Symposium: Research in Early Childhood Education and Social Pedagogy – 13th & 14th June 2014 at Alanus University in Germany


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This is a call for papers and save-the-date alert for an Early Years and Social Pedagogy symposium organized by Alanus University of Arts and Social Sciences and the University of Applied Sciences of Mönchengladbach, in cooperation with Crossfields Institute. The event will begin at approx 5pm on the 13th June 2014, and will end on the evening of the 14th June. The venue will be the Alanus campus in Alfter, Villestrasse 3, Germany ( The main language is English. Both universities are running BA courses in early childhood education and are keen to explore fresh research perspectives in dialogue with early childhood training programs in the UK.

The general aim of the symposium is to nurture constructive dialogue and exchange between different approaches in early years education and social pedagogy. This includes for example Montessori, Steiner, Pickler and ‘mainstream’ approaches. The question behind the symposium is how more dialogue and exchange between the different approaches can help to deepen understanding and practice in the critical early years field as well as in social pedagogy.

The symposium will consist of short paper presentations and key-note lectures focusing on key aspects of theory and practice. This will serve as the basis for general discussion about dialogue and exchange between the different methods. If you would like to submit an abstract for a paper, please do so by 20th of May 2014 by sending it to

Detailed information about the event will be circulated shortly. For general information please contact

This symposium is organized by:

Prof. Dr. Marcelo da Veiga and Prof. Dr. Janne Fengler from Alanus University of Arts and Social Sciences, Alfter (near Bonn), Germany.
Prof. Dr. Peter Schäfer from Hochschule Niederrhein, University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Applied Social Sciences, Mönchengladbach, Germany.
In cooperation with Crossfields Institute, Stroud, UK.

Montessori St. Nicholas

We are very pleased to have been asked by Montessori St. Nicholas (MCI International) to develop two Montessori teacher training programmes (Level 3 & 4) based on the Montessori approach. For further information on Maria Montessori, her unique approach to Early Years education and training programmes please go to their website

The O-level question

The O-level, or Ordinary Level, was introduced as part of British educational reform in the 1950’s in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, with the accompanying, and more academically rigorous, A-level (Advanced Level) also being introduced at the same time. In 1988 O-levels were replaced with GCSE exams. Education Secretary Michael Gove has now told MPs that England’s exam system needs further changes amid reports of plans to return to O-level style exams. After details were leaked to the Daily Mail he was summoned to the Commons to answer urgent questions.

Is bringing back O-levels a good idea? Read on…