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Federal President opens “Bewegte Kindheit” (“Moved Childhood ”) Congress
With 3,000 participants from all over Germany, it is the largest event for early childhood education with 180 workshops, seminars and forums.
It is the largest event for early childhood education in Germany and is being organised jointly by the University of Osnabrück and the Niedersächsisches Institut für frühkindliche Bildung und Entwicklung (nifbe) (lit. Lower Saxony’s Institute for Early Childhood Education and Development). In 180 lectures, seminars and workshops, new findings relating to the development, learning and education of children were presented and practical suggestions were given for the organisation of a “moved childhood”. The initiator of the three-day Congress is Osnabrück sports scientist, Prof. Dr. Renate Zimmer.
In his opening speech, Federal President Wulff stated: “Exercise teaches you the experience of freedom, personality, limits, companionship and, thus, cooperation. Those are the life experiences which we all need in order to become holistic, content, happy people, capable of living in a community. Empathy is more important than ever before.” And Wulff highlights: “I find it particularly important that this Congress promotes communication and networks amongst scientists and practicing experts. The discovery of early childhood as a prominent stage in the development of the human personality brings about new, important findings. The key question is: How can we create the best conditions for our children to grow up? All children have to be well qualified and well supported. For this reason, good practice must be made of good science,” said Wulff.
It is the Federal President’s first visit to his former Alma Mater. From 1980 to 1986, Wulff studied Law at the University of Osnabrück.
University President Prof. Dr.-Ing. Claus Rollinger values the opening of the Congress by the Federal President, as recognition for the work carried out in Osnabrück: “Early childhood education has been regarded as an important topic at the University of Osnabrück for more than two decades, long before it was a main topic in education policy and the media.” It is important that the findings and knowledge acquired in science reach those who work with children on a daily basis as quickly as possible. However, science should not block practical experiences. “For 20 years now, the ‘Bewegte Kindheit’ Congress has been offering the ideal platform to broaden the dialogue between science and practice,” stated the University President.
“The Congress identifies ways that social integration and the cognitive, verbal, emotional and social development of children can be supported via the medium of exercise,” explains Prof. Zimmer, who is also the Director of the 2007 Institute for Early Childhood Education and Development founded by the Lower Saxony Federal State Government. Notably, for the highly topical education policy problem of the language promotion of children, new findings were presented which support the effectiveness of the exercise-oriented promotion of language. A further core point addresses the specific needs of young people in educational institutes. The congress is aimed at educators, teachers, social educationists, doctors and psychologists and has been sold out for weeks.
In the keynote speech, the internationally famous neuroscientist Prof. Dr. Dr. Manfred Spitzer (Ulm University Hospital) showed that exercise is an important pre-condition for the development of greater intellectual achievements.
Photos: Elena Scholz (Press Office at the University of Osnabrück)