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April 23, 2014
By Rachel Sielaff, media relations assistant
Dr. Koeun Kim, assistant professor in Northwest Missouri State University’s Department of Professional Education, received the American Educational Research Association’s (AERA) Critical Perspectives in Early Childhood Education Special Interest Group (CPECE SIG) Dissertation Award during the association’s annual meeting April 4 in Philadelphia.
Kim received the award for her dissertation, titled “Schooling the Child: The Making of Students, Teachers and Preschool.” Her research focused on three interrelated issues: new school meanings created in early childhood programs, the construction of young children as school students, and the challenges and opportunities early childhood teachers face.
“It is truly an honor that my work is recognized by AERA,” Kim said. “It motivates me to continue to do research on early childhood education.”
Kim believes the ability of teachers to critically reflect on their taken-for-granted assumptions, beliefs, theories and practices in terms of their ethical, social and political implications is one quality that leads to teaching success.
“It is my goal to provide pre-service teachers supportive scaffolding for learning the process of reflection,” Kim said. “I believe that creating a safe, trustful community of learners between a teacher and students and among students themselves is the most important step I should take.”
Kim, who came to Northwest last fall from Madison, Wis., has worked as a preschool and kindergarten teacher in Korea and the United States. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in early childhood education at Ewha Woman’s University in Seoul, Korea, and earned a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction with a specialization in early childhood education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she also obtained her doctorate degree.
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