

Pramling Samuelsson, I. & Fleer, M. (2009). Commonalities and Distinctions Across Countries. In I. Pramling Samuelsson & M. Fleer (Eds.), Play and learning in early childhood settings: International perspectives, Vol. 1, pp. 173-190. New York: Springer Verlag. [218] (GUP 86890)
        














3 comments:

tiffany said...

Stacie I understand about the snow storms and outages, been there before as I am from Colorado. the person yiou have been in contact with sounds amazing. She seems very well educated, almost what you would see in a movie, congrats on being able to speak to her. I will have to look her up though some of the issues that she has written on sound very interesting.

Ginny said...

Stacie,
"Interesting" is an understatement I think. It sounds as though Sweden is going through many of the same changes we are in the U.S. Testing seems to have taken over the world. I just think this is so sad. Your contact in Canada sounds similar to the information I found from South Korea. There is little Early Childhood Education there that is of quality unless the parents can pay. Right now is their Lunar New Year which is a time they take of to spend time with their families. To say the least this next few weeks may be interesting keeping in contact. It looks like you have made some good partnership contacts.
Ginnt

youngchildeducator said...

Stacie, wonderful post...how exciting that you have made such solid professional connections.