Associate Dean Harper-Whalen Strengthens Ties to Early Childhood Education in China

Associate Dean Harper-Whalen in China
Photo (l to r): Professor Zhao, Retired Professor Zhu, Associate Dean Susan Harper-Whalen, and Professor Zongshun Zhu

Susan Harper-Whalen, the associate dean of the Phyllis J. Washington College of Education & Human Sciences, was recently invited as a guest of the Hangzhou College of Preschool Teacher Education, Zhejiang Normal University, and the Zhejiang Early Childhood Education Research Association. Associate Dean Harper-Whalen’s visit and presentations were facilitated by Dr. Zongshun Zhu, associate dean and professor at the Hangzhou College of Preschool Teacher Education, who was a visiting scholar in the College of Education & Human Sciences during the 2015-2016 academic year.

While in China, Associate Dean Harper-Whalen provided two presentations, one for undergraduate and graduate students in Early Childhood Education at the Hangzhou College of Preschool Teacher Education and another at the 2016 Zhejiang Early Childhood Education Research Association Conference for regional early childhood faculty and students. Her presentation, titled Early Childhood Standards and Practices in Montana: A focus on access and quality was made in response to emerging national and state imperatives, providing an overview of initiatives in Montana designed to improve access to quality early childhood education programs for our youngest and most vulnerable populations. The development and content of Montana’s Early Childhood Education (P-3) standards and the design process used to develop and align UM’s Early Childhood Education (P-3) teacher preparation programs with rigorous standards were also highlighted. Participants also had the opportunity to discuss the future of early childhood education in our countries and to identify overlapping areas of advancement and needs that can be addressed through ongoing collaboration.