Need for changes: early education in modern world

W.E. Fthenakis, The president of “Didacta”, the president of German Institute for Family Research, Family Law and Family Policy, a scientific supervisor of several federal programs for preschool education development in the Federal Republic of Germany, professor 

Abstract. The paper looks at trends and development problems of early and preschool education in foreign countries in the context of global challenges of modern civilization. The author claims that in this context revision of education structure is required. In order to prove this thesis the author analyzes data from interdisciplinary research on children and childhood. He describes attempts of different countries to integrate early and preschool education into one system through development of framework programs (national curriculum). A special focus is put on inequality in education which is caused by structures that are immanent to education and aggravate inequality. The author suggests that development of “second generation” programs can help to solve this problem. Vygotsky socio-constructivist interactive model of education should provide a basis for these programs. According to this model education is understood as a social process included in socio-cultural relations, which requires networking of all institutions dealing with children including a family. In conclusion the author defines characteristics of such programs through the examples of projected implemented under his supervision in some federal states of Germany.

Key words: educational policy, educational programs, educational systems, developmental psychology, developmental neurophysiology, social justice, constructivist, social constructivist, educational programs of “second generation”.