Coll: Kindergarten and preschool developments in Europe and North America

Un colloque se tiendra du 10 au 12 octobre 2013 à Hildesheim sur le thème « Kindergarten and preschool developments in Europe and North America – a historical and comparative approach to institutional change »

Campus Domäne Marienburg House 50 (‚High House‘) Rooms 302 and 202 Domänenstraße 31141 Hildesheim, Germany

There are considerable international differences in the timing of the historical development of kindergartens and preschools as well as in the ways such systems of public child care for the three- to six-year-olds have been conceptualised and organised. Why is this so? The theme of this conference is an analysis of the spread of kindergartens and preschools in Western Europe and the USA from an historical-institutional and comparative perspective, with the purpose of discovering commonalities and differences in paths of development and of explaining why some countries came to be pioneers and others remained laggards in this field. This undertaking is based on former research in which the theoretical framework for the research was developed and a number of national reports were presented. The present project differs from the bulk of the scholarly literature on kindergartens/preschools in three respects. It is : first, interdisciplinary, bringing together sociologists, historians, pedagogists, experts in social policy, lawyers and economists; second, comparative, in that each contribution compares between developments in different countries or between developmental differences within the same country; and third, focused on the longue durée, taking account of developments since the nineteenth century.


Thursday, 10 October 2013

  • 13.00 Arrival and welcome
  • 13.30 Kirsten Scheiwe and Harry Willekens, Introduction to the purposes and main questions of the conference

Part 1: Comparative country studies

  • 14.00 Harry Willekens, Comparing the “pioneers” Belgium and France and a supposed laggard, the Netherlands
  • 14.25 Frank Simon, Comment on Willekens
  • 14.35 Discussion
  • 15.00-15.20 Break
  • 15.20 Angelo Gaudio, Preschool in Italy: a national tradition of institutional and ideological pluralism
  • 15.45 Carmen Sanchidrian Blanco, Early childhood education, the State and the Church in Spain: a history of different goals, paths and models
  • 16.10 Eva Hohnerlein, Comment on Gaudio and Sanchidrian Blanco
  • 16.20 Discussion
  • 17.05-17.20 Break
  • 17.20-18.00 Discussion of the publication project

Friday, 11 October 2013

Part 1: Comparative country studies (continued)

  • 9.00 Susanne Wiborg, Different paths of late development in the Scandinavian countries
  • 9.25 Arnlaug Leira, The child care transition in Scandinavia – the changing focus of policy reform: Children, families, care, education and employment
  • 9.50 Annette Borchorst, Comment on Wiborg and Leira
  • 10.00 Discussion
  • 10.45 Break
  • 11.00 Kristen Nawrotzki, Two countries, one movement? Intermediaries, experts and change in early childhood education in England and the USA, 1850-1920
  • 11.25 Larry Prochner, Kindergarten and the New Education Movement in Canada and the United States: a cross-national perspective
  • 11.50 Adrienne Chambon, Canadian early childhood education debates about citizenship education and social work, and transnational influences from the US and the UK (1900-1935)
  • 12.15 Discussion
  • 13.15 Lunch

Part 2: Movements and ideas and their influence upon the kindergarten institution over time

  • 14.15 Jean-Noël Luc, The spread of kindergarten models in Europe in the course of the nineteenth century
  • 14.40 Franz-Michael Konrad, Theories of preschool education and their realisation: the examples of Friedrich Fröbel and Maria Montessori in Germany and Switzerland
  • 15.05 Discussion
  • 15.45 Break
  • 16.00 Meike Baader, The intersection between the German women’s and kindergarten movements in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries
  • 16.25 Chiara Bertone, The claims of the women’s movement on preschools in Italy and Denmark
  • 16.50 Arianna Lazzari, Comment on Baader and Bertone
  • 17.00-17.45 Discussion
  • 19.30 Conference dinner

Saturday, 12 October 2013

  • Part 3: Kindergarten/preschool as part of the welfare state and/or the school system
  • 9.00 Sonya Michel, Preschool, child care and welfare reform in the US
  • 9.25 Annette Henninger, Comment on Michel
  • 9.35 Discussion
  • 10.00 Karen Hagemann, Comparing time policies of childcare and schooling in Eastern and Western Europe, 1945-1989
  • 10.30 Discussion
  • 10.50 Break
  • 11.10 Janneke Plantenga, A welfare economist’s view on differential preschool developments
  • 11.35 Discussion
  • 11.55 Helen Penn, How the private market has been constructed in early education and child care: a comparative perspective
  • 12.20 Discussion
  • 12.40-13.00 Concluding discussion

Scientific directors: Prof. Dr. Kirsten Scheiwe, Prof. Harry Willekens
Sabine Laus
Institut für Sozial- und Organisationspädagogik
Marienburger Platz 22
D-31141 Hildesheim
laus [at]

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