International System Comparison

As part of the seminar “International System Comparison”, ten students of the Master’s programme “Early Childhood Education Research” developed criteria that can be used to compare different countries concerning early education. The criteria can be subdivided into seven categories: Structural data of the country, Structural data of early childhood care options, Social and country-specific aspects, Understanding of quality, Educator data, Structure and system of early childhood care, and Curriculum and quality control. A total of 49 criteria fall under these seven categories. The criteria were drafted jointly in the plenary based on interests and continuously expanded, summarised, adapted and revised during the seminar.

The choice of countries was also based purely on the student’s interest. Each student researched all the criteria for one country in particular so that a comparison of the countries was possible. An attempt was made to represent as many continents and cultures as possible. The countries selected by the students are Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Thailand, Japan, Iceland, Tanzania, France and Finland. The lecturer also researched the countries Germany and South America. This was followed by results presentations and discussions on country-specific and general questions about early education.

Problems and difficulties in the research were also discussed. Since the understanding and system of early education in some countries differs significantly from that in Germany and the literature is very limited in some places, gaps sometimes arise. In the end, however, the aim of the seminar, to compare the systems of early education in selected countries, was well achieved, and various impressions and results emerged.

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