cstravato's Pre-k World

The life of a Teacher / Student / Mother


Reflecting on International Connections


Making international connections is a critical way to build professional resources. Over the past eight weeks I have followed, www.worldforumfoundation.org, whose mission as sated on the web site “ is to promote an on-going global exchange of ideas on the delivery of quality services for young children in diverse settings.” This mission and the information I have gained and had the privilege to share with my colleges has inspired me to expand my professional growth beyond my classroom, school, town, and state to the nation as a whole. It is inspiring to read an learn about the dedicated advocates that take the time and initiative to meet on critical topics in the early childhood field to support he needs of children all over the world.

We as teachers know we learn more and grow more when we bring our challenges to our colleagues and we collaborate on solutions. When we come together as a group of professionals who personally care about children and each other we can freely ask for help, share ideas, and learn from each other’s strengths. Now blow that concept up and out of your program and you state and include colleges from around the world with vastly divers experiences and knowledge, that is the world forum. We can all be advocates at whatever level we are ready. Starting by forming a solid collaborative working relationship within our school or program is a critical beginning step, then branching out to collaborate with other local programs to extend the communication and support, and on and on.

Following resources from around the world has expanded my professional and personal understanding of early childhood education. It is important as professionals that we are aware of the issues and trends in the field in which we are a part of. Making increasingly more professional connections allows us to stay knowledgeable and continuously grow professionally and personally. Each article I read caused me to take time to reflect on my own practice and inspired me to improve. I shared many of these insights on this blog to inspire others to also reflect and continuously grow professionally and personal. Never think you are done learning.

By connecting with other early childhood professionals through blogs, web sites, articles, and research, I have been able to benefit from their insights and diverse knowledge. It always amazes me how different we all think and interpret the same information. Many time over the course of these eight weeks my colleagues and I have reviewed the same site or research and came away with very different information and insight to share with each other. This is the power of connecting with others and collaborating on the many issues and trends in the field of early childhood. I truly appreciate the insights my colleagues have shared and I have grown in my professional understanding and personal passion.

My vision for my self, my colleagues, and for the field of early childhood is that we can all see the value we each bring to the field. Each of us early childhood professionals have had different childhood experiences, educational experiences, life experiences, professional work experiences that have shaped who we are and how we see children and the field of early childhood education. This diversity is a gift, if we communicate and collaborate with each other on a local and national level. We must become greater advocates for our profession and be the voice of children who are not able to speak for themselves. Continue to seek the latest research, strategies, and insights from others in our field and continuously reflect on our practice and how we can support children and the field of early childhood education.





Educational Resource from around the world http://www.unesco.org

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is a great resource of information relate to the field of education from around the world. This site offers a variety of directions for knowledge and understanding: education, Natural Sciences, Social and Human Sciences, culture, communication and information, and media services. I focused on the Education pull-down menu and found the worldwide tab. This peeked by interest, I enjoy learning about the topics and issues in education in other parts of the world. This tab provided a great source of data to explore on many topic from a variety of areas around the world. Within this tap there was a section labeled NEWS. Here I found three articles from different parts of the world focused on education.


The article, Southern Africa Regional Meeting on ECCE: Ensuring quality Early childhood care and education discusses the importance of a an education. “It is important to exceed merely supporting children to survive, but it support them so that they thrive.” (UNESCO office in Harare, 2016) Through increasing participation in early childcare and education, the goal is to improve readiness of children for school. A second gold discussed is to provide one year of free quality early childcare and education. These goal are in line with current trends in our country.


In the article, Syrian Refuges Welcome New Secondary School in Basirma Camp, Iraq they discussed the growth in the last two years of secondary schools and their ability to reach more students. In 2014/15 secondary schooling in the camp was limited to a small program only reaching 60 students. Now in 2016 the UNESCO has rehabilitated and operates six schools were they could support more students in a quality environment. “The overall aim of the project, improving access to secondary education for Syrian refuges in Iraq is to provide access to and improve the quality of secondary education.” (UNESCO, Office for Iraq, 2016)


The article European Ministers Back Education for Democracy to Counter Extremism and Racism, discusses the critical role education plays in children’s knowledge of democracy, “Securing democracy through education.” (UNESCO Education Sector, 2016) The UNESCO is supporting countries efforts to create education programs that build children’s resilience to violent messages and foster positive sense of identity and belonging. “Mr. Thorbjorn Jayland, secretary General of the council of Europe said: If we want to promote democratic ideas we need to promote values and teach children to live with others equally.” (UNESCO Education Sector, 2016)


I was encouraged that a clear message of the necessity of early child education is all over the world. These articles demonstrate awareness, accessibility , and responsive are global issues not just local issues. As I read each of these articles, I reflected on my own classroom and how we work hard to not just survive, but that we want children to thrive. Our program continues by challenged to meet the goal of accessibility for all children and especially our most vulnerable children. The final connection was to never lose sight of the social emotional need of children. Children all over the world all deserve and have a right to quality early care and education. We as professionals must continue to advocate to those who cannot speak for themselves.





UNESCO Education Sector, (2016) European Ministers Back Education for Democracy to Counter Extremism, Racism



UNESCO office in Harare, (2016) In Mbabane, Swaziland in Southern Africa



UNESCO office for Iraq, (2016) Syrian Refuges Welcome New Secondary Schools in Basirma Camp, Iraq




Early Childhood Education Resources http://nieer.org

My exploration of the NIEER web site has proved to be a great resource of early childhood educational information. I searched more of the site and looked into the research papers on the latest issues in the early childhood field. This led me to a working paper, Expanding Access to Quality Pre-K is Sound Public Policy.

In this paper they expressed the major issue that state policy makers face in there efforts to increase the quality and expand access to quality pre-k is the cost of these quality preschools is upfront however the benefit isn’t able to be assessed until many years latter. The research is clear of the long-term savings but then the question becomes, what will happen to these states when the federal funding ends? (Barnett, 2013)

These are valid issues and concerns in which all states face. After the extensive review of the research presented in this paper they, “project that in 2030 with no continuing federal support, every state except Idaho would spend less money on education from pre-K through grade 12 if they meet the quality standards, operated for a full day, and served all children under 200 percent of FPL.” (Barnett, 2013)

This perked my interest I agree quality standards, full day pre-k, and serving children under 200 percent of the FPL would make a critical difference in students success. Which lead me to expand my search to the Quality Standards Benchmarks for State Pre-K referenced in the paper, Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK310532/pdf/Bookshelf_NBK310532.pdf

In an effort to unify the foundation of early childhood education to improve the overall quality of pre-K in all states several quality standards are suggested. (NCBI, 2010)

– Standardizing quality requirements to qualify for professional practice

– Current qualification requirements for the care and education workforce

-State public school licensure for educators of children from birth through age 8

-Implications and consequence of overlapping state qualification standards

-Non-governmental credentialing systems

– Degree requirements

– Qualification requirements for leadership

-Leadership in early childhood settings

-Leadership in elementary schools

– Evaluation of practice quality

-Current systems for evaluating educators of children from birth through age 8

-Challenges and reforms in evaluating educators of young children

-Using student achievement to evaluate educator performance

-Observing professional practice

– Program accreditation and quality improvement systems

These suggested changes to our current system would have many positive outcomes. The research shows quality early childhood care is a critical determining factor in increased academic success in school and later personal and professional success in life. However, if our early childhood programs are not held to a level of high quality staff, and practice this positive future for our children will continue to be a futuristic idea and never become a reality.




  1. Steven Barnett, Ph.D. (December, 2013), Expanding Access to Quality Pre-K is Sound Public Policy, National Institute for Early Education Research Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Committee on the Science of Children Birth to Age 8: Deepening and Broadening the Foundation for Success; Board on Children, Youth, and Families; Institute of Medicine; National Research Council; Allen LR, Kelly BB, editors. Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2015 Jul 23. 10, Qualification Requirements, Evaluation Systems, and Quality Assurance Systems. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK310534/



Making International Connections – Up Date http://worldforumfoundation.org


I enjoyed exploring the Connection Center this week. The link, Explore Global Perspectives, took me back to Bonnie’s Global Café. I found a great story related to excellence and equity. I watch a video without one word of English and yet it was so powerful I could completely understand what was happening. The video was of World Forum leader Ronald Ssentuuwa promoting literacy in Makerere Kivulu, a poor area of Kampala in his home country of Uganda. He read a story to a group of children and was able to spread the love of literacy



It was amazing to listen to him read and see the eager interest of the children to hear the story and participate in the story. What a powerful message of literacy. Children want to learn they just need someone to take the time to show them.