Developing the plan. Last summer (2017) I spent a great deal of time creating a sabbatical proposal to submit to my university. When I began dreaming about what I would like to do, I hoped to visit an early childhood teacher preparation program at a university in another country. Early childhood education has become topic of global interest – and at the center of the conversations is the training of early childhood teachers.
The amazing way it unfolded: As it worked out, I will be visiting programs in four countries: The University of Iceland in Reykjavik , Queen Maud University in Trondheim, Norway, Dublin City University and Dublin Technical Institute in Ireland and Roehampton University in England. What a blessing it has been to contact early childhood teacher educators in these universities and receive such positive warm welcomes to visit learn about their work.
My timeline: I will leave Minneapolis on Sunday Sept. 9th and arrive in Reykjavik on Monday Sept. 10th. On Sept. 24th I depart for Trondheim Norway then on Oct. 19 on to to Ireland. On Oct. 29th I depart for London England. On Nov. 7th I will visit Paris (for fun meeting up with my childhood friend from Hibbing, MN ). One plan yet to be developed it is to get an appointment to visit the van Leer Foundation in Amsterdam, the Netherlands between Nov. 12 or 13th. (more about why I hope to visit the van Leer Foundation in another blog) I will return to the USA on Nov. 19th – in time for celebrating Thanksgiving with family and friends.
Research agenda: My research will focus on learning about the best practices, priorities opportunities and challenges in early childhood teacher preparation in each of these programs/ countries. I will be sitting in on classes, interacting with students, observing in infant, toddler and pre-k settings. In return I will do some guest teaching and sharing information about our model of early childhood teacher preparation. I will be sharing all I learn and experience along the way.