Throughout the past week, I made several attempts to contact Early Childhood Professionals from around the world as listed in the NAEYC Global Alliance. In the first 3 e-mails I sent out, 2 of them bounced back stating "returned mail." The first stated that the person's mailbox was unavailable or not found and the second returned mail stated the hostname was unknown. I began to wonder if it was the University's mail system, so then I sent e-mails from my own personal G-mail account. I have yet to hear from someone, but hopefully I will get an answer soon.
Currently I have e-mails out to Early Childhood representatives in Spain, Croatia, Canada (as noted below), Kazakhstan, and Russia. Hopefully I hear back from one of the countries that did not bounce back. If anyone has success stories, please share!
Alternative to Part 1:
The next thing I decided to do was to pursue contacts from the World Forum website. I took time to e-mail one of the women who is a Principal for a Charter School in Canada. I used the school's website (http://www.meccs.org/) associated with the podcast link and hope to hear from her in the next week or so. However, this is not a traditional Charter School, this school serves Indigenous people in Canada. In the podcast, she explains that her school's mission is to wholistically nurture, guide and challenge each child’s spiritual, intellectual, physical, and emotional self through traditional Indigenous teachings.
In the podcast that I listened to from Principal TJ Skalski of Mother Earth's Children's Charter School, she explains how important it is to nurture the children as many of them come from "damaged" backgrounds. She helps to preserve the culture, language, and family values of the Indigenous people to help them grow and succeed. Principal Skalski wants to provide a foundation for children to believe in themselves and help them grow in a world that is ever-changing.
Part 2: Expanding Resources
Since I reached out to a Principal in Canada, I decided to explore the Canadian Association for Young Children's (CAYC) website. As I reviewed their page, their ideals seem similar to those of our National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). They also have several publications that support Early Literacy and Play from birth to school-age.
In the CAYC's philosophy, they discuss that the most important tool in a child's learning is their ability to play. This supports much of the information I have been receiving in my coursework with Walden University. It is truly important for a child to play to be successful in their learning experiences. The CAYC believes that:
• play is natural
• play is essential for children
• play is fun, exciting, adventurous, open
• play is creative and spontaneous
• play is magical and complex
• play is rewarding and stimulating
• play is non-threatening
• play is non-judgmental
• play is directed by the children
• play is full of choices and decision making
• play is posing questions and hypothesizing
• play is focused on the process and not the product
It is important to recognize the similarities as well as the differences in our NAEYC and the CAYC. By realizing what ideals remain consistent, educators may find the answers to the best practice for Early Childhood programs as well as primary grades.
NAEYC Global Alliance: http://www.naeyc.org/resources/partnership/globalalliance
Episode 7: TJ Skalski: http://worldforumfoundation.org/wf/wp/current-work/world-forum-radio
Mother Earth's Children's Charter School: http://www.meccs.org/
The Canadian Association for Young Children (CAYC): http://www.cayc.ca/index2.html