Childhood Education Innovations

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Childhood Education: Innovations provides unique, stimulating information about educational programs around the world. Articles explore solutions to specific challenges affecting schools, teachers, and learners and showcase the most recent ideas and innovations being developed and implemented to address those challenges. Readers will find inspiration and guidance for transforming education to better serve children and society. Published 6 times a year, CE Innovations provides a window into the work being done to bring quality, equitable education to all children.

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November/December 2021



“Mobile Creches: Innovating for Inclusive and Quality Early Childhood Development Programs”
Mobile Creches (MC), a non-profit non-governmental organization based in Delhi, India, pursues the mission to ensure all young children, especially the most vulnerable children, have access to the benefits of early childhood development programs. MC originated in 1969 to support the early development of children of migrant workers, whose basic human rights were being violated by their lack of access to quality early education. MC opened its first crèche at the Gandhi Darshan construction site in Rajghat, New Delhi. After setting up crèches at many other construction sites for migrant workers, MC spread out to cater to children in Delhi’s slums. Since then, the wheels have continued to turn for MC’s vision to build an ecosystem of happy and healthy childhoods. Over the last 52 years, MC emerged as a service provider, trainer, advocate, and campaigner in the field of early childhood development (ECD).

“Thriving Despite Adversity: Positive Youth Development in Violent Contexts”
The Northern Triangle of Central America faces many challenges, including violence and crime. Young people are the most common victims as well as perpetrators of violence, especially gang-related violence. That is why Glasswing International is committed to providing children, adolescents, and youth with tools to prevent violence and opportunities to help them and their communities thrive. Glasswing International is a non-profit organization that was founded in El Salvador in 2007 to address the root causes and consequences of violence and poverty through education and health programs that empower youth and communities, and strengthen public systems. Today, Glasswing works in 10 countries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. Since its inception, it has impacted more than 398,000 participants through its education interventions, whose main effects are reflected in young people’s relationships, self-esteem, and academic performance.

Learning Through Shared Human Wisdom”
To create a positive and accessible environment in which to build positive life narratives, every student must be able to see people around them as a source of inspira­tion and learning. Only when we identify value in those around us can we truly shape our classrooms as the world and learn beyond the textbooks. Project FUEL, “Forward the Understanding of Every Life Lesson,” methodology rests on the principle of documenting life lessons emerging out of authentic personal or social experiences. This collective learning is used to design an interactive program for training and teaching purposes, using creative arts tools, performance and interactive workshops, art-based community initiatives, and digital content.

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“The Magic of Teaching and Learning”
CE International recently had the opportunity to connect with Tomás Ó Ruairc, the CEO of the Teaching Council of Ireland. His work at the Teaching Council represents a remarkable intersection of community, creativity, and professional standards that is capturing the attention of the OECD and European Union. In this issue, we share highlights from a conversation between Tomás and Diane Whitehead, CEO at CE International.


“Integrated Learning in Elementary Arts Education: Promising Possibilities”
Arts integration is a valuable curriculum strategy as it merges arts disciplines with other subject areas in order to open up new ways of experiencing or gaining knowledge. Through a combination of a generous endowment and legislative appropriations, Utah elementary schools have the op­portunity to employ arts specialists through the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program. The program is designed to provide arts education to elementary-age students through a collaboration between art spe­cialists and classroom teachers.

“A/r/tographic Assemblages: Inspiration From Child Art in the Grič Tunnel”
A/r/tography, a disposition that emerged in the early 2000s, entangles and performs an assemblage of objects, ideas, and structures that move in dynamic motion to create new understandings. A/r/tography has a flexible architecture—it is a research methodology, a creative practice, and a performative pedagogy that lives in liminal betweenness. The between spaces disrupt dueling binaries and conceptions of identities and offer new positions from which to embark. These qualities extend to the body of children’s art and art practice to initiate a conver­sation about new ways to approach early childhood education in the visual arts.

Are Networks Our Missing Superpower for Education Around the World?”
This article explores networks as a way to equal the playing field for young people who aren’t born into situations where they are surrounded by people they can consult for inspiration, advice, and guidance (such as many of their advantaged counterparts do); amplify the voice of teachers and students, so that education policy and perceptions about education and the teaching profession are informed not only by elite politicians and journalists, but also by those doing the job; and enable good ideas and innovation to spread more quickly between schools and organizations.


“Engaging Learners Across the Globe: Fun and Education Global Network”
Kenneth Monjero started routine online zoom classes with his children and those of a few friends and colleagues. These sessions eventually morphed into today’s Fun and Education Global Network (FEGNe), which focuses on the informal educational sector—a missing feature in the African education system. During the sessions, children learn about empathy, backyard gardening, hygiene, engineering, immunity, and all there was to know about the COVID-19 pandemic. By June 2020, FEGNe had attracted learners, parents, teachers, and other individuals (including scientists, scholars, engineers, and ambassadors) from across the globe. The young learners (presently numbering 300), between 7 and 14 years of age, hail from the United States, Kenya, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Zambia, Ghana, the Netherlands, Ireland, India, and Uganda.

Fostering Soft Skills: Habitat Youth Leaders”
Habitat Youth Leaders, a student-founded and -run organization, provides accessible, practical, and free core-skill education opportunities to youth. Since our inception in 2020, we have been particularly focused on educating children on soft skills such as problem-solving, leadership, and critical thinking, as well as life skills such as email writing, basic financial literacy, and public speaking. It is important to cultivate these skills in children from a very young age so that they stick with them throughout their lives, and foster their curiosity.

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“Sinking or Floating: An Inquiry-Based STEM Activity for Children”
Using the 5E learning cycle as the inquiry process, this article describes how to help children (specifically here children in kindergarten through 3rd grade) actively engage in an inquiry-driven STEM activity in the classroom. The experiment reported here uses steel wire, a material that floats rather than sinks in the water, to achieve an outcome that may surprise and intrigue children. With the steel wire activity, children have fun as they cognitively engage in resolving the challenge using STEM.


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