The Importance of Character Education In World Education

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Character education , it is absolutely necessary not only at school , but at home and in the social environment . Even today this is no longer a participant character education early childhood to adolescence , but also adults. Absolutely necessary for the survival of this nation .

Imagine what the emerging competition in the year 2021 ? Clearly it would be our burden and parents present . At that time , the children of today will face competition with colleagues from different parts of the country in the World . In fact we are still going to work year will feel the same feelings . Demands quality of human resources in 2021 certainly requires good character .

However, the character of the individual is the key to success . Of an American study , 90 percent of cases are caused by the dismissal of bad behavior as irresponsible , dishonest , and poor interpersonal relationships . In addition , there are other studies that indicate that 80 percent of a person's success in society is determined by the emotional quotient .

What about our nation ? What about those successors who are now sitting in a chair this important state government and who sits in the chair is important that managing the economy of this country ? Have they showed good character qualities and comforting our hearts ? Can we believe , the baton later we leave it to them , then they are able to run well or just the opposite ?

From the psychological point of view , I see a decline in kulaitas " psychological age " in children aged 21 years in 20011 , with children aged 21 in 2001 . Intent psychological age is the age of maturity , age appropriateness and decency that is directly proportional to biological age . If the child is now 21 years old as if they were as young as 12 or 11 years . Sorry if this shocking and painful .

Though not all , but most I've met have such a tendency . I repeatedly cooperated with the child's age and the results are less than the maximum . I do not " give up " air repeatedly to work with them . And by accident I found this pattern tends to be repeated , I observe and evaluate their behavior and character . Back again remember , schools are generally not given the education to cope with competition in the world of work . So there is a survey that said that the average after-school child needs 5-7 years to adapt to the world of work and the average in the 5-7 years of work moved up to 3-5 times . Hmm .. and this process is often referred to as the process of searching for identity . The question I seek " self " within themselves or outside it yourself ? " I work fitting what? Try doing this was the " last move if you do not fit into the other . Why not taught in school , so the children live a life in the real world do not have problems even less so desperate because of growing feelings of inadequacy in her lifetime and imprisoned by a false conviction .

Okay back to topic , character is the values ​​of human behavior related to Almighty God , ourselves, our fellow human beings , the environment and national manifested in thoughts, attitudes , feelings , words , and actions based on religious norms , legal , manners , culture and customs .

For Indonesia today , character education also means making earnest efforts , systematically and continuously to awaken and strengthen the awareness and confidence of all Indonesian people that there will be no better future without build and strengthen the character of the people of Indonesia . In other words , there is no better future could be realized without honesty , without increasing the self-discipline , without persistence , without the spirit of high learning , without developing a sense of responsibility , without fostering unity amidst diversity , without the spirit of contributing to the progress together , and without a sense of confidence and optimism . This is our challenge Indonesian nation , capable of ?

Theodore Roosevelt said : " To educate a person in mind and not in Morals is to educate a menace to society " ( Educating someone in the intelligence aspect and not the moral aspect is mara - hazard threat to the public )
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Parenting Role In Shaping Character Children

Successfully educate children well are the dream of all the teachers and parents . Every teacher and parent would want their children to be successful and happy , but if in fact that easy ? The majority of parents had experienced difficulty in educating beloved baby

The teachers and parents , let me ask you ... Have we really think that the negative program ( maybe ) we inadvertently implanted into the subconscious mind of our children , will continue to dominate and control her life - making a mess in the future ? To be honest evaluate yourself , so we can all including me as a parent has been and is doing this to our children .

For us parents , what character we want to cultivate in our children ? Give an example of it in the attitudes and actions as well as words . Then the child will easily mencontohnya and store it in memory and the subconscious will be issued back to the time of " no trigger " . The point ? When we give an example of respect and love for our spouses , our children when he married someday we will model the behavior of his parents to the spouse .

Now this is a very valid one aphorism " the fruit does not fall far from the tree " and I feel very well when many of my clients who feel that life is the result of a " copy " of his parents . If her parents give a good effect is not a problem , but if the household clutter as its parent then this is a disaster . Why is this happening ? Well , I guess you already know the answer right?

Be a role model for our beloved baby , the first and initially the child will always learn from its immediate environment , namely the elderly . They absorb information with the good of their five senses . Not just the words but the attitude of parents and their parents' behavior will absorb too , you do not even realize.

If our parents , want to know how much value you as a parent to educate the child , there is an easy way to know . The first report cards of our children at school ( play group or kindergarten ) , it is our own report cards parents , not the child . You can draw from these results , how the quality of the " product " ( read : children ) you . Well it is the beginning of the current report cards 3-5 years you have a family and educate children . But if you know the end result look at your child's life when he has been in the real life . Look at the interaction , how to speak and behave and if we parents are more observant and wise look at finances. The better your child 's financial condition is directly proportional to your child's character owned ( kosher of course ) .

The Importance of Early Childhood Education

Education is an important asset for the advancement of a nation , therefore, every citizen should and must follow the levels of education , both early childhood education , elementary education , secondary education or higher . In the field of education a child from birth requires proper care in meeting the educational needs along with understanding of the characteristics of children according to the growth and development will be very helpful in adjusting the learning process for children by age , needs , and each condition , both intellectually , emotionally and social .

Before talking further, what is early childhood education ? Early childhood education ( ECD ) is the level of education before primary education which is a development effort aimed bagianak from birth until the age of six years are done through the provision of educational stimulation to assist the growth and development of the child physically and mentally in order to have the readiness to enter the education further , organized in formal , non-formal , and informal .
Why is early childhood education is very important ?

Based on the research results about 50 % kapabilitaas intelligence adults have occurred when the child was 4 years old , 8 0 % there has been a rapid development of the brain tissue when the child is 8 years old and reaches its peak when the child was 18 years old , and after it's done though improved nutrition will have no effect on cognitive development .

This means that the development occurred within the first 4 years of the same magnitude with the developments in the next 14 years . So that this period is a critical period for children , where development acquired during this period is very influential on the development of the next period to adulthood . While this golden age only comes once , so that when the mean finished missed chances .

According to Byrnes , early childhood education will provide preparation for facing children in the future times , the closest is the face of the school year . " Currently , some kindergarten children already ask students who want to enroll there already able to read and count . In the kindergarten had already started to be taught social skills and problem solving . Because of the abilities that was to be established at an early age , "said Byrnes .

Furthermore, according to Byrnes , that early childhood education is important , because at this age the child is the best form of education . At this age children should establish himself facing a period of school readiness and future . The best investment you can give to children is to prepare them in early childhood education .

Strength of Character For Kids Future

I saw one of the students in my neighborhood is very studious . So much so , he could not take the time to play with their peers . School demands so much made ​​to be lingering in the room to transfer the information in the book into the brain or memory . I am very sorry for the students . Why ? On the one hand , the student is honed cognitive abilities . But on the other hand , he suffered paralysis imbalance or emotional ( affective ) . Life is like riding a bicycle , once necessary balance. If the balance is not maintained then it will fall .
Seeing these students , I suggest to parents to help regulate the time , so he was not locked in the room , while his friends were playing . That he does not realize , that the play was also part of the learning process .
As we know , humans actually have creativity , taste, and imagination . Therefore, when only creativity ( IQ ) are sharpened , then there is an imbalance . Then what happens ? Obviously , the effects of the pattern of education that only focuses on creativity ( cognitive / IQ ) alone and ignore the ( affective / EQ ) and intention ( action ) will be felt and seen when the child grows up . The child will be paralyzed social . Why do I say lame social ? Socially crippled occurs when the child is not able to establish relationships in the social environment . In fact , in every association in the community , both socially at work , organizational relationships , relationships at school and others definitely need to build relationships and collaborate with others . Could ultimately inhibit the development of her potential .
Is it not our basic needs as human beings to work together . By working together , we actually open up many opportunities to learn many things . That way we can increase the opportunity to explore ourselves . Here lies the importance of relationships and social interactions .
In the past , parents are directing their children to hone his IQ . Therefore , a high IQ is defined as a high level of intelligence as well ( and is said to be a successful recipe if high IQ ) . However , a new awareness has finally appeared that there was other intelligence that can not be ignored , namely emotional intelligence .
The balance between cognitive intelligence ( knowledge ) , feeling ( affective ) and action ( action ) will build a good strength of character themselves . The characters themselves are very crucial role . Therefore , the character himself is a way of thinking and behavior that is typical of individuals to live and work with its surroundings.
Sometimes , a person of character feels unbalanced . There are people who have brilliant ideas but are not able to cooperate with teamworknya . It shows the person has a good IQ intelligence emotional intelligence was bad . There are also people who have a brilliant brain , he is also good , but lazy to work . It shows the action is weaker than his IQ and EQ .
The characters themselves will be stronger if the three are met . The characters themselves are good this will determine the decision-making process , behavior and way of thinking. That will ultimately determine our success . See, a Nelson Mandela won the world's sympathy with the idea of ​​peace . Mother Teresa shook the world with love and concern for each other . Bung Karno with ideas , tenacity and intelligence still feels for us Indonesian people who have gone through years of the millennium .
All of it is a manifestation of the strength of character they have. This confirms that a person's character determines the success of an individual . And according to research , 80 percent of a person's success is precisely determined by their emotional intelligence , while intelligence intelegensianya get a portion of 20 percent .
Build Strength of Character
In every individual has its own character . Environment has an important role in the formation of character . Our character , has an important role in life processes . Therefore , the character control our thoughts and behavior , which of course determines the success , the way we live our lives , reaching obsession and resolve the problem .
Actually, each one of us has a distinctive character . And , the specificity of these characters is the strength of our character . Therefore , the distinctiveness or uniqueness is what separates us from other individuals . The entertainer will spread the spirit , the regulator will manage the organization . They are wise and do not like conflict can be peacemakers . It all is strength of character . And , each character will be needed in any association , either socially work , or community organization .
Remember ! Strength of character to be built from scratch . Build strength of character can be done either through character education in a formal environment such as schools , non - formal or as families and communities . Character education is given through the cultivation of character values ​​. It can be knowledge , awareness or willingness and action to implement these values ​​. Output character education will be seen in relation both to the creation of Almighty God , ourselves, others , the environment , the public and others.
Character education is not only theoretically given in school , but also need to be applied in everyday life . So it will become a habit . Habits are proof that the education provided has been pervasive in a person . When eating to be polite , when going to bed to read a prayer , when out of the house to say goodbye , diligent and spirit embody the ideals of obsession and , to be honest , be kind to animals and plants , do not litter and other places .
Build strength of character done by involving all elements . Therefore , each element will be influential in the formation of individual character . A child will imitate and identify what is around him . Positive role models will form a positive character role models and instead will form keprbadian negative and negative character . Therefore , every element of the environment should be built in a positive way , so that the character of the child will develop a positive as well .
Then how to build the strength of character? Strength of character will be formed by itself if there is support and encouragement from the surrounding environment . Imagine a stick would not have the power to banish junk . However , if the stick is supported by hundreds of others would form a force to clean up the home page . So is the character , will be stronger when supported by the environment . The role of family , school , community is very dominant in supporting and building strength of character .
Strong character will ultimately play optimally in every social interaction . Thus, individuals with strong character that will contribute - either moral or spiritual - that is efficient for the surroundings .

Building Character Since Childhood Education

if I asked when's the right time to determine a person's success and the success ? Thus , when the answer is still an early age. Really? Well I'll share a fact that has been widely studied by researchers world .
At the early age of 0-6 years , the brain develops very rapidly up to 80 percent . At that age the brain to receive and absorb various kinds of information , does not look good and the bad . That is where the times of physical, mental and spiritual child will begin to form . Because of this , many are calling this period as the golden periods of the child ( golden age) .
A study conducted by an expert from the Child Development and Behavior American named Brazelton said that the experience of the child in the first months and years of life will determine whether the child will be able to face the challenges in life and whether he will demonstrate a passion for learning and succeed in the workplace .
Now , therefore , we as parents should take advantage of a golden period for the child's character education is good for children . So that children can achieve success and success in life in the future . We as parents sometimes do not realize , our attitude to the child instead of the child will be dropped . For example , with the hit , giving pressure which ultimately makes the child a negative attitude , low self-esteem or self-conscious , timid and did not dare to take risks , which in the end these characters will be brought up to an adult. When such a mature character would become an obstacle for him to achieve and fulfill his desire . For example , there could be a public speaker because he is insecure or embarrassed . Not daring to take certain chances because he did not want to take the risk and fear of failure . In fact , if he is to be positive , the risk can be altered as a challenge to achieve success . You agree not it ?
Many say our success is determined by how our brain genius . The more we are , the more successful genius . The more we won the class championship title in a row , then the more successful we are . Is this true ? Wait wait !
I myself do not agree with these assumptions . Facts prove , many successful people just do not get brilliant achievement in school , they do not get a champion or the highest position in the school . Why is that ? Because real success is not only determined by our intelligence alone . However, the success was more dominant is determined by skill to bring up our emotional relationship with self, others and the environment . Moreover , that should not be left out is our spiritual relationship with God Almighty .
Did you know that the skills to build relationships with the three pillars ( self , social , and God ) are the characters people have success . And , let me tell you that the character is not entirely innate . Such a character could be formed . Wow , really? I say Yes ! And when the child was aged early - formed characters that. As we discussed earlier , that early childhood is a period character development of physical, mental and spiritual children begin to form . At this early age , the character will be formed from the children learn and absorb from our behavior as parents and from the surrounding environment . In this age of mental DEVELOPMENT happened very quickly . At that age the child also becomes very sensitive and insensitive to learn and practice the things he sees , feels and listens from the environment . Therefore , a positive environment will shape positive character and success .
Then , how to build character of children from an early age ?
The character will be formed as a result of understanding the relationship that must be experienced 3 every human ( triangle relationship) , the relationship with oneself ( intrapersonal ) , the environment ( social relationships and environment ) , and the relationship with Almighty God ( spiritual ) . Any result that relationship will provide interpretation / understanding of the values ​​and beliefs eventually become children . How children understand the shape of the relationship will determine how the child treats his world . Understanding will negatively impact on the treatment of negative and positive understanding will treat her world positively. For that , Growing positive understanding in children from an early age , one way to give confidence to the child to decide for himself , directing their potential to help children so they are better able to explore by itself , does not suppress either directly or subtly , and so on . Familiarize children socialize and interact with their surroundings . Remember choice for the environment largely determines the formation of character . As the saying goes sellers mingle with fragrant perfume will come , hang out with fishy fish vendors will participate . As such, a good and healthy environment to grow healthy and good character , and vice versa . And that can not be overlooked is building a spiritual relationship with God Almighty . Spiritual relationship with God Almighty awakened through implementation and appreciation of ritual worship implemented in social life .
Well , now we understand why build character education of children from an early age is important . An early age is the age of gold , then take advantage of the golden age as well as possible .

Teachers - qualified or not?

It was interesting listening to the debate on the TV news programmes yesterday about whether teachers even need to be qualified, particularly on Question Time. Actually it would be more exact to say it was depressing! Of course there are some people who are more natural teachers than others and of course there is always a place for the expert to enhance teaching and learning, particularly in certain areas such as music - sometimes an expert is also a natural teacher and can impart their specific skills and knowledge very well. However, this argument in favour of unqualified teachers appears to be based on a few random successes in the 174 Free Schools (that model adopted from Sweden just at the point the Swedes had decided it really wasn't working), not on the outcomes in 21,000 other state schools. In the debate on Question Time it became clear that, as usual all the panellists were basing their arguments around their own experience and the focus was almost entirely on Secondary education and the 'end game' of passing exams and getting to University. I was reminded of Sir Ken Robinson's first talk on TED when he says how everyone feels they know all about education because, after all, they have been to school themselves! Only Owen Jones mentioned at one point '5 year olds' when he rightly argued that success or failure in school (certainly on the terms being discussed)was more about starting points and socio-economic factors ... nobody else, notably not Liz Truss, Minister for Children, picked up on his points. It would be so refreshing and exciting to hear some politicians and journalists talking intelligently about the vital early years and about the highly qualified and specifically qualified teachers young children, particularly those growing up in socially deprived environments really need. I would refer anyone not convinced to the HighScope research, the findings of James Heckman (economist) and a number of recent reports across countries. Reports from OECD show that those countries most successful in terms of education and children's wellbeing emphasise the early years and the qualifications of those charged with the education and care of the very young.

Cheap Cell Phones

Cheap cell phones have hit the market at a time when the buying power of the people has been limited due to the effects of recession. This has led to more and more people buying these low priced cell phones as affording cell phones from manufacturers such as Nokia, Samsung is not possible. This has led to widespread demand in the market for these cheap cell phones. The demand is so much that the current dealers are not able to meet the demand. However, there is another reason for the rise in demand for these types of cell phones. The reason is that these cell phones offer much more features than those offered by phones manufactured by multinationals. This means that for the same amount of money you could get a phone that has more features and is more stylish than other phones. This can be illustrated by the fact that for a hundred dollars you could get a Chinese wholesale cell phones having a built in camera, a flash, a music player, a touch screen, WiFi support, GPS whereas for the same amount of money you only get a base level model from Nokia. This has led to an enormous jump in the demand for cheap cell phones.
This is where one should think of starting a Chinese phone wholesale business and making a large profit from this enormously large industry. The idea of becoming a wholesaler of China cell phones is profitable because the demand for these phones is on the rise. Also on large consignments and big orders the manufacturers of these phones provide incentives to the dealers in the form of discounts which can further lead to increase in profit. Another reason that is favourable for wholesalers of these phones is that the companies manufacturing these phones favour youngsters and quickly adapt and redesign their products to their needs and since youngsters make a large percentage of cell phone buyers in the world the demand for these kinds of cell phones is not going to die in the future.

Petition to UN

Today Tessa Jowell and Ivan Lewis launched a petition which aims to take to the campaign to support the youngest children to the next level. With your support they hope that the UN will ensure a commitment to early childhood development is at the heart of the new post-2015 development framework. I hope that you will be able to sign the petition and share with your friends and networks. Only with broad support will we be able to ensure that every child, no matter where they live in the world, will have the best start in life. Go to

Project Wild Thing

An interesting project called 'Project Wild Thing' resulting from the rather shocking statistic that The roaming radius of British children — i.e.. the distance they wander from their home — has shrunk by 90 per cent in the last 30 years
It’s a disheartening statistic, but one that has inspired award-winning filmmaker David Bond, who, keen for future generations not to miss out on the magic of the great outdoors, dreamed up PROJECT WILD THING.
The film itself is only one part of Bond’s campaign, which enlists a number of scientists, nature experts, sociologists, as well as the National Trust, to set about selling nature to kids.
Conscious that it will take more than eulogising to prise them away from their TVs and games consoles, Bond also recruits a marketing team to lend their branding savvy and repackage the countryside.
A charming exercise in creative, socially-minded activism, PROJECT WILD THING is a grass-roots triumph.
Relates to chapter 3 and the issue of play and risk taking in children's development and learning.

Children and Young People's Bill

“One of the most reported elements of the forthcoming Children and Young People Bill is the promise of 600 hours of state funded early learning and childcare for every three and four- year- old, and for looked after 2 year olds – an increase from the 475 hour legal minimum currently provided to every three and four year old. While this is an important step on the road to Scotland having world-class early education and care, the Bill makes no mention of out of school care, which is currently a non-statutory service. Out of school care for young children can be a costly headache for parents, particularly at this time of year.” Jackie Brock, Chief Executive, Children in Scotland I agree that out of school care is an issue and a problem for many parents but I am not sure it comes under the 'umbrella' of this Bill or needs to be made a statutory service. There is a danger that the state is seen as bearing the major responsibility for care as well as the education of children when really the responsibility for both should remain firmly with parents who will always have the most influence. It is an ongoing conundrum - how to provide for equal opportunities aznd particularly the most vulnerable withoout destroying the most important structures in our society.

Get Qualified holidays

Anytime today and there are many new ways to vacation at a lower price without any obligation, contractual restrictions and require traditional timeshares. We teach owners how to get the freedom to travel where they want, when they want it and at a lower cost compared with their timeshare. The purpose Resort Management Association is to educate the owner on various alternatives without sacrificing the experience. Resort Management Association provides information and resources you need and also all include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve consumer complaints. and also helps you to get a comfortable vacation and also high quality. so you can also click here to get more reliable information for your holiday.

Brain development and teaching and learning

There is increased understanding from research into how the brain develops and mention of this is included in chapter one and other points throughout the book but there is a debate still about how exactly this impacts on teaching and learning.  This is perhaps again even more pertinent to early childhood education and care as this is clearly one, if not the, most critical periods.  The Teaching and Learning Research Programme publication accessed at provides the perfect introduction to this debate and a guide to further reading.

New talk from Sir Ken Robinson on

Another amusing but really pertinent talk from Ken Robinson on TED titled 'How to Escape Education's Death Valley can be listened to at
 This relates to chapters in the book in section one on creative approaches where we have referenced to Robinson's books and previous talks and also the 'The Place of the School in the 21st Century'

Learning to Love Risk

The talk referred to on page 48 in chapter three by the award winning writer and journalist Nick Thorpe is now available on at:

Research on exposure to Sesame Street

Email sent to Mary Stephen co-author of Early Childhood Education and Care -

A Meta-analysis of Improvements in Children's Learning in 15 Countries - Effects of Sesame Street -

Greetings Mary

Many best wishes. As people and agencies involved in communication and media for development and social and behavioural change, we are continually asked: "Where is the impact?" By which the people asking the question mean high-quality methodology, high-credibility, independent research papers published in peer-reviewed journals that draw a direct link and relationship between a communication and media for development, social and behavioural change initiative or trend, and a measurable, wide-scale improvement in the status of a development issue.

Early child education is just such an issue - as a priority development issue in and of itself and as the foundation stone for progress on so many other development issues. 

Writing in the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, authors Marie-Louise Mares and Zhongdang Pan provide a systematic evaluation of the effectiveness of the local co-productions of Sesame Street. The series currently airs in over 150 countries and is reaching at least 156 million children in the 0-7 age range.

The article is based on summative and other studies of the programme's educational effects, synthesising the results of 24 studies conducted with over 10,000 children in 15 countries. It examines the extent to which children outside the United States (US) may learn from viewing local Sesame Street productions on TV in diverse social, political, and economic circumstances - including in some of the world's economically poorest regions. This is impact data on which we can all draw to highlight the impact of our field of work.

A summary of the article is available in the Early Childhood Development section of our website at this URL:

In brief: The results indicated significant positive effects of exposure to the programme, aggregated across learning outcomes, and within each of the 3 outcome categories: cognitive outcomes, including literacy and numeracy; learning about the world, including health and safety knowledge; and social reasoning and attitudes toward out-groups [groups that a person does not psychologically identify as being a member]. The effects were significant across different methods, and they were observed both in high-income and low- and middle-income (LAMI) countries.

Specific selected findings:

* Researchers found an overall effect size of 0.29. This translates into an 11.6 percentile gain (in terms of education). That is, an average child who does not watch Sesame Street is at the 50th percentile, whereas a child who watches is at the 62nd percentile.

* Moderation by methodological features:

~ Effects by outcome category: There were significant positive effects for each of the 3 outcome categories: d [unbiased estimate of the average effect size] = .189 for social attitudes, d= .284 for cognitive outcomes, and d = .339 for learning about the world.

~ Effects by country income: 82% of whole-sample effect size estimates came from studies conducted in low- and middle-income countries. The average effect size from these countries was significant and positive (d = .293). Most effect size estimates from low- and middle-income countries came from experimental or quasi-experimental studies (74%).

~ Effects by sample SES (socio-economic status): There were 9 studies in which researchers explicitly reported sampling children exclusively from low-SES populations. Overall, the effect of exposure to Sesame Street in low-SES samples was positive and significant (d = .413).

It is necessary for the media and communication for development, social and behavioural communication change community to build a body of independent, peer-reviewed, reputable journal-based impact data. That is highly desired and very valuable. But there is a downside. Peer-reviewed journals charge for access. That is the price we pay for having high-quality research that has high credibility. If you are interested in purchasing the full article (for $US35.95), please see:

Article citation: Mares, M.-L., & Pan, Z., Effects of Sesame Street: A Meta-Analysis of Children's Learning in 15 Countries, Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology (2013) May/June issue, Volume 34, Issue 3.

Mary  - This is impact results data upon which, in my opinion, we can all draw and quote to support the impact of all of our work. Not everyone has the capacity to undertake such extensive and authoritative research. 

Please note that we will be prompting and facilitating a dialogue on this research in The Communication Initiative's Early Child Development community of practice. We are very interested in your critique of this data and the methodology.

If you are not already a member, please do join the dialogue by accessing this link and choosing the "Early Child Development" network when you register (and other groups if they are of interest). If you are already a member and have forgotten your password, there is a password recovery system. 

With many thanks and best wishes - Warren

Warren Feek
Executive Director
The Communication Initiative


Facebook: The Communication Initiative Network

Jonas Himmelstrand: Universal daycare leaves Sweden’s children less educated

In March Rosemary Bennett, Social Affairs Correspondent, reported in the Times on a talk from Jonas Himmelstrand at the House of Commons hosted by the campaign group Mothers at Home Matter, in which he urged caution in following the Swedish family policy.  He says that 92% of Swedish children are in daycare from 18 months to 5 years and that, whilst it is difficult to prove, he feels increasingly negative outcomes in terms of psychosomatic disorders, emotional, behavioural disorders and under-achievement in school may be attributed to this.  This is an interesting addition to this complex debate.  We have explored the Swedish model of ECEC in chapter 11 and it has been held up as good practice for many years but, if Himmelstrand is right, it proves once again that there are no easy answers. 

My own view on this would be that Sweden does provide an excellent model for ECEC with the one proviso that this should still not be promoted above children spending as much time as is possible in the care of their parents.  It is unrealistic to suggest that every mother will stay at home until their child goes to school.  For many mothers and children this would not be the best situation as there is no 'one size fits all' - so, it is vital that we provide high quality ECEC whilst also preserving the option for a parent to stay home with their child where desired and possible.   There seems to me a clear and present danger that, as so often in the past. the different concerns and circumstances of different women debating these issues in the media and with government, will effectively cancel each other out.  The one 'banner' that I would like to see writ large above all the debates around ECEC is 'the best interests of the child' (not 'children'). This recognizes the individual needs of children and families and puts children at the centre rather than they become side-lined by practical, economic, feminist or party political agenda.  The following from Jonas Himmelstrand is from

While preparing for a trip to Canada, I have learned that many Canadians consider my country, Sweden, to be a model for good family policy. After all, Sweden has a universally accessible, government-funded daycare system, and a 2006 study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development ranked Sweden at the top and Canada at the bottom in childcare provision. Indeed, Swedish family policies are internationally admired, offering comprehensive and affordable daycare, gender equality and a high percentage of women in paid work. This, however, is only one half of the story.
True, parental leave in Sweden is a generous 16 months. There are no babies in daycare. But when parental leave ends, practically the reverse is true: A full 92% of all children aged 18 months to five years are in daycare. Parents pay only a symbolic amount for this; tax subsidies for daycare are $20,000 per child, annually. Swedish taxes are among the highest in the world, and the tax system was designed to make both parents seek employment in the work force.
Studies show that most Swedes also want the option of a home-care allowance for the first three to four years of their child’s life. The winning centre-right coalition in the 2006 Swedish national election made this promise. After the election, however, political compromises resulted in an allowance which was small, difficult to use and was not mandatory — local governments could decide whether or not to offer it. Only a third of Swedish municipalities chose to do so.
Then there are the questions about the social toll Sweden’s childcare system is taking. Sweden has offered a comprehensive daycare system since 1975; since the early ‘90s, negative outcomes for children and adolescents are on the rise in areas of health and behaviour. While direct causation has been difficult to prove, many Swedish health-care professionals point to the lack of parent involvement beyond the first 16 months as a primary contributing factor. Psychosomatic disorders and mild psychological problems are escalating among Swedish youth at a faster rate than in any of 11 comparable European countries. Such disorders have tripled among girls over the last 25 years. Education outcomes in Swedish schools have fallen from the top position 30 years ago, to merely average amongst OECD nations today. Behaviour problems in Swedish classrooms are among the worst in
This isn’t surprising. After a generation of inexperience, Swedish parenting abilities are deteriorating. A study sponsored by the European Union showed many middle-class parents lack the ability to set limits and sense their children’s needs.
Recently, Swedish public service radio investigated the state of Swedish daycares. Parents, psychologists and daycare staff expressed deep concern. In spite of high funding levels, group size and the child-to-adult ratio continue to increase. An experienced pre-school teacher recalls that in 1980 the group size for small children was 10 kids with four adults. For older children, that ratio was five kids per adult. But after the Swedish financial crisis 20 years ago, this changed. Today younger children face ratios of up to 17 kids to three adults and older children face ratios of up to 10 to one. Staff on sick leave are not replaced. “We can’t give quality care today,” one teacher reported. Only one person interviewed contended that Swedish daycare is still top quality — the Swedish Deputy Minister of Education, Nyamko Sabuni.
These problems are not caused by poverty or social distress. Sweden is materially rich, wealth is evenly distributed, child poverty is low, health care is practically free for all, social security is strong, life expectancy is high, infant mortality is the lowest in the world and Sweden has enjoyed peace since 1809. Instead these troubles run parallel with family policies that don’t allow parents sufficient time, energy and opportunity to build close and healthy relationships with their
Making childrearing a state responsibility has not proven to be a success. Put simply, parents are willing to sacrifice more for their children than any government where childcare is just one budgetary item among many. Canadians should carefully consider all of the available facts before looking to Sweden as a model for childcare.
National Post
  • Jonas Himmelstrand is an author and founder of The Mireja Institute ( He is speaking in Ottawa on May 5.

James Heckman: In early childhood education, ‘Quality really matters.’

James J. Heckman is the Henry Schultz Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago. He shared the 2000 Nobel for his work on correcting for selection biases when doing econometric studies, developing techniques which he applied to measuring everything from the economic effects of civil rights laws on African-Americans to the economic benefits (or lack thereof) of GEDs. Recently, he has done considerable work on early childhood education, including detailed studies of the Perry preschool experiment.

James Heckman famously stated and produced a graph to show that it was most cost effective for governments to spend money on education and care of children in the early years and in this interview at   in 2010 he re-confirms this saying:

Quality really matters. That’s been pretty well documented. I would argue Perry, which has been most thoroughly evaluated, is extensive. In terms of the return on investment, per dollar return, the annual return for what you’d get on a bond or some kind of fixed income, you would have a rate that was 6-10 percent per year, which is extremely high. So even though it costs something, it’s about the return is to society and to the individuals.
They are very good investments. They’re very comparable with stocks at the end of the second World War. Return was about 6.9 percent. Pretty comparable. It’s a range, because there are certain subjective elements. But that’s a very high rate of return and it’s far superior to a range of activities, compared to, say, Job Corps, where the return is negative. I’m an economist. I would talk about both the benefits and the costs. And if the benefits really outweigh the costs, I think that’s something very rare. So it’s a good investment.

This issue is again explored in the final section of the book and the HighScope Perry Pre-school research is explored in chapter 14.

I do not see much evidence from government at any level that his message regarding the economic importance of the education and care of very young children, is being recieved, understood or acted upon.  Do you?

Debate about ratios and qualifications in childcare settings

A few weeks ago there was a proposal to increase the ratio of children to carer in daycare settings.  Another 'wheeze' from the government purporting to be an improvement.  I sent the following to Michael Gove and similar to Stephen Twigg and Liz Truss:

Dear Sir,

I was interested to hear comments from Stephen Twigg, shadow for education, and discussion today on the proposed changes to childcare ratios.  I was glad to hear him challenging the proposals but rather disappointed that the argument seems, as usual, to be based solely on issues of cost and safety.  I feel he could and should be predicating his argument on what is best for children’s development and learning.  I would be interested to hear your own views on this matter as your voice was significantly absent from the debate on the news programmes earlier today.  There is a wealth of evidence now to support the fact that the human brain develops and children learn most quickly and significantly in the first 3 years of life.  This lays the foundations for life and again there is a wealth of research that tells us these early years are our best and most cost effective opportunity to intervene and try to ensure a positive outcome for any child.  For me, this is the strongest argument against increasing ratios. 

There is no evidence to suggest that allowing  a childminder to care for more children under five or for a nursery setting to take in more one and two year olds per member of staff will a) reduce costs for parents, b) reduce costs to the taxpayer, c) raise the quality of the care given.  It seems to be suggested that these greater numbers of children would be cared for by ‘better qualified’ staff.  It was suggested in the Tickell Review report that qualifications needed to be raised in the childcare sector but this ended up in the final report being watered down to a recommendation about basic standards of literacy.  We know, from our work in the field here in Scotland, how difficult it is to raise the level of qualification in a sector that is almost entirely staffed by women, many of whom lack basic qualifications as a starting point and many of whom are getting the minimum wage (or indeed less as they are 16 – 18 years old).   There was no suggestion in the news reports today that there was a concurrent proposal to fund further education and training for those working in the sector.   It is hard to see how this proposal will make childcare cost less for parents or increase pay for staff and it is very hard to see how it will increase the opportunities for the kind of quality interactions and play opportunities  that we know support very young children’s learning and development.

It would be good to hear politicians talking about what is in the best interests of children, as per the UN Convention and the Children’s Act, for a change, rather than simply costs and getting mothers back to work.  The suggestion that this would move in the direction of daycare provision in Sweden is utterly spurious.  In Sweden the state supports parents in a number of ways and children experience daycare in a family grouping providing consistency of care from more highly qualified, specifically trained and better paid staff.   I would direct you to the chapter in the book below written by my colleague and co-author Catriona McDonald who lived and worked in Sweden for 20 years, for a better understanding of the differences.  As I think I heard Stephen Twigg say today on the radio it is not possible to take one element of provision from another society and transport it to the UK where there is so much less support for parents.

Again, it would be good to see politicians drawing on the expertise of those working and studying in this sector, those with knowledge of other approaches and indeed on the research – much of which is carried out and published here in the UK.  You might usefully draw on evidence and initiatives here in Scotland (which might also support the ‘Better Together’ campaign), and I would direct you to Sir Harry Burns, Chief Medical Officer for Scotland, who again spoke powerfully just last week here in Aberdeen justifying a drive for better provision for our youngest children.   I hope discussions continue on this issue and trust that we will hear more about education and the best interests of the child in future.

These letters only elicited a standardised response from Michael Gove's office two weeks later and nothing from any other quarter but I was very pleased to see an article from Polly Toynbee at the time that  gave rise to some heated debate in the Guardian and then comments from Cathy Nutbrown last week, reported in the Guardian at: saying the following:

Vulnerable young children will suffer as a result of ministers' plans for reform of early years education, a government adviser has warned.
Prof Cathy Nutbrown denounced the government's plans to increase the number of toddlers nursery staff can look after as "nonsense".
Reducing the staff-to-child ratio will dilute the quality of experience the youngest children receive in nurseries, even if staff have better qualifications, she said.
She described plans for a new early years teacher (EYT) qualification as "insulting and misleading" because those obtaining the title will not be granted qualified teacher status putting them on a par with colleagues in primary schools.
Nutbrown, from Sheffield University's school of education, called for enhanced training and status for early years professionals in a government-commissioned report on childcare qualifications, published last year.
But she said it was clear that most of her recommendations had been rejected or watered down in the government's More Great Childcare proposals, unveiled in January by the education minister Liz Truss.
The Department for Education said that under its reforms only high-quality providers would be able to have additional flexibility and the reforms would bring the UK's preschool sector into line with France and Denmark.
The proposals envisage better training for nursery staff – including the EYT qualification – but also set out plans to increase the number of two-year-olds each adult can care for from four to six, and for under-twos from three to four.
A survey undertaken by the National Children's Bureau and published in full on Friday found that 95% of nursery, local authority and managerial staff working in childcare were concerned about the increasing ratios.
In an open letter, Nutbrown said: "Trading staff-child ratios for higher qualified staff is nonsense. Watering down ratios will threaten quality. Childcare may be cheaper but children will be footing the bill."
Setting out the results she expects from cutting staff numbers, she said: "The difference will be too few adults with too many little children; too few moments in the day for a toddler to have uninterrupted time with their key person, and too few early years practitioners to talk and work with parents.
"Who will suffer most? The youngest, most vulnerable children. Their parents, who will know that their little children will get less attention, less conversation, less holding, than they need.
"And with them, their early years practitioners who – though they may be well-qualified – are unable to provide the best that they can because they have had their greatest resource (their time for children) reduced."

She said policy mistakes would have knock-on effects for years to come, warning ministers: "Young children must not bear the costs of government getting this wrong."
Nutbrown said many nursery staff wrongly believed the EYT qualification would give them parity of status with school teachers.
"Yet again, those who work with younger children are offered a lesser status (and we should realistically anticipate, poorer pay and conditions that those who work with older children) but a title that makes them appear to have the same role and status," she said.
Commenting on Nutbrown's letter, Sharon Hodgson, the shadow children's minister, said: "The government's own expert adviser has echoed the concerns of parents and nursery staff that the quality of care for babies and toddlers is being undermined by this government."
She said David Cameron and the education secretary, Michael Gove, needed to "listen to Professor Nutbrown" and the government plans were "a serious threat to childcare quality and child safety".
"Experts say they won't do anything to drive down costs. Since these plans were announced, Labour has been calling on ministers to think again – it's time they listened," Hodgson said.
A Department for Education spokesman said: "Professor Nutbrown's review provided a valuable contribution to the development of our proposals for early education and childcare. We have taken forward several of her important recommendations but we recognise that reforms and improvement need to go much further if we are to give parents a proper choice of high quality childcare and early education.
"All the evidence shows that quality and safety are linked to high-quality staff. Our reforms mean that only high-quality providers will be able to have this additional flexibility.
"Our preliminary work suggests providers will be able to attract quality staff: using the new ratios could enable nurseries to pay staff up to £3,000 more per year.

May 9th - further comment on news media as Nick Clegg waded into debate with the view that this is unworkable and could be damaging.  Response from Liz Truss that 'it is about reducing costs which are too high'.  My response - yes we thought it was all about cost but it is unlikely to help in that respect either - certainly not cost to parents.  It may help government budgets by enabling more mothers to work and provide work for others in the care sector but the most likely outcome is reduced quality of care and more children in poor quality care for longer.  The long term outcomes of this for everyone are negative in every way - including financial.

Nick Clegg 'mauled' by stay at home Mum Laura Perrin

Nick Clegg has been accused of unfairly targeting "stay-at-home mums" by a caller to his weekly radio phone-in.
Laura, from south London, said the government was "discriminating" against traditional families with its new childcare scheme.
"You probably think what I do is a worthless job," the caller, who did not give her surname, told Mr Clegg.
Mr Clegg said the government's aim was to help parents who wanted to work but felt childcare costs were too hefty.
Only single parents and those families where both parents are in work will benefit from the new childcare voucher scheme announced by the government on Tuesday.
Parents will be able to claim back up to 20% of childcare costs every year - up to £1,200 for each child - when the scheme starts in autumn 2015.
The caller to Mr Clegg's LBC radio show, who has two children, claimed there was "absolutely no provision in the tax system for families like myself".
She told Mr Clegg child benefit had been "a fair way of recognising everybody's legitimate choice" either to go out to work or to "work inside the home".
"You've essentially abolished that for families like me and replaced it in some way with this which applies only to mums who go out to work," she added.
Mr Clegg replied: "Like everybody, I massively admire your choice.
"You should be entirely free and proud of the choices you make in your own life to look after your own children in the way that you want. I hope no politician would ever seek to judge you for that.
"This is all about what we can do in government to give people the greatest choice that they want and need in their own lives."
Mr Clegg also defended Wednesday's Budget, saying those who wanted to work and provide for their families were being helped most by the coalition.
He pointed out that petrol would be cheaper, basic rate taxpayers were benefiting from the £10,000 starting rate from next year and that employers would get a National Insurance break.
Mr Clegg claimed that the top 10% of earners were paying more as a result of the chancellor's decisions.

There are a number of links to this and it has given rise to much debate!  Have a look at:

The Mail reported after a follow up radio programme:
Presenter Nick Ferrari said Mrs Perrins, 32, had left him a message to say: ‘I would just ask him to look at the OECD report again and think about the impact that these policies are having on families up and down Britain.’
The Lib Dem leader, whose wife Miriam is a high-powered lawyer, floundered as he refused to discuss the figures and said it was not his job to judge parents’ decisions to stay at home.
He said: ‘I don’t want to get into all the number crunching on this. I don’t actually accept that a lot of the measures that we’ve taken are somehow penalising mums – or indeed dads – who take the totally admirable decision [to stay at home].
'I’m also a parent, I know these are incredibly important decisions about how you juggle work and family … these very kind of noble decisions that many, many parents have taken, to say no, for a few years or maybe permanently, they’re going to dedicate themselves to their children.’
The OECD study found the average UK family with one working parent and two children lost 27.9 per cent of their wages in tax in 2012, compared with 26.2 per cent in 2009, before the Coalition was elected.
The international average is 26.1 per cent.

This link below includes a number of comments:

What do you think?  How important is it for mothers (or fathers) to be at home in the early years?  Does legislation militate against parents not working?  Can we afford, in terms of the impact of poor early experiences on later outcomes, for more and more parents to work rather than care for their children?

A few weeks ago there was another related issue about increasing the ratio of children to carer in daycare settings which gave rise to a similar debate with many commenting that parents should have to pay the full cost of care for any children they 'choose' to have; pensioners were more in need; people looking after young children do not need high qualifications they just have to be 'kind', etc, etc.  Though there was also comments  supporting both the necessity for higher qualifications and cheaper childcare.

This debate is very much part of what we are exploring in the last section of the book.

Book published

Our book Early Childhood Education and Care is now published and available at the SAGE website 

We hope to see feedback and comments soon as well as on ongoing blogs.

Online Homework Help

It stands for a wider meaning that encompasses many activities inclusive of online assignments, tests, and more. Say for instance, it could be a topic that is given in the form of an assignment to be done at home. It could pertain to any subject right from literature, statistics, history, music, math, and more. Analyzing the homework and getting down to begin with the topic to write is going to take some time.

 With online homework help you are devoid of the task of having to search appropriate reference material, study the entire subject and then drill down to the real aspect of getting it worked out. Although, in a few instances, you might want to get the homework done with an interest of your own and that is going to work out well and make your task flow with ease. Nevertheless, if you are really unsure about how to do with it or finding alternative means of spending your time, then online homework help should sure come handy. All it takes is to get in touch with the website and let them and let online homework help websites know your assignment requirements.

Once that is delivered, there are experts to work out your homework and get it done within the prescribed timeframe. Online homework help services are becoming increasingly more common. However, it is important to always use these services without becoming overly dependent upon them, while still benefiting from their simplicity and convenience.

ECEA yearbook submission deadline extended

The deadline for submissions for the 3rd annual ECEA Yearbook is moved to March 17th at midnight. Questions?  Contact Carol Felderman at

Valuing Julia

Valuing Julia: A student teacher’s experience coming to know an English Language Learner through the use of a dialogue journal

Emily Douglass, Senior, Early Childhood Education
The University of South Carolina

Julia began her standardized reading test at 8:45 a.m. She finished 12 minutes later at 8:57 a.m., a test that took most of her classmates 60-90 minutes to complete. She scored the lowest out of all of her classmates. It was at this moment when I realized that this student, full of potential that had yet to be discovered, had already begun her plunge into the gaping cracks of our education system (Field Journal Entry, 9/14/12).

The previous observation took place while completing my second semester of student teaching in the fall semester of my senior year. The student, Julia, is a third grade female English Language Learner from Puerto Rico. From the beginning of my time in my Early Childhood Program at the University of South Carolina, I realized that English Language Learners and second language acquisition was something that I was very passionate about. After the previous observation, I quickly realized the growing disconnect between what we as educators expected Julia to know and how we actually helped her to learn those things in the classroom. The observations I made of Julia led me to think critically about how she was being supported as an English Language Learner in her school and classroom. I decided to ask the following question and conduct an Action Research Project in my student teaching classroom:  How can I effectively teach and support third grade English Language Learners to foster second language acquisition while allowing students to retain a positive sense of identity through the use of an interactive dialogue journal?

Connection to the Literature
The differences we have as human beings should be viewed as a viable asset to our learning, not a hindrance. Classrooms should be a place that children feel comfortable to be themselves. Children should be able to see themselves represented in all aspects of the curriculum. According to Eugene Garcia’s article ¡Ya Basta!: Challenging Restrictions on English Language Learners, “We will not get the education of these students right until we jettison the “English-only” ideology and implement policies and practices that respect their linguistic and cultural diversity and guarantee their civil rights and educational opportunities,” (Garcia, p. 50, 2011). Garcia (2011) states that we must stray away from the restrictive-language education environments where English Language Learners are discouraged and even shunned for speaking or reading in their native languages. According to Sarah Shin’s article Teaching English Language Learners: Recommendations for Early Childhood Educators, allowing children to read and write in their first language ultimately facilitates the child’s ability to read and write in English (Shin, 2010). “If at all possible, English learners should first be taught to read in the language they know best (their native language) while learning English. This is because it is difficult for children to read in a language that they don’t already speak,” (Shin, p. 14, 2010).

After reviewing important literature on how to best support English Language Learners, I chose to focus my attention on the use of one strategy in particular: the use of interactive dialogue journals. According to Joy Kreeft Peyton’s article Dialogue Journals: Interactive Writing To Develop Language and Literacy, “A dialogue journal is a written conversation in which a student and teacher communicate regularly (daily, weekly, etc., depending on the educational setting) over a semester, school year, or course. Students write as much as they choose and the teacher writes back regularly, responding to students' questions and comments, introducing new topics, or asking questions. The teacher is a participant in an ongoing, written conversation with the student, rather than an evaluator who corrects or comments on the student's writing,” (Peyton, 1993). By using interactive dialogue journals with English Language Learners, teachers are able to aid a student in practicing their English skills in a non-threatening manner. These journals act a place where students can freely write whatever they want without focusing on the mechanics of their writing (Peyton, 1993). The teacher’s responses in the journal act as a model for Standard American English usage (Peyton, 1993). “With non-literate students, there is no initial pressure to write. Students can begin by drawing pictures, with the teacher drawing pictures in reply, perhaps writing a few words underneath or labeling the pictures. The move to letters, words, and longer texts can be made when students feel ready,” (Peyton, 1993). The student mainly dictates the direction in which these dialogue journals lead and the teacher simply responds by making statements or asking questions. Shin (2010) also suggests incorporating an interactive dialogue journal into the classroom. “Done regularly, the dialogue journal encourages English learners to practice writing in English without overly worrying about mistakes, and to learn new vocabulary, grammar, spelling, and idioms that are the basis for further literacy development,” (Shin, p. 19, 2010). The use of interactive dialogue journals in a classroom provides another context for language and literacy development for English Language Learners.

I introduced this interactive dialogue journal to Julia on October 2, 2012. I explained to her that she and I would be writing back and forth to each other. I told her that she did not need to worry about spelling or using correct grammar when she writes to me. I explained to her that the main reason I wanted to do this with her is because I wanted her to practice writing and I wanted to learn more about her.

Research Findings
After the conclusion of my time in my classroom, I collected Julia’s interactive dialogue journal and I coded her writing for patterns. I looked for different patterns in her writing, which included things that drastically changed, things that slightly changed, and things that stayed relatively the same. I found three key patterns throughout her writing that drastically changed.
The first was penmanship improvement. I analyzed a work sample from Julia’s interactive dialogue journal on October 3, 2012, only the second day of this project. In this work sample, I took note of Julia’s illegible penmanship. Most of the words she had written were too light to even read. She also did not begin her writing against the left hand margin. In this work sample, her penmanship was very poor. I analyzed another work sample from October 12, 2012. I used this work sample as a comparison piece to the previous work sample. In the second work sample, Julia’s penmanship had drastically improved. All of her words are legible. They are neat and her letter formation demonstrates that of a third grader. Her writing also begins up against the left hand margin. Julia’s penmanship continued to improve throughout her interactive dialogue journal.
Quantity of Writing
The second major improvement I observed in Julia’s writing was the amount of writing she was producing. I analyzed a work sample from October 4, 2012, two days after our project began. In the work sample, I have written to Julia at the top of the paper and she has responded to me near the bottom. She has only written six lines of writing. I used a comparison work sample from October 17, 2012 where I observed an enormous increase in her amount of writing. In the second work sample, Julia has filled an entire page with her writing. Her writing begins on the first line of the page and ends on the last line. Julia’s amount of writing continued to increase from this point on.
Descriptive Language
The final key pattern I found in Julia’s interactive dialogue journal was her use of descriptive language. I analyzed a work sample from October 2, 2012, the first day of Julia’s interactive dialogue journal. In this work sample, I have written to Julia and asked her to write me a few words or phrases in Spanish, her native language. She returned the journal to me with eight sentences written in Spanish. I asked her to translate them to me and what I realized was Julia had written commands that she would typically hear her mother say to her and her brother and sisters. This was an interesting finding because during that time in our classroom, we were discussing commands. It was fascinating to see how Julia incorporated the current curriculum into her interactive dialogue journal in her native language. I also analyzed a work sample from November 1, 2012 in which Julia used scientific language to describe her ecosystem project. She used words such as biotic and abiotic to describe the insects and materials in her ecosystem. She also described the process we used to build the ecosystem. This use of scientific language is astounding coming from a student who did not have the firmest grasp on the English language. We spent approximately three weeks discussing our ecosystem projects and to see Julia incorporate this project into her interactive dialogue journal, made me realize that this project can incorporate all aspects of the curriculum and can be integrated throughout the entire day. I fully believe that this interactive dialogue journal helped Julia become more comfortable with writing, reading, and speaking English.

I believe that my action research findings directly correlate with the literature I reviewed for my project. “We will not get the education of these students right until we jettison the “English-only” ideology and implement policies and practices that respect their linguistic and cultural diversity and guarantee their civil rights and educational opportunities,” (Garcia, p. 50, 2011). I removed the English-only ideology from this project and replaced it with a safe haven for writing. A place where Julia could write about whatever she wanted without focusing on the mechanics of writing in whatever language she wanted. From this, Julia delivered writing that was free from fear, pure, and authentic. She became excited about writing and asked me if she could write in “our journal” whenever she had free time. She became more adventurous with her writing topics and she demonstrated confidence in her word and sentence choices. She understood that she could write about whatever she wanted and she would not be penalized or chastised because of misspelled words or improper grammar. I believe that Julia felt valued during this project and that made her even more comfortable to write without fear.

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