On Monday, I was invited by Ebru Aktan Kerem, an early childhood teacher/researcher at Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart Üniversitesi (in Turkey), to visit Çocuklar Evi, or Children’s House. Ebru’s innovative research contributes to a wonderful, university-based school for children, ages 3-6, and a site for learning for teachers and researchers.
The Principal, Derya Bedir, and the teachers use persona dolls to help develop understanding across differences. They promote art, music, science, and healthy interaction in the spirit of Reggio Emilia or the University (of Illinois) Primary School.
Some visitors apparently observe for an hour, have tea, and then leave. They come away with a rich picture of an outstanding school. But I was captivated by the children and the creative activities led by the teachers. I hope I didn’t overstay my welcome. I joined in on the Turkish songs and taught the children “Skidamarinkadinkadink.” They helped me with my Turkish. One activity led to another, then lunch, and then interesting art projects after lunch. I kept up reasonably well, but was reminded that preschool children can get up and down much faster than I can!
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