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NMSU's College of Education making connections in China

Candace Kaye, a member of the graduate faculty in the New Mexico State University College of Education, will add her voice to an international discussion on professional development for teachers Oct. 25-27 in Shanghai, China.

Kaye was invited to present at the Second International Forum on Teacher Education.

"This conversation will be about building communities," Kaye said. "We may have different political constructs, but all countries are still seeking to prepare teachers and to educate the next generation of children. I am eager to learn from my colleagues."

Kaye's presentation will discuss building online communities using constructivist theory, which she defines as "everyone having a right to construct their own meaning based on connecting new knowledge with their own experiences." The presentation will include case studies from her research, recent research on adult learning models and an overview on how to design and evaluate quality online professional development in a technology-driven world.

"We need to be having conversations about how to make teachers' personal experiences applicable, about how to connect their classrooms to their continued learning," she said. "A lot of nations are doing so much with online technology today. Online programs allow for many voices and more robust content, especially when you can add international perspectives."

This is especially important to Kaye's work at NMSU. She joined the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in January and has been tasked with developing an online early childhood doctoral program to start in fall 2007.

"I would really like to see this new NMSU program incorporate an international perspective," she said.

During her trip, Kaye also will be a part of the delegation to six universities in Wuhan and three in Beijing including Beijing Normal University. This is a reciprocal visit to China as a result of an April visit to NMSU by a delegation from China. NMSU will be signing cooperative agreements with Wuhan University and Beijing Normal University.

"I will be part of the NMSU supporters for both signings." Kaye said. "I will meet with early childhood education faculty, students and children at Beijing Normal University to discuss our work together in the future, including research collaboration and offering the early childhood graduate program to qualified faculty and students."

Kaye came to NMSU from California State University, Long Beach, where she was the early childhood graduate program director. She has a background in Asian relations. After finishing a joint doctoral program at Claremont University and San Diego State University, she served as an embassy consultant and conducted training on early childhood education in Beijing and Ulan Baatar, Mongolia.

The forum in Shanghai is sponsored by the International Center of Teacher Education at East China Normal University, the Chinese National Commission for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Network of International Education and Values Education.

Oct. 6, 2006
Julie M. Hughes