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College of Human Ecology

Early childhood teachers from China to visit KSU, Flint Hills

Monday, October 18, 2010

Bronwyn Fees is determined to plant Kansas in the hearts and minds of Chinese preschoolers. How? By putting on a show for 24 early childhood teachers and faculty at South China Normal University from China.

The teachers arrive on Friday, Oct. 29, and will experience Stone House Early Childhood Education Center on campus, kindergarten classrooms at Amanda Arnold Elementary School and Head Start in Manhattan and a special seminar featuring K-State professors.

Fees’ agenda encompasses more than academia in the heart of America.

The teachers will visit a ranch, dine at historic Hayes House in Council Grove, lunch at the Union, dine at the historic Pizza Hut in Aggieville and tour a mall, a grocery store and a “typical American home.”

“When a group of us went to China, we were taken to a Chinese home,” said Fees, associate professor in family studies and human services.

Fees, Hoover visited Chinese preschools

She and LuAnn Hoover, instructor in family studies and human services, have been planning the cross-cultural visit since they visited China in 2009. They were invited to speak at the first Sino-American conference on early childhood education in Guangzhou, hosted by South China Normal.

This summer, Fees returned to conduct research on home environments for motor development of pre-school children with Dr. Fuming Zheng, early childhood education professor from the university. She spoke at the 2010 Child and Family Conference on raising a healthy child at Beijing Normal University at Zhuhai.

While in China, she also visited kindergartens at South China Normal in Guangzhou and Zhuhai and met with staff at the Harvard China Educational Institute in Beijing.

Teachers to present to K-Staters

The October exchange will feature a presentation on Early Childhood Education and Families in China by Zheng and two directors from the kindergarten affiliated with South China Normal on Monday, Nov. 1.

“The teachers will attend a seminar where our faculty will cover topics such as developmentally appropriate practices during early childhood and exceptional behaviors and autism,” Fees said. “But we want them to get a feel for state, too. This will be the first trip to the United States for most of them.”

They will be offered a glimpse of Flint Hills ranch life at Dean Virginia and Tom Moxley’s place in Morris County: an historic ranch house, cutting horse demonstration, horseback rides and information on grassland management.

The Nov. 1 presentation will be 1 to 3 p.m. in the Little Theatre at the K-State Union. It is open to the K-State community and sponsored by family studies and human services. A reception will follow.

The group leaves Kansas on Tuesday, Nov. 2

This article was posted on Monday, October 18, 2010, and is filed under College News, Family Studies & Human Services.