February 18, 2009
The School of Education’s
Extraordinary Graduate Study-Abroad Program in Early Childhood
Education Offering 12 Scholarships; Apply Now
Once again this summer, St. John’s University is offering educators
the unique opportunity to study the highly regarded Italian
approach to Early Childhood Education, inclusive of the widely
acclaimed Reggio Emilia program that emphasizes immersion in the
creative and performing arts.
This is the fourth consecutive year that St. John’s School of
Education is offering this extraordinary 3-credit study-abroad
program, and is making available scholarships that provide support
for students and St. John’s faculty to engage in collaborative
research and study in the beautiful northern Italian city of
Brescia. The scholarships—this year a record 12 full-tuition
scholarships are being offered—are generously funded by an endowment
established by University benefactor Josephine M. Pacini.
The week-long graduate program is designed for experienced
childhood and early childhood educators and administrators who hold
a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in Elementary/Early Childhood
Education or a related field from an accredited university. This
year’s program, scheduled for June 27-July 5, is also open to St.
John’s alumni and staff, and to others interested in participating
without credit (a maximum of four will be accepted depending on
Because Brescia has a rich legacy of history and art, it is the
optimal location for students to learn about Italian methods and
approaches to preschool education from the experts and to network
with practitioners. “Italy is one of the world’s most admired
countries for its exemplary educational programs for young
children,” notes Associate Professor
Grace Ibanez-Friedman, Ed.D., a supporter of the program who
accompanied the students to Brescia for the past three years.
School of Education Dean Jerrold
Ross, Ph.D., notes that, "This program, the only one of its
kind in the world, unites a highly popular graduate course of study
of American early childhood practices with a unique international
approach that provides very young children with an academic and
aesthetic experience guaranteeing their success in school."
“The richness of art in Italian culture has a profound influence in
early childhood education,” says Associate Professor
Smita Guha, Ph.D., an early-childhood educator who has
accompanied the students to Brescia each year and is again making
the trip this year . She will be joined by Dr. Angelo Gimondo, a
retired superintendent of District 30 in Queens and former New York
City Coordinator of the Arts who is also a native of Italy. Dr.
Gimondo has acted as cultural guide and facilitator for the group
since the program’s inception in 2006.
Hosted by the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart of Milan at
its Brescia campus, and by La Scuola Publishing Company and the
municipality of Brescia, the program has pre-travel requirements,
including introductory seminars and online discussions on critical
areas related to the course. Once they arrive in Italy, in addition
to their classroom work, the group will make field visits to early
childhood sites and visit Reggio Emilia’s children’s museum and the
International Children’s Center for the Arts in Rezzato.
The educators will again be staying at Centro Paolo VI, a former
monastery and now a retreat and hotel complex that presently holds
the archives of Pope Paul VI. (The late Pontiff was a native of
Brescia and a member of one of the city’s most prominent families.)
El Centro is within walking distance of the university, and near
the center of Brescia's incredible antiquities.
The cost of three graduate credits for academic year Summer 2009
through Spring 2010 will be set by March 2009. Tuition for the
academic year Summer 2008 through Spring 2009 in the School of
Education was $865 per credit or $2,595 for three credits. Program
costs also include a program fee of $2,900; airfare is the
responsibility of participants and is estimated to be $1,200
roundtrip to Italy.
applications is March 6, 2009. For more information about this
program, contact Dr. Guha at email@example.com or (718)
990-2454 or the Department at (718) 990-2664/5644.