According to Heymann (2003), the results of several studies that have been conducted in several countries show that preschool education is critical in the development of the social, cognitive and emotional aspects of an individual (p. 1). To ensure that future generations are sustainable, it is thus important to ensure that this concept is implemented in both developed and developing countries. In reaction to this, UNESCO named the years 2005 to 2014 as the decade for sustainable education. To achieve the goals and objectives that have been set for this decade, studies on early childhood education have been conducted in various countries. This paper reviews three studies that were conducted in Germany, Netherlands and the USA, their similarities and differences and the contributions that they have on my current research.
This synthesis matrix used three documents to compare and contrast the essence of early childhood education. This is one of the main projects that are being carried out by UNESCO. These three documents present the case studies of three different countries and the efforts that they have put in place to ensure that early education is recognized. The first document focused on early childhood development and care policies that should be applied in Holland.
The second document focused on giving kindergarten students an opportunity of achieving sustainable development through the provision of early education in Germany. The third document focused on the provision of equal education opportunities to all children in the United States. This section of the document will focus on the conceptual frameworks of all these different case studies, their purposes and findings, their research designs and subjects and methods.
The conceptual framework of the study that was conducted in the Netherlands focused on the impacts of early childhood development and care policy on enriching the lives of the children in the 21st century (The Hague, 2000). From the results of the study, favorable policies should be formulated and put into practice. This will ensure that all children in the country have access to high-quality childhood education and care regardless of their ethnic backgrounds. This will assist in the development of their cognitive, emotional and social characteristics.
As a result, the chances of them being successful in the future and living in sustainable societies will be increased. The conceptual framework of the study that was conducted in Germany focused on the provision of quality education to kindergarten students as a measure of ensuring education for sustainable development in the country. The German government understands that it is essential to provide high-quality education to the individuals during their early years (German Commission for UNESCO, 2010). That is why the German Ministry of Education has strived on employing qualified personnel in the education sector.
From studies that have been conducted, such individuals end up performing better academically. As a result, they stand a high chance of being successful individuals in the future. The final document focused on the concept of equality in early education in the United States (Calman, 2005). This study was conducted because children from different backgrounds access different quality of education. As a result, those children from well off families get the best education that the society can offer while those children from lower-class families get low-quality education. This study thus aimed at formulating a system where all the students get a high-quality education. This will ensure that they all stand an equal opportunity at present and in the future.
The purpose of the study that was conducted in the Netherlands was to gather information from all around the country that will assist in the formulation of policies that will improve the state of childhood education in the country (The Hague, 2000). This is because the Netherlands contains a diverse population of children who come from different cultures and backgrounds. Due to this fact, it is important to have proper policies and institutional frameworks that ensure that every child in the country gets proper care and education during his/her early years.
The purpose of the review that was carried out in Germany was to provide children in kindergartens with values, capabilities, knowledge, and skills that will enable them to be viable and responsible individuals in the future. According to the article, this goal can only be achieved if the education system of the country is modified to allow kindergarten students to have high-quality education (German Commission for UNESCO, 2010). Finally, the purpose of the study that was conducted in the USA was to provide equitable education to all children. This will assist in the building and development of their cognitive, emotional and social aspects of their lives. As a result, these children will have a strong base that will increase their chances of being successful individuals in the future.
The three studies had a relatively similar research design with a few differences here and there. The review that was conducted at the Netherlands focused on the children who were between the ages of 0-6 years as its target group. It critically analyzed the relationship between ethnicity (especially for minority ethnic groups) and the acquisition of quality education. It also focused on the factors that affected the formulation of early childhood education policies and how they could be influenced to improve the quality of childhood care and education to meet the goals and objectives of the study.
The study that was conducted in Germany focused on kindergarten students. Through interviews and observations, it tried to identify means through which sustainable childhood education can be implemented to kindergarten students to ensure that they become viable individuals in the future. The study that was conducted in the USA aimed at combining research and experience to provide high-quality childhood education. Like the other studies, it focused on young children.
To achieve the desired results, qualitative methods of research were used in all the studies. They were all successful since the results that were arrived at were useful in the formulation of policies and strategies that were used to achieve the set goals and objectives. The studies were also similar since they had a similar target group; they all focused on young children. The context of these studies was also similar since it aimed at providing quality childhood education. This will ensure that children receive a quality education that will improve their cognitive, emotional and social status hence guaranteeing a sustainable upcoming generation sustainable (Heymann, 2003).
These three case studies have brought out the main concerns about childhood education that had been identified by UNESCO. They have laid a lot of emphasis on the need if quality childhood care and education. This can be achieved through the formulation of policies that have to be implemented by qualified personnel. However, these studies aimed at identifying the need for improved childhood care and education. They did not focus on means through which this concept can be developed and expanded. These studies did not also consider the contribution of school directors and state officials in ensuring the development of childhood education. The shortcomings will be addressed as the following research questions in my study:
- What is the relationship between school culture and the academic achievement of students?
- What are the rules and regulations of the state with regards to the UNESCO’s initiative of Education for All?
Calman, J. (2005). Early Childhood Education for All: A Wise Investment. Arizona: M.I.T Working Center.
German Commission for UNESCO. (2010). Delivering future capacity in the kindergarten: giving children a stronger role, advancing sustainable development. Bonn: German Commission for UNESCO.
Heymann, J. (2003). UNESCO Policy Brief on Early Childhood: Role of Early Childhood Care and Education in Ensuring Equal Opportunity. Harvard: Harvard University Press.
The Hague. (2000). Early Childhood Education and Care Policy in the Netherlands. Hague: Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports.