Son explores early childhood education in new book

March 13, 2017
Wonim Son

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. – How can parents and teachers help children grow and develop to their full potential? Dr. Wonim Son, associate professor of early childhood education at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, explored this question as well as various educational theories and a repertoire of teaching strategies related to early childhood education in her Korean book, “Early Childhood Education in America: Dr. Wonim Son’s Practical Experiences and Coaching for Parenting,” published by New People, a Korean publisher, in December 2016.  

The book provides the rationale of adult modeling and offers specific strategies to help parents and teachers support children. Son used practical experiences and examples taken from daily life to explain a variety of learning theories and teaching methods for parents and teachers as well as humor and wit to explain current issues and hot topics in the early childhood area.

Son wrote weekly columns for two years for the Korea Daily Newspaper in Chicago, Illinois, and compiled the articles into the book for parents and teachers. She also added all of the English titles in the table of contents of the book and incorporated many educational terms in English for a better understanding of the concepts.

“I believe that the book will be very beneficial for parents and teachers in Korean communities, both in America and in South Korea,” said Son. “Even though it was very challenging for me to write a column on a regular basis, in the end it was a very rewarding experience.”  

Son said that nowadays, the importance of early education is recognized more than ever and research has provided scientific evidence that early education and intervention help to build the human brain’s solid network. “Parents and teachers should provide opportunities for children to lay the foundations for their later learning and achievement both at home and at school,” Son said. “Adults need to scaffold children’s whole development through sensory learning and lots of unstructured play.”

The book contains many important topics regarding human’s growth and development. Some themes include theory of mind, morality, creativity, positive psychology, parent-teacher partnerships, reading and play. Son addressed her teaching philosophy, knowledge and skills through sharing her own teaching and parenting experiences.

Son said the writing of the book gave her an opportunity to research a wide range of established and novel literature in liberal arts and education, which she believes led to better instruction in her classes and allowed her to provide a plethora of information to her students. “I love sharing my research and writing with my students for their 21st century learning,” she said.

Son began teaching at UW-Platteville in September 2005 and has taught a variety of graduate and undergraduate courses. Furthermore, she supervises early childhood student teachers and teaches a continuing education course related to the UW-Platteville Early Childhood conference.

Son earned a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Education from Sungshin Women’s University in Seoul, Korea; ABD from Korea University in Seoul, Korea; and Ph.D. from Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Indiana. Her research interests include multiculturalism, second language acquisition theory, values in children’s literature and professional development.

Written by: Laurie A. Hamer, Communications Specialist, College of Liberal Arts and Education, 608-342-6191, hamerl@uwplatt.edu

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