Category Archives: Week 5

Conflict: A Personal Experience

Conflict, O’Hair and Wiemann (2012) say, “is inevitable” (p. 220).  It is something that cannot be avoided within a relationship, and sometimes it cannot even be resolved. Between you and me, no matter how much conflict is unavoidable, I still try with all of my might to steer clear of it. However, no matter how much I try to avoid it, conflict still manages to find me on a regular basis. Here’s a just one example of a recent conflict I encountered …


{background information} Before I share my story, I just wanted to give you a bit of an explanation to help you understand this situation a bit better. My friend, Tony, and I have been friends for years. Sure, we’ve had our ups and downs, but no matter what, we have truly been there for each other. Tony is a bit older than me, but I enjoy hearing his life stories and gleaning from his experience and wisdom he shares with me. Our age difference does not really affect our friendship, however we do hail from two different technology eras. I grew up with technology  and mastered how to use a smart phone, along with text messaging. Tony, on the other hand, has not dealt with much technology, including computers, smart phones, or text messaging. In fact, he just recently upgraded to an iPhone within the past year. I enjoy teaching him how to operate these different tools of technology, and we have been able to engage in regular text messaging over the past year.

{my recent conflict encounter} So, I have been dealing with a rough couple of days that has left me feeling quite down and miserable. On the way to the gym this morning, Tony had texted me, asking if I had slept OK (since I haven’t been sleeping well). I responded back with, “Somewhat yes, but I hate feeling miserable.” Tony, being his normal, positive self, replied with “Well, we all hate feeling miserable.” This comment didn’t sit well with me, as I wasn’t really in the mood to hear how everyone else relates to feeling miserable. I shared with Tony how that comment didn’t really sit well with me.  He was a bit confused, and said “All I said was that everyone hates feeling miserable. What’s wrong with that?” At this point in time, Tony left for about 30-45 minutes (without giving me any prior warning). Tony is notoriously known for doing this. He will start a conversation with me (through text messaging), ask a question, and then go do something else for about 45 minutes. Perhaps I shouldn’t be picky, but this really bothers me. If we were in the middle of a conversation face-to-face, would he just walk away for 45 minutes? No, not likely.

When Tony finally returned and texted back, I was getting angry. I shot my responses back to him like fire, expressing how much I dislike when he leaves a conversation. Tony just couldn’t understand why I was making such a big fuss about it, saying: I would have gotten back to you. He shared with me that he doesn’t see text messaging as a way to have an important conversation, but rather it is just to share short messages. I explained how I place an importance on any conversation I have with Tony, be it in person, over the phone, or through text messaging. Tony replied back, explaining that when he grew up, he just talked to a person if it was important, while I grew up with text messaging. I responded back with a weak “ok” and took a break from texting for a while.

I wish the story ended here, but our rising argument continued in a few hours … Once I calmed down, I texted back Tony about something random. Tony immediately pointed out how he didn’t get upset that I took a while to respond and that he just waited. Well, this was the straw that broke the camel’s back. My blood was boiling at this point, as I was extremely frustrated that he pointed how he handled text messaging better than I did. I managed to text the words, “I’m done. I’m walking away, and I’m done.” Our conversation turned heated, as I angrily told Tony that I was tired of him always pointing out how he does things differently than I do and how he is always seeing things through his own perspective. He shot back with frustrated remarks that I need to see things through other’s perspectives too. I couldn’t handle the conversation anymore, so I enjoyed one nice feature of text messaging: I just stopped responding. I refuse to engage in any contact with Tony, and I withdrew from the conversation; I stonewalled (O’Hair & Wiemann, 2012).


So, I guess O’Hair and Wiemann (2012) were right: conflict is unavoidable. It will track you down, even when you try to escape it. Despite being inevitable, conflict can produce positive results. It’s just a matter of how one handles conflict and utilizes different strategies to resolve the problem. Let’s take my above situation, and apply a few conflict management strategies that could help resolve the issue more effectively.

  • Rather than constantly exchanging negative remarks, we could use the strategy of giving “five positive statements for every one negative” (O’Hair & Wiemann, 2012, p. 232). {for example} When Tony and I shift our focus from looking at the negative to incorporating more positive, our conflict may begin to dwindle down, as we would be able to see the good aspects in our friendship.
  • We could engage in the cooperative strategy of steering clear of personal attacks and remaining focused on the primary issue. This would “benefit the relationship, serve mutual rather than individual goals, and strive to produce solutions that benefit both parties” (O’Hair & Wiemann, 2012, p. 237).  {for example} During our conflict, Tony and I could both agree to focus on the primary issue of Tony not texting for 45 minutes during a conversation. We could work to just resolve this issue, rather than throwing in past experiences with this issue or other negative faults.
  • We could find a compromise. Through this strategy, both Tony and I would be giving up a little to gain a bit in return. This can help us find a quick solution to our conflict (O’Hair & Wiemann, 2012). {for example} Tony could agree to text within a period of 15 minutes, and I could agree not to get frustrated or upset during the 15 minute period.
  • We could employ different Nonviolent Communication Skills, including:
    – Separating our feelings from our thoughts – This will help both Tony and I refrain from “judgment, criticism, or blame/punishment” (The Center for Nonviolent Communication, n.d.)
    -Being clear and concise about what we both want and make requests, not demands – This will help both Tony and I to be aware of what each other’s desires within this conversation, as well as for the potential outcome (The Center for Nonviolent Communication, n.d.).
    {for example} Tony and I would speak what our thoughts our in regards to the issue, rather than strongly voicing our feelings. In addition, I could be clear about my desire to have him respond back in a timely manner, and he could be concise about his wishes to respond back when he has a chance.
  • We could take the Third Side approach, which will help us see both perspectives, listen “to see from multiple vantage points” (The Third Side, n.d.), and speak in a way that will address both of our needs and wants. Through this strategy, we would be able to reach an “inclusive outcome that addresses the essential needs of all” (The Third Side, n.d.). {for example} Both Tony and I could take time to see each other’s perspectives, which will enable us to reach a resolution that satisfies us both.


So, this is where you come in. I outlined several strategies on how I think I could handle this conflict (which has yet to be resolved), however they all stem from my own experiences and knowledge. I am curious what you have learned in regards to conflict management and resolution. Perhaps you have gained an insight that I did not, or maybe you have a different perspective or additional information about one of the strategies I mentioned. What is some advice you have in regards to resolving the conflict I have shared? In addition, how have you learned to be more effective communicator when it comes to conflict resolution skills? Do you have any additional information or insights to share about communication and conflict management?

O’Hair, D., & Wiemann, M. (2012). Real communication: An introduction. New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s.

The Center for Nonviolent Communication. (n.d.). The center for nonviolent communication. Retrieved from

The Third Side. (n.d.). The third side. Retrieved from


Posted by on August 3, 2013 in Communication, Week 5


Research Around the World

As we continue our journey towards becoming critical consumers of research, we have begun the process of research simulation. I am learning by leaps and bounds about the process of research and how it relates to both my personal and professional life. I have even surprised myself by bringing in specific terminology to conversations with others. For example,

This week at work, we were discussing how certain things in life were more subjective, rather than objective. I was able to offer my opinions and insights based on learning the background meanings of the words subjectivity and objectivity. Towards the end of the conversation, an individual piped up and commented on how I was introducing “big” words into the topic at hand. I beamed proudly, stating that I had learned it in grad school.

Getting back on track now … as I have begun to undertake this research simulation and started the design process, it is important to not get too narrowly focused that I miss other research happenings around me. In light of our blog assignment this week, I took a few moments (ok, perhaps a few hours) to explore the international research efforts of early childhood education. While each website was phenomenal, I opted to dive into the Sub-Saharan African portal of the Early Childhood Development Virtual University. I was fascinated by the amount of information presented and the wealth of research efforts that were occurring on this continent.

currentresearchWhile there were about 25 different reports about the research efforts occurring within the Sub-Saharan area, there were three particular research endeavors that captured my attention and taught me more about the intricate process of research.

  • Improvement to Quality of Childcare through Enriching Parents and Professionals
        * Habtom, A. (2004) *See references for proper APA citation*eritrea
    This research effort intended to improve the quality of development and learning for children in the country of Eritrea through increasing parent enrichment and properly training the professionals. When the parents are placed at the forefront of education, it runs smoothly and effectively. Without this support from the parents (and the surrounding community), any early childhood education interventions will be unsuccessful. Therefore, this study worked to strengthen the skills, knowledge, and abilities of parents of young children to increase quality in childcare. Furthermore, it also desired to properly train professionals to work with parents and empower them with these necessary skills. With these two components working simultaneously, the impact and quality of the development and learning of children should improve.  The results from the project found that parent enrichment needs to be paired with other programs and support systems to reach optimal performance. In addition, when the professionals are properly trained, it will become cost efficient (Habtom, 2004). To read more about this exciting research study, click here for the full article.
  • Implementing a Curriculum for Teacher Education at a Higher Educational Level
         * Sebatane, E (2003)  *See references for proper APA citation*
    lesotho_maseruThe researcher of this study advocated that the country of Lesotho needed to implement a curriculum that properly trained pre-service teachers and equipped them with a certification upon the completion of the program. The country of Lesotho currently does not uphold a standardized training program for teachers-in-training, which leaves gaps and creates questions in regards to the level of quality in education. This project combined surveys, interviews, and discussions of a small group of professionals to determine their level of knowledge and education. The results founded that there was a lack of knowledge and skills among these teachers, especially in regards to the specific knowledge of child development. Therefore, the discussions and conclusion urged for a standardized curriculum for pre-service teachers that emphasizes child development and learning, which will prepare these professionals with the appropriate levels of knowledge and skills to provide high quality education and care (Sebatane, 2003). To read the full article of this research effort, please click here.
  • Assessing the Interaction and Stimulation between Single Mothers and Their Children in Low-Income Families
        Matola, C.E. (2004)  *See references for proper APA citation*
    Malawi-Afrika_map_jpgThis research project examined the correlation between single mothers from low-income families and the interaction with their children in the country of Malawi. The literature review in the beginning emphasized the importance of positive simulation and interaction between parents and their children. If this is missing, the development of the brain and learning could be impaired. Through a combination of interviews and observations, the researcher discovered that the childcare among this group of children was significantly poor due to multiple factors, like economic hardships, lack of a fatherly role and his support, insufficient knowledge about child development, and long working hours. As a result, the children are at a heightened risk for malnutrition, poor development, and impaired learning. Based upon these findings, the research project suggested several recommendations to increase the holistic development of children, which included providing financial assistance, educating mothers about the importance of interaction and child development, and implementing policies that will ensure good childhood health and well-being for this targeted population (Matola, 2004). If you desire to read more about this research study, please click here.

newideasAfter reading about these specific research efforts that are occurring internationally, I gained several new insights, pieces of information, and facts about early childhood. In no particular order, they are as follows:

  • Research studies should be culturally sensitive and considerate of the community surroundings.
    Reading through the first research article, I was astounded to discover how much of a role the community actually has. In addition, the research process should be respectful and considerate of the surrounding culturally influences. This new piece of information in regards to research enlightened me and challenged me to go back through my research simulation, incorporating cultural and community considerations.
  • The holistic development of children is a desire and ambition of early childhood professionals and researchers worldwide.
    In every research article I read, these exact words were written somewhere within the body: “holistic development.” While a research project may specifically focus on an aspect or topic in early childhood education, the underlying aim is to improve the holistic development of children. This intention is not just evident in the United States or another country, but rather can be found interlaced throughout research and programs worldwide. This new insight kindled my passion, as I was able to see that fellow professionals and researchers seem to have the same deep desire as I do, which is to address the holistic development of children.
  • Research studies have limitations.
    While this may not be a new fact in and of itself, I was able to identify clearly how a research study has limitations. For example, at least two of the three articles described above had a limited sample population under thirty. From our main text book, I recall that to get reliable, statistic results, the sampling population should be at least 30 (Siraj-Blatchford, 2010, p. 230). Since there was such a low sampling population, I could see how the results would probably not be able to be generalized to a larger area or the whole early childhood population. The limitations were also noted near the end of the article, which reinforced my initial wonderings as I read through the sampling methods. This new fact helped me to be more aware that my research simulation will have limitations, however it will still lead to new discoveries and findings.
  • Interviews and observations were frequently used.
    As I read through the data collection methods of the above articles, I took careful note to see which ones were chosen. Much to my surprise, I discovered that interviews and observations were frequently used. This lead me to the new insight that perhaps these two methods are most appropriate for early childhood educational research. My pondering will continue, as I learn more about research in this field and the preferred data method collections.

noteworthyAlright, you’ve made it this far. Rather than droning on for another page about the fascinating discoveries of the Sub-Saharan portal on the Early Childhood Development Virtual University, I will bullet point some of the noteworthy information I found:

  • Different approaches to the curriculum are described, which include an ecological approach, a multicultural approach, and a cohort driven approach
  • The description and impact of the University is listed in a PDF form. This is a fabulous document that outlines an overview of the university, as well as the internal and external impacts it has.
  • Country reports for 10 countries within the Sub-Saharan region are listed, outlining in-depth details and statistics about the data of children, women, and families in that specific country.
  • All of the participants in the program are listed with a short biography. Those included are the students, faculty, staff, advisers, and funders.
  • External links are provided to access the overarching Early Childhood Development University, which is based out of the University of Victoria in Canada.

To access this website and to learn more about the above information, please click here.

referencesEarly Childhood Development Virtual University (ECDVU). (2005). ECDVU Sub-Saharan Africa: Mission statement. Retrieved from

Habtom, A. (2004). Improving the quality of childcare through parenting enrichment and training of Trainers: The Eritrean model. University of Maryland, Maryland. Retrieved from    f

Matola, C.E. (2004). Assessment of interaction and stimulation in single-mother low-income familes. University of Victoria, Canada. Retrieved from

Sebatane, E. (2003). Developong an ECCD teacher training curriculum in Lesotho as part of a college education program. University of Victoria, Canada. Retrieved from

Siraj-Blatchford, J. (2010). Surveys and questionnaires: An evaluative case study. In G. Naughton, S. Rolfe, & I. Siraj-Blatchford (Eds.). Doing early childhood research: International perspectives on theory and practice (2nd ed.) (pp. 223-238). New York, NY: Mcgraw-Hill.


Getting to Know Your International Contacts – Part 2

Despite numerous attempts to contact international early childhood educators through different outlets, I have received little correspondence back. I sent out over 50 emails to various international early childhood professionals and organizations, but I didn’t receive anything in return. Therefore, I turned to the popular social media resource of Facebook. I discovered two different international organizations and sent emails to both of them. I was elated when I received a response back from both of them. However, although I sent emails with this week’s inquiry, I have not heard anything back. Hence, I have turned once again to the alternative assignment of listening to the World Forum Radio, discovering new insights from two pod casts.

Meridas Eka Yora, Yayasan Fajar Hidayah Foundation  radio_yora
(click here to listen)

Meridas Yora is the founder of an institution for Islamic education and currently serves as the director of an organization that runs boarding schools for children who were left orphaned as a result of the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami in Aceh, located in the southern tip of Indonesia. With more than 130,000 children left without families, Mr. Yora worked with others to create three different boarding schools for these young lives. Since many of them witnessed the death of their parents and/or families, the traumatic event still runs deep for many children. Therefore. Mr. Yora spoke about the fact that this foundation zones in  on the teachers and provides them specialized training when they work with these children. Before academics, these teachers must take on the role of mother and father to help ease the hurt and to promote healing. In the beginning of the program, there was a time set up each night for the teachers to sit with the children as they wept. Overall, the organization helps to promote a family-like environment for the orphaned children. Many of the older ones have begun to watch out for the younger ones, acting as if they are brothers and sisters. For those children who really struggle months later with this trauma, Mr. Yora and his wife treats them like they are their own children, which helps with a more normal life (Yora, 2010).

After listening to Mr. Yora pod cast, I was encouraged to hear about the proactive work that is occurring in Indonesia for those children who began orphans within minutes. I learned that it is important to set up a firm family foundation for children before attempting to focus on academics. Without that family support, children will not be able to reach optimal success. Mr. Yora was aware of this by encouraging the teachers to take on the role of like a mother and father before even doing academics. As these children heal and feel a family environment once again, learning will become a positive experience. Mr. Yora also gave me the insight that children who have been traumatized need additional support and help if learning and development is going to be a positive experience. Without this extra support, these children will not be able to succeed to the best that they could.

radio_chehabMaysoun Chehab, Beirut,Lebanon
(Click here to listen)

Maysoun Chehab serves as the Regional Early Childhood Care & Development Program Coordinator for Arab Resource Collective, a non-governmental program in Beirut, Lebanon. This organization works with “EDC practioners, policymakers, and ACD community ,,, to raise awareness about early childhood development and child’s rights” (Chehab, 2009). In additional to making various resources available for parents, caregivers, and the community about issues relating to early childhood development, Ms. Chehab also trains early childhood professionals about best practices, Ms. Chehab spoke highly about a recent a psychological support project that targeted children and families affected by the 2006 Lebanon war. Although only 33 days long, this war destroyed about 126 primary schools, impacting hundreds of children and families. This support project brought in training for parents about the emotional and social reactions that children would have from a post-conflict situation. In addition, this project focused on a lengthy training for mothers, fathers, and teachers about coping techniques and strategies, which left these individuals feeling more competent to hand the children’s reactions. This is aimed to provide support for the adults, for “if adults aren’t supported themselves, they can’t support young children” (Chehab, 2009).

Listening to Ms. Chehab’s pod cast, I learned how important it is to support the families and adults who are in direct contact with children on a regular basis. In early childhood education, we sometimes get tunnel-visioned on the academics and development of the child, easily forgetting to support the adults within that child’s life. Ms. Chehab taught me that if these adults don’t have support, then they can’t truly guide those children. Without this support for young children, optimal success will not be achieved. Therefore, as I continue throughout my educational journey, I now have the heightened awareness that I need to support not only children, but their families as well.

In addition to attempting to contact Ms. Allen and Ms. Mitchell from my previous post (dated 1/26/13), I also sent emails out to Mr. Yora and Ms. Chehab to gain further insight and knowledge about the programs they work with. Although emails were sent out to all four pod cast speakers, I have not heard back from any of them. Follow-up emails will be sent in hopes of receiving a response. In the meantime though, I explored the “Global Children’s Initiative” on the Center of Developing Child (Harvard University) website. Listed below are several bits of information and insights I gleaned from this website.




The Global Children’s Initiative is an “international approach to child survival, health, and development” (Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, 2012). Through joining together numerous disciplines and institutions, this Initiative is attempting to address the needs of all children, as well as advocating for an investment in “the root of economic productivity, positive health outcomes, and strong civil society in all nations” (Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, 2012). It focuses on three main areas:

  • influencing high-end policymakers
  • supporting various projects and research
  • creating leadership “capacity in a child development research and policy” (Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, 2012).

Based upon these three areas, there are numerous activities being created that fall into one of these three categories:

  • early childhood development
  • child mental health
  • children in crisis and conflict situations (Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, 2012)

After reading thoroughly about this international initiative, I gained several new insights about child development and the field of early childhood education:

Early childhood education requires many players from numerous fields for ideal success, quality, and effectiveness. 

  • While the knowledge and hard work from teachers directly influences children and their families, there are many sources that play indirect roles in the world of early childhood education. Without these participants, the success of early learning would not have reached the level it has today. The Global Children’s Initiative works with a variety of people, ranging from researchers to public leaders. Through this multi-level collaborative effort, early childhood education is able to reach children and families through quality education and care. Without this collaboration, I can now see how this field wouldn’t advance.

Teacher professional development needs to increase throughout the world, not just in the United States.

  • Throughout this course, I have been learning about the dire need to increase the teacher quality through the United States. I primarily assumed that other leading nations were not affected by this issue. However, after reading through this Initiative and the projects that are occurring in Chile to “improve teacher professional development” (Center for the Developing Child at Harvard University, 2012), I was able to see that this is a international issue that all early childhood programs need to continuously work to improve the teacher education. In addition to advocating for higher teacher education in the United States, I am now challenge to advocate for this issue internationally.

Child mental health is a huge issue that is often undermined.

  • Child mental health is a “massively under-addressed issue that has significant implications for broader health and development of children and societies” (Center for the Developing Child at Harvard University, 2012). This statement really caught my attention, as I have been so focused on the learning and development of children that I failed to acknowledge that child mental health needs to be addressed.My eyes were really opened to this issue, as more and more children around the world are being exposed to negative situations that could lead to an impacted mental health status. Rather than placing such an emphasis on academics, we need to take a step back and address the child holistically, looking at every developmental domain. Through doing this, educators will be more aware of the need for assessing a child’s mental health status. This new insight has encouraged me to incorporate more holistic assessments for children, in order for them to reach their optimal level of success.

To continue to read about the Global Children’s Initiative, please click here.

Overall, this assignment taught me a lot about the direct and indirect sources that affect a child’s learning and development. It was a refreshing assignment that made me more aware of the collaboration that takes place in early childhood education to help produce quality and effective early learning and care.


Center for the Developing Child at Harvard University. (2012). Global children’s initiative. Retrieved from

Chehab, M. (2009, November 13). Episode 4: Maysoun Chehab. World Forum Radio. Podcast Retrieved from

Yora, M. (2010, January 6). Episode 6: Meridas Yora. World Forum Radio. Podcast Retrieved from


Posted by on February 9, 2013 in International Contacts, Week 5


Early Childhood Education Resources

Resources from Walden University – Foundations of Early Chilhood

Positional Statements and Influential Practices

Global Support for Children’s Rights and Well-Being

Selected Early Childhood Organizations

Selected Professional Journals

  • YC Young Children
  • Childhood
  • Journal of Child & Family Studies
  • Child Study Journal
  • Multicultural Education
  • Early Childhood Education Journal
  • Journal of Early Childhood Research
  • International Journal of Early Childhood
  • Early Childhood Research Quarterly
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Social Studies
  • Maternal & Child Health Journal
  • International Journal of Early Years Education

Additional Early Childhood Resources (Simply click on images to be directed to correlating websites)

Early Learning Standards:




Curriculum and Lesson Plan Ideas, Resources, and Suggestions:

          An excellent magazine chalked full of ideas, songs, activities, and theme units

Activity Idea Place- preschool lesson plans
An great website for any early childhood education looking for lesson plan ideas

Child Development, Data, and Research

              Stay up-to-date with current resarch and data treads in education

Inspiration Quotes from Early Childhood Contributors

Get inspired by reading through some of these fabulous quotes from notable early childhood contributors

Informational Books Pertaining to Development, Theories, and Teaching Strategies

Rethinkinkg Early Childhood Education
Editted by Ann Pelo





Special Education and Early Intervention Resources

A great resource for educators, parents, and families with children who have special needs





 Foundations of Assessment in Early Childhood Special Education
by Effie Kritikos, Phyllis LeDosquet, and Mark Melton


Early Intervention Games: Fun, Joyful Ways to Develop Social and Motor
Skills in Children with Autism Spectrum or Sensory Processing Disorders
by Barbara Sher





The Early Intervention Guidebook for Families and Professionals: Partnering for Success
by Bonnie Keilty

Outstanding Contributors to Education

 Maria Montessori
Developed the Montessory education theory which is used currently in public and private schools





Howard Gardner
Developed the theory that people learn using multiple intelligence


Watch a brief media clip on Mr. Gardner explaining his theory:


Posted by on July 28, 2012 in Early Childhood Resources, Week 5