GENESEO – SUNY Geneseo Professor of Education Leigh O’Brien has been honored with a prestigious Fulbright Scholar grant to teach and conduct research at the University of Iceland in Reykjavik during the fall 2015 semester.
According to a Press Release from David Irwin, Media Relations Director from SUNY Geneseo, Dr. O’Brien will conduct research related to early care and education (ECE) with the University of Iceland’s early childhood research group.
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“I’m truly honored to receive this award as it will allow me to build on the prior work I did as a Fulbright Scholar in Sweden,” said O’Brien. “Iceland also is a Nordic country and should offer interesting comparisons to my earlier work. Iceland also has one of the highest rates of pre-school attendance in the world and has a fairly homogeneous population, so getting a good understanding of values and practices in a relatively short time period is more likely than in a larger, more heterogeneous country.”
She will use a variety of methods to attempt to ascertain the Icelandic societal values that influence preschool practices; what is meant by “the good childhood” and what that looks like in preschools; and whether all young children, including those with identified disabilities, have equal access to the good childhood.
O’Brien also will teach undergraduate or graduate courses such as Introduction to ECE; Diversity and Inclusion in ECE; Families and Communities; or Dimensions of Teaching and Inquiry. She has been a member of the Geneseo faculty since 2006. She earned her doctorate, master’s and bachelor’s degrees from The Pennsylvania State University, and has worked in higher education since 1990.
Including O’Brien’s award, Geneseo faculty members have received 16 awards in the past 30 years. Most recently, Scott Georgis, associate professor of geological sciences, completed a Fulbright experience in Chile focused on fault zone education.
PHOTO CAPTION: Leigh O’Brien. (Photo/SUNY Geneseo)