School of Education Hosts Japanese Students

Kurashiki City College Students Studying Early Childhood Education

The University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Education is hosting a group of students and a dean from Japan’s Kurashiki City College, studying theories and practices of Early Childhood Education.

The group of six undergraduate students, accompanied by Dean and Professor Reito Adachi, Ph.D., are attending the School of Education’s first International Summer Institute in Early Childhood Education through Aug. 13.

This short-term study program is designed to widen and strengthen participants’ views on theories and practices of early childhood education through their hands-on experiences at UMKC; improve participants’ cross-cultural understanding by providing opportunities to interact with people of different cultures; and foster the development of friendship and cooperation between the SOE and KCC. Participating students will have the opportunity to conduct extensive observations and hands-on activities at early learning and childcare programs, including the SOE’s own Edgar L. and Rheta A. Berkley Child and Family Development Center.

Officials from Kurashiki, a sister city of Kansas City since 1972, had long been looking for new ways to connect to the higher education institutions in the Kansas City area. Initial conversations with the UMKC SOE began in 2013, with a visit by Dean Adachi and Francis Lemery, the Honorary Consul General of Japan, which included a tour of the Berkley Center for Dean Adachi and others by Center director Polly Prendergast.

While in Kansas City, in addition to their studies, the visiting students will enjoy a dinner at the Lemery family home in Prairie Village, a Kansas City Royals game and a lunch and Kansas City tour with the Heart of America Japan-America Society.

Chris Timmerman, assistant dean of student services and enrollment management, and Continuing and Professional Education director Micheal Strohschein, Ph.D., put together the Summer Institute; Maggie Holley, Ph.D., from the SOE’s division of Curriculum and Instructional Leadership, and Karrie Snider, Ph.D., of the UMKC Institute for Human Development, will serve as faculty for the visiting students.

Kurashiki City College is a city-run college in Okayama Prefecture founded in 1968. The school is fully accredited and offers degrees at the associate and bachelor levels. The college emphasizes individualized learning and is rich “in the fields of child culture and special education.”

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