The International Froebel Society’s Executive Committee is pleased to announce the naming of Grace Choi (left) as the Society’s new president and Prof. Dr. Andrea C. Schmid (right) as its new vice president.
Choi, a longstanding member of the International Froebel Society’s Executive Committee, comes to IFS presidency with over a decade of experience in leadership and practice in Froebelian education. She is the founder of several Froebel-based institutions in China, including the International Froebel Society’s China affiliate (IFS-China), as well as Beijing’s pioneering Rainbow Kids International Preschool and Rainbow Training School. Thanks to her efforts, more than 600 teachers have received training on the use of Froebel’s Gifts, and over 80 principals and supervising teachers have received training on Froebel’s pedagogy.
Schmid came to Froebelian education by way of her work as an educator and researcher in the field of inclusive education. Having initially trained as a teacher for children with special educational needs, she eventually returned to university to earn a PhD at the Institute for Special Needs Education, at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. She currently holds the position of Professor for Inclusive Education Research with a Focus on Learning at the University of Erfurt, Germany, where she serves as head of the Department of Special and Social Education and will soon lead a new Fröbel Research Lab. She currently chairs the International Froebel Society’s Germany affiliate as well.
Choi and Schmid take over from departing IFS co-presidents, Prof. Dr. Larry Prochner and Dr. Kristen Nawrotzki, who will continue to support the Society as members of the Executive Committee. For their part, Choi and Schmid have already been hard at work with the Executive Committee, setting an ambitious set of new goals for the Society as it enters its third decade. These are aimed at strengthening the Society’s position as a hub for networking, collaboration, and exchange between Froebelian organizations and individual practitioners and researchers worldwide. They are also eager to boost the IFS’s community-building efforts through, among other things, new online initiatives, and events between the Society’s conferences, some of which are already in the planning stages.