This week our assignment is to expand the idea of research outside the U.S. and look at an international website. Because we hope to live in Ireland one day, I chose the European Early Childhood Education Research Association (EECERA).
Some of research topics are very similar to the ones you would find here in the U.S. such as: importance of story-telling, curriculum-generated play and it's effect on mathematics vs. pretend play and it's focus on mathematics, and importance of engineering in building block play. But then there are some different research topics that are more centralized to the uniqueness of Europe such as: Immigrant parent relations and their uniqueness to dance duets in open art time, the comparison between Norweigian and British toddlers in their motor life skills, observation practices in Italian care centers, and hidden curriculums in the daily routines of Slovene preschools.
I think what the EECERA is doing is really fascinating. They are comparing and contrasting as well as bringing together early childhood educators from all across Europe, regardless of the country their from. At their last conference they had over 700 delegates from around the world come together to discuss early childhood and learn from each other. In their current issue of the EECERJ, there is one article entitled "Motor-life-skills of toddlers - a comparative study of Norwegian and British boys and girls applying the Early Years Movement Skills Checklist". I think it's also a great reminder that early childhood and research does not solely belong in the U.S. but is on a much broader international scale, and when we can cross those continental lines we can learn way more about the early childhood scene.
This organization publishes the European Early Childhood Education Research Journal (EECERJ). On it's website the current issue and all of it's back issues are available to the public for free. This is really incredible as most U.S. Early Childhood Journals you either have to subscribe to or pay per issue to be able to research from them. You can still become one of the EECERA's members, but the journal is available to everyone.
***Ok, just kidding, the above is not really true as I had first thought. You can still search through their journal but not all of the articles are accessible for free. Some of them you have to pay for or have a subscription through either the EECERJ or Taylor & Francis Online.