Investing in Education: Early Childhood (Poverty-) Prevention

Thursday, 17. October 2013 | 9:15 Uhr


Margrit Stamm


University Fribourg


In her presentation, Professor Emeritus Margrit Stamm of the University of Fribourg examined the question of whether it is worthwhile to invest in early childhood education. Great hopes are associated with early childhood education: it can make a decisive contribution to social justice and poverty prevention. Based on the theory that early childhood education can fulfill such great hopes under certain conditions, a comprehensive support system, however, is by far not sufficient. She compared the current situation in Switzerland in a comparative international perspective and showed empirical and economic findings on the effectiveness of early childhood education programs.
Building on this foundation, in a third part she worked out those critical points that determined the success of the promotion of early childhood education in terms of its contribution to an equitable society and to the prevention of poverty.
With a view to this theory, three alternatives should be considered: “First, a resource-oriented instead of the previous, exclusively loss-oriented look at families with a minority background. Second, a critical revision of the concept of the young child’s ‘self-education’. Third, the focus must be placed on the changes in the subjective attitude patterns of educational professionals.” In all of this, it is also important how parents deal with their children. The development of those children who are already regularly stimulated and encouraged by their parents before entering school greatly differs from that of those who receive less encouragement.

Margrit Stamm

Professor em. at the University of Fribourg (CH). Starting October 2012 Director of the Swiss Institute for Educational Issues in Bern (SWISSEducation); Researcher in international educational research in several countries. Visiting professor at universities in Switzerland and abroad.

Until 2011 member of member of the Council of the “Eidgenössisches Institut für Berufsbildung” (EHB); president of the department of educational sciences at University of Fribourg (CH). 2011-2012 director of the Leading House «Quality of vocational training»; founder and head of the Center «Early education Fribourg ZeFF», member of the board of trustees FORS (Swiss Centre Of Expertise in the Social Sciences) until September 2012.

From 1992 to 2005: teacher at the universities of Zurich and Bern as well as at the nowadays “Pädagogische Hochschule Nordwestschweiz”. 1994 foundation of the “Institut für Bildungs- und Forschungsfragen” in Aarau; director until 2004. Expert in the “Eidgenössische Fachhochschulkommission”; member of the Council of the “Eidgenössisches Institut für Berufsbildung” (EHB); member of the 2007-2009 president of the inter-faculty commission of university-based teacher training at the University of Fribourg (CH); 2009-2011 president of the department of educational sciences at University of Fribourg (CH).

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