Kerstin Löf

Internship in Italian

Published: 22 March 2013

Kerstin Löf studies the fourth semester of Pre-school Teacher Education at Luleå University of Technology. When spring explodes and she returns to her second homeland, Italy, for a five week placement (internship).

- My boyfriend is from Italy and we have lived there for several years before we decided to move back to Sweden and my hometown Luleå, where I now study at LTU. When the opportunity to do an internship abroad came, it felt that is was just right, says Kerstin Löf.

The Preschool Teacher Education includes several longer training periods. The one within the fourth term, allows placement abroad. For five weeks, starting on April 3, will Kerstin Löf stay in Porto San Giorgio, a city that is 15 mil south of the coastal town of Rimini.

To think for yourself

In pre-school in Sweden the pedagogical model Reggio Emilia, which is based on a deep respect for the child on the assumption that all children are born intelligent and able to think freely, very present. Reggio Emilia is a city in northern Italy and the model's founder, Loris Malaguzzi, lead the municipal preschools in the city for many years after World War II. Reggio Emilia has inspired in the United States, South Korea, Australia, throughout Scandinavia and in several other European countries. But not in Italy.

- Malaguzzi assumed that it was dangerous for people not to think freely. It was just after World War II. One of the questions that I carry with me to practice, why Reggio Emilia pedagogy, which in Sweden is very popular, is nowhere near as widespread in its country of origin, says Kerstin.

In today's Italy there are general, municipal, preschool for children ages 3-5years. For younger children, the alternative is private preschools where the fee is as high as the lack of space. Many preschools are run by nuns and Kerstin describes how kids still adress their teachers with Sir and Mam and how focus is to teach children to behave, rather than nurture independent-minded individuals.

Future and Learning

Kerstin Löf describes preschool children like little sponges, they soak up knowledge. Everything stick and learning opportunities are enormous. After this internship period there are three semesters of study remaining.

- I had worked in the school before I started to educate myself and knew then that it was a profession that I think I will enjoy. I think that education prepares us well for the learning that occurs in everyday life in preschool. A snack-time can be a math lesson and the language is practiced while playing, says Kerstin.

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