Workshop aims to unify programs for childhood teachers

By Christine Ader

Unifying the goals of different college programs which train childhood teachers will be the theme of a workshop conducted by NIU professor Billie Thomas at an education conference in Chicago.

Billie Thomas, associate professor of the department of Curriculum and Instruction, has been selected to conduct a workshop on the subject of “Collaboration Among Colleges in Illinois” during the annual conference of the Chicago Association for the Education of Young Children, (CAEYC) Feb. 19 to 21 at the Palmer House Hotel.

CAEYC is an educational organization which has over 1,100 members from day care and pre-school professional fields. It is affiliated with the National Association for the Education of Young Children, with a local affiliate in DeKalb.

“Difficult Times/Difficult Questions,” the theme of the conference, relates to relevant decisions being made about childhood education programs and funding, Thomas said. The conference will discuss these issues with various professionals in the field.

Betty Hutchison, dean of the Human Service Institution at the Chicago City-Wide College, is collaborating with Thomas on the workshop. She believes it is very important to get faculty from two- and four-year institutions who are involved in childhood education programs to communicate better with each other.

“We need to get together in terms of efforts and general goals. We can’t be isolated and we need to have an understanding of a student’s background, especially if he transfers from a two- to a four-year school,” Hutchison said.