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Swedish Educators Visit Brooklyn College to Talk Universal Pre-k

May 21, 2014

Swedish Professor Monica Nilsson. 

A group of educators from Sweden recently visited Brooklyn College to discuss their nation’s approach to early childhood education. Monica Nilsson, a professor of preschool didactics at Jönköping University in Jönköping, Sweden, and three preschool teachers—Jeanette Thure, Elin Johansson, and Anna-Karin Grandqvist—stayed for a week in which they presented to early childhood and art education students as well as to doctoral students and professors at the CUNY Graduate Center. 

Universal pre-k has become a white hot issue in New York City since Mayor Bill deBlasio proposed increasing taxes to widen access to preschool. Sweden is internationally lauded for having a comprehensive, publicly-funded early childhood education system.

Beth Ferholt, an assistant professor in the early childhood and art education program, said many of the teachers, professors, and student teachers who attended the presentations were inspired.

"What the Swedish teachers and professors showed us of their work in Swedish preschools revitalized our vision of preschools, which are based in respect for preschool teachers, for children and the belief that democracy itself can be nurtured and strengthened through work with young children," Ferholt said.

The visitors’ capstone event was a presentation in the college’s student center that attracted teachers and education professors from all over New York City.  

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