Working around the world in the service of young children and families

This article appeared in the Summer 2012 issue of Erikson on Children under the headline “Around the world.” More from this issue »

Erikson’s outreach doesn’t end at the Chicago city limits or the U.S. border. Several faculty members are traveling the world in the service of children and families.

Image: Professor Jie-Qi Chen

Jie-Qi Chen

In February, Professor Jie-Qi Chen visited Germany to give a keynote presentation at the invitation-only conference A Mathematics Education Perspective on Early Mathematics Learning between the Poles of Instruction and Construction. Chen argued that children have the greatest success when their interests and ways of understanding are supported and challenged by teaching practice. This leads to both teachers and students playing active roles in the learning process.

During each of the last four years, Chen has spent a month in China working with early childhood teacher educators to study teachers’ knowledge across different content areas. She also is working with UNICEF and the Office of Preschool Education in China’s Ministry of Education to help develop a professional development system for preschool teachers in rural China.

Image: Professor Jon Korfmacher

Professor Jon Korfmacher

Professor Jon Korfmacher has an ongoing consulting relationship with a home visiting program and evaluation in São Paulo, Brazil, sponsored by the University of São Paulo’s Núcleo de Estudos da Violênca. The program supports the healthy development of adolescent mothers and their children by helping them develop their parenting skills and receive needed social services. In 2011, Korfmacher was an invited speaker at an international home visiting forum sponsored by Núcleo de Estudos da Violênca. The forum presentations will be published as a book later this year.

Image: Chip Donohue

Dean Chip Donohue

Chip Donohue, dean of Distance Learning and Continuing Education and director of the TEC Center, has traveled to the New Zealand Tertiary College 12 times in the last eight years, helping the college design and improve its online learning management system for early childhood professionals. The college delivers online programs in New Zealand, Australia, India, Singapore, and the Philippines.

In February, Donohue was back in Auckland to share best practices and lessons learned from EriksonOnline and to discuss how best to infuse digital literacy into teacher preparation programs. He also spoke about the implications of the new guidelines for media and technology in early childhood programs, which were released by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media. Donohue co-chaired the writing team and working group that developed the guidelines.

Image: Mary Hynes-Berry

Mary Hynes-Berry

Senior Instructor Mary Hynes-Berry was invited to present in Korea at the 11th International Conference on Philosophical Practice and the 4th International Conference on Humanities Therapy. The conference, held July 16–19, at Kangwon National University, Korea, is hosted by the Humanities Institute, Kangwon National University and Fu Jen Catholic University.

Hynes-Berry’s presentation is titled “Opening the Heart through Open-Ended Questions: Using stories for self-understanding,” and draws on her new book Don’t Leave the Story in the Book: Using Literature to Guide Inquiry in Early Childhood Classrooms (Teachers College Press) and on Biblio/Poetry Therapy — The Interactive Process: A Handbook (North Star Press), which she co-authored with Arleen Hynes.