CPD researcher helps bring an important resource to eight Arabic-speaking countries

Dr. Vonda Jump Norman

Thanks to a Utah State University researcher, students who speak Arabic will soon have materials that help teachers design an early education program to meet the needs of their students.

This new development has grown out of the  Strengthening Early Childhood Education in Jordan project, which  aims to improve the undergraduate curriculum for Kindergarten teachers in two Jordanian universities so that new teachers will be prepared to step into the classroom ready to teach.

“For me personally, this is an incredible contribution from the project,” said Dr. Vonda Jump Norman, a researcher at USU's Center for Persons with Disabilities and the project's principal investigator. The translation of Developmentally Appropriate Practice is now under contract. The nonprofit Arab Bureau of Education for the Gulf States (ABEGS) publisher has plans to publish 5000 copies of the text. Half of the published copies would be distributed free of charge to universities, educational institutes and colleges of education in the member states of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Sultanate of Oman, Kingdom of Bahrain, Yemen, Qatar, and Jordan. The remaining books will be sold at a minimal price.

This event is especially significant since up to date and well-referenced textbooks are so rare in Jordan, Jump Norman said. Most university coursework is delivered by lecture. Having a respected, referenced resource available will fill a need prominent in the early childhood field in Jordan, and students will have access to a reference from the National Association for the Education of Young Children—one that American early educators find indispensable.

The effort to translate the text grew out of Jump Norman’s project, a three-year collaboration between representatives of Utah State University, Petra University and the University of Jordan. Its goals include sharing ideas between partners, enhancing the student teaching experience offered at the two Jordanian universities, increasing the use of developmentally appropriate practice in early childhood classrooms, and utilizing the expertise of the Ministry of Education through partnering with them.

CPD by the numbers

The $1.2 million CPD building opened in 1973. Its total operations budget was $253,549. The CPD's budget for the  last fiscal year was $15.7 million.

CPD History Project: Looking for clues, influencers, photos

The CPD's severe classroom: a photo from the center's earlier days.

The CPD is starting an ambitious history project to tell the story of the CPD from the time the building was completed to the present.

So far, our efforts have uncovered old photos, yellowed annual reports, heavy tomes on disability law and articles on disability advocacy. It has also led to the first of what we hope will be many interviews with people who helped to shape the CPD.

We’re looking for influencers, bits of history that directed the CPD’s focus, Utah advocates who argued for CPD programs. Did you work here? Were you a parent who lobbied the Utah legislature on behalf of our research? Did you or a family member receive services in this building? Is this where you received training?

Are there questions you'd like us to answer? Do you know where the CPD's alumni ended up?

It's a good thing we've got some months to work on this. If you can help, please contact JoLynne Lyon.

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