International perspectives on early childhood education: Lessons from my travels

Lilian G. Katz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Noting that working with early childhood colleagues in other countries can be enlightening and enriching, this paper offers seven insights gained from the experience: (1) "What It Feels Like To Be a Teacher" discusses observations of student and teacher behavior and attitudes in classrooms in China, a Caribbean island, and India; (2) "Similarities across Countries" notes that teachers' roles may be more powerful determinants of their ideas, ideals, ideologies, concerns, and beliefs than are the larger political, social, and cultural contexts in which they work; (3) "Problems with Comparative Studies" discusses the difficulties inherent in comparing educational provisions and effectiveness across countries; (4) "The Spread of Ideas across Borders" discusses the influence of the British Infant School approach in the 1960s and 1970s, the influence of the innovative province-wide reform work of British Columbia, Canada, in the 1980s, and most recently the influence of the Reggio Emilia approach; (5) "Issues Unique to the U.S." explores interests that appear of concern only in the United States, such as the development of self-esteem in children; (6) "Self-criticism in the U.S." discusses one American habit - self-deprecation; and (7) "U.S. Leadership in Anti-bias and Multicultural Awareness" notes that the United States deserves a great deal of credit for leadership in addressing anti-bias and multicultural issues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)88-98
Number of pages11
JournalEarly Childhood Research and Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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