Resources

http://www.menteach.org/node/1883 Men In Child Care Gather in New Zealand.  Learn more from menteach.org!

Resource Update, April 23, 2012

Now you can track the state of California’s Budget Crisis.  John Chiang has a “revenue tracker” to compare our income tax revenues versus last year.  http://www.sco.ca.gov/april_2012_personal_income_tax_tracker.html

Resource Update, April 3, 2012

Must see video – the Lost Adventures of Childhood – the Value of Free Playhttp://vimeo.com/36303926

Resources Update, April 2, 2012

Week 6 Blog Assignment – http://worldforumfoundation.org and ExchangeEveryDay

Follow some of the outside links that you have not yet explored. Where do they lead?  Three of the many World Forum Foundation links are to:

  • International Child Resource Institute (ICRI) – an organization which focuses on the interconnected issues of “early childhood care and education, children’s rights, empowerment of women and girls, maternal/child health, and grassroots community development.”
  • National Children’s Nurseries Association (NCNA) – an organization in Ireland provides policy statements that may seem a bit basic to us, but which parallels much of what we consider to be best practice.
  • International Step by Step Association (ISSA) – an international membership organization “that connects professionals and organizations working in the field of early childhood development and education.”  Relevant to this course is a section on the International Step by Step Association, “Policy Issues in the Early Years… in the area of professional development of in-service teachers in the former communist bloc region.”

Thoroughly search one area of the site. What do you find?  Of course I had to search the “Working Group on Men in Early Childhood Education” (MECE) Initiative.  This initiative “provides a global meeting place for male and female early childhood professionals to reflect on the value of gender balance in early childhood education and the benefits and barriers to men’s full participation, and to identify actions to promote these important issues worldwide.”

World Forum Foundation has promoted men in early childhood education through its Working Forum on Men in Early Care and Education, an event held in Hawa’ii in 2008.  150 ECE professionals from a dozen countries met to discuss issues related to men in early childhood education.  Since then, leaders from this group have continued to meet – participating at the 2009 and 2011 World Forums on early care and Education.

Does the website or the e-newsletter contain any information that adds to your understanding of equity and excellence in early care and education?  The March 5, 2012 edition of ExchangeEveryDay is on the topic, “Soothing Traumatized Children”.  This is a relevant consideration related to equity.  The article tells about how one of the supplies sent to Haiti in response to the devastating earthquake a few years ago, “kids’ coloring and activity books… created by Mercy Corps…” proved to be of great value helping children to “process what happened to them…”

The article goes on to discuss recent research that has indicated “abnormal patterns of brain activation in people who have experienced psychological trauma…” This includes increased activity in the right hemisphere of the brain and decreased activity in the left hemisphere.  Because the left hemisphere includes the logical and language centers of the brain, the workbooks may have, essentially, re-booted the left hemisphere.

As an equity issue – providing art, storytelling, and dramatic play opportunities on a regular and consistent basis clearly supports the brain development of young children who have experienced trauma and stress.  Contrary to the teacher-directed activities that are increasingly common in preschools – it is the opportunity that children have “to write their own story” that may be of the most benefit.

If you receive an e-newsletter, follow a link related to one of the issues you have been studying. What new information is available?  The March 5, 2012 edition of ExchangeEveryDay, “Soothing Traumatized Children” linked to the November 2010 issue of Scientific American Mind.  The article of the same name, Soothing Traumatized Children, by Emily Anthes, described what the books, My Earthquake Story, contributed to the recovery of the children.  Children were encouraged “to write and draw about what they were doing when the quake struck, what happened to their homes, and whether they saw any people doing good deeds in the aftermath of the disaster.”  I believe that this last part, was a critical component in providing a sense of security to children that were no doubt feeling very unsafe.  Similar workbooks were provided to children after Hurricane Katrina.  An unpublished study of participating children (grades 6 – 8) showed that” the children who used the workbooks for 30 minutes every week experienced a nearly 20 percent reduction in PTSD symptoms.”

What other new insights about issues and trends in the early childhood field did you gain this week from exploring the website and/or the e-newsletter?  Other ExchangeEveryDay editions featured discussion of trends such as:

  • “Classic Toys Go Digital” (March 14, 2012) which described the return of classic toys such as “Monopoly, Barbie and Hot Wheels” which targeted children who now “play with technology, with iPhones and Android devices.”  Mattel senior vice president for marketing in a revealing quote states, “Our job is to not necessarily avoid that, but if you can’t fix it, feature it.” It was alarming to note that other spokespersons included representatives from Hasbro, Amazon, and Wal-Mart.
  • “The New Groupthink” (March 6, 2012) which briefly discussed the relative merits of collaboration versus solitude as they contribute to creativity.  This article observes that “research strongly suggests that people are more creative when they enjoy privacy and freedom from interruption.”  How well do we, as early educators provide children with extended periods of freedom from interruption?  The often hectic daily schedules that I see posted in classrooms suggests that we are not doing enough to give children this period of privacy and freedom from interruption.
  • “Impact of Assessments” (February 27, 2012) which features Lilian Katz who briefly described the cycle of self-confidence, which leads to security in seeking assistance, which in turn leads to acquiring skills, which leads to confidence.  Likewise, children who lack confidence don’t ask questions, therefore they don’t get the information they need to succeed, therefore their lack of confidence is exacerbated.  The article implies that “testing children” may lead to defining children who in turn accept that definition of them.  Katz states, “adults can break this cycle, the child cannot.”

Resources Update, March 26, 2012

A new site for public policy advocates.  Learn about child poverty in California.  County by County information is available.  This web site can assist you in developing your community assessments.

http://www.f5ac.org/poverty/

Resources Update, March 19, 2012:

The three most recent “issues” of the ExchangeEveryDay e-newsletter were titled:  The Intentional Teacher (March 19, 2012), Imaginary Friends (March 16, 2012) and Learning to Fail (March 15, 2012).

The Intentional Teacher reviews the book, The Intentional Teacher: Choosing the Best Strategies for Young Children’s Learning by Anne Epstein.  This review reminds us all of the importance of the teacher’s responsibility for purposeful learning objectives and reflection.  Particularly insightful is the suggestion that we be mindful “beginning with the emotional climate” we create.  This notion is one that I must reflect upon – as teachers, driven by goals, activity plans, scripts and the like, regularly neglect to monitor the emotional pulse of their classrooms.  This includes me – as I can remembering being caught up in the whirlwind of activity – failing undoubtedly to give the attention needed to all that lay below that superficial current.

The Imaginary Friends e-newsletter looked at an article by Dianne Krissansen, 2002, which examined the presence of imaginary friends in the world of preschool-aged children.  “…more common for first born and only children… imaginary friends are a positive tool in helping children learn about world… (and) provide an outlet for children to express and work through the normal anxieties of growing up.”

Learning to Fail, described briefly an editorial from Education Week (Perez, A, 2012).  An insightful quote from the author was provided that included, “Failure is about growth, learning, overcoming, and moving on.  Let’s allow young people to fail.”  While addressing the trend of fear-averse college students, this is an important consideration for us as we design increasingly safe and risk limited learning environments and policies.  The author, Angel Perez, is not an early educator, but rather, a dean of admissions at Pitzer College.  This indicates the breadth of those whose concerns intersect with ours.

One of the e-issues most relevant to my concerns was Impact of Assessments, February 27, 2012.   Lilian Katz is quoted here saying, “Young children are notoriously bad test takers and we know that from experience.  One other thing we know is that once a child has been defined by adults, it tends to bring its behavior into line with that definition.”

The e-newsletter links you to the articles, books and resources that are mentioned.  Many of these resources are a part of the Child Care Exchange “suite” mentioned below. 

Resources Update, March 2012:  A truly exceptional resource is the four-piece suite:

  • World Forum Foundation  –  http://worldforumfoundation.org
    • Its kick-off event was in 1999 with the First World Forum on Early Care and Education in Hawaii.  Convening every year (but 2010) since then, the World Forum on Early Care and Education or a Working Forum on a special topic within ECE has been held in Europe, North and South America, Oceania, Western Europe, and the Mediterranean. 
    • Its initiatives include Children’s Rights, Men In Early Childhood Education, Nature Action, Peace Building, Curriculum and more!
  • Child Care Exchange – www.ChildCareExchange.com
    • This web site provides links to resources, professional development opportunities, magazines and articles from Exchange Magazine that can be purchased for $3 each and cover a truly comprehensive range of topics.  Continuing Education Units are also available online.  The web site is a bit slow to load, but your patience will be rewarded.
  • Exchange Magazine
    • This bi-monthly magazine, at $38 per year is a great value.  Each issue contains a “Beginnings Workshop” that is useful for staff development. 
  • ExchangeEveryDay
    • Get useful information delivered to your email box daily.  Interesting topics, news on resources, trends and issues, surveys (their Insta Poll) and more await your arrival to the office or teacher lounge!  These are brief items that may also provide you with a link to an expanded article or invite you to participate in a virtual discussion.  Featuring popular topics such as Time In vs. Time OutTeaching Second Languages, and a host of conversations about the Value of Play, these daily tidbits include information for parents, teachers, and leaders in the field.
    • A sample ExchangeEveryDay topic was February 6, 2012’s, Children Making Decisions article.  This brief item linked to Carol Hillman’s book, Teaching Four-Year-Olds and provided five simple questions that you can ask yourself, such as, “How do you establish an expectation for young children to feel capable of making decisions?”
    • ExchangeEveryDay provides an opportunity for you to comment and/or follow the comments of your colleagues, making this an invaluable and interactive resource.

ExchangeEveryDay follows trends and issues such as play, teacher qualifications, indicators of quality, and influences on our profession.  The Early Childhood Education trend Report CD Book is available for $99 and includes reports on such things as: supply and demand, advocacy and public policy, quality assessment trends, curriculum and also includes international issues.

A recent article described a wonderful argument against the rush towards technology in schools, citing a New York Times article “A Silicon Valley School That Doesn’t Compute” about a school attended by the children of Google, Apple, Yahoo, e-Bay, and HP employees that focuses on hands-on learning.  The school does not have a single computer – computers are not allowed in the classroom and are even discouraged for home use by students.

 

Favorite resources for stimulating thought and assessing my community:

http://www.researchconnections.org/childcare/states – Child Care and Early Education Research Connections provides a hub for information from a variety of sources.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJF50kwwRJE – This video was shown at the National Indian Child Care Association Conference that I attended this past August.  It is thought provoking and perhaps a bit provocative.

http://www.childrensdefense.org/home.html  – Children’s Defense Fund is a powerful organization that supports children and families at risk.  They advocate in areas of child health and welfare, poverty, early education, and juvenile justice.  They have presented at NAEYC.

http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/
For anyone in Los Angeles County, go to the tabs on the left to learn about the key indicators of health for your community.  A valuable resource for any director doing a community needs assessment!  This web site demonstrates the significant discrepancies in community health and well-being based upon where a person lives and unfortunately, this is related to racial and socio-economic demographics.  It confirms what we know about inequality in our communities.

National Center for Children in Poverty http://www.nccp.org – a valuable source of data, information, links and resources

www.menteach.org – This site is devoted to men who teach.  It is an international group of advocates for men in education.

 

Position Statements and Influential Practices

National and Global Support for Children’s Rights and Well-Being

    • World Organization for Early Childhood Education
      http://www.omep-usnc.org/
      Read about OMEP’s mission.  
    • Association for Childhood Education International
      http://acei.org/about/
      Click on “Mission/Vision” and “Guiding Principles and Beliefs” and read these statements.

 Selected Early Childhood Organizations

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One thought on “Resources

  1. bucknerc says:

    Thank you for sharing information on the article Soothing Traumatized Children, by Emily Anthes, describing that books, My Earthquake Story, contributed to the recovery of children when encouraged “to write and draw about what they were doing when the quake struck, what happened to their homes, and whether they saw any people doing good deeds in the aftermath of the disaster.” It is refreshing to see how people step up to help traumatized children.

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