Executive board


Soyoun Bae


Prof. Soyoun Bae was re-elected as the President of PECERA at its Annual Conference in July 2021. Her term will be from 2021 to 2024. She previously served as the President, Treasurer and the Secretary of PECERA between 2003 and 2021. Prof. Bae graduated from the Ewha Women's University in South Korea, majoring in early childhood education. She earned M.Ed. in early childhood education from the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; and Ph.D. in education with a concentration on early childhood education from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA. While studying at the University of Illinois, she was a research assistant of Dr. Bernard Spodek and a recipient of the William Chandler Bagley Fellowship in 1988. Prof. Bae has taught early childhood teacher candidates since 1989 in Korea (Kyungwon University) and in the USA (Rowan University and William Paterson University in New Jersey). While working at Rowan University as a Tenured Associate Professor, in addition to serving on many committees, she served as a coordinator of the Early Childhood Education Program for 6 years, and a recipient of Wall of Fame, which is awarded by graduates of Rowan University, in every year from 2007 to 2013. She also served as a coordinator of the Early Childhood (p-3) Alternate Route Program at the William Paterson University and wrote two sections of the New Jersey Early Childhood Education Preschool Classroom Teaching Guidelines in 2017. Lately, she worked as Dean of Studies at the Yew Chung College of Early Childhood Education (YCCECE), HKSAR, China, and retired from teaching in August of 2020. She now is working as a researcher at the Virtual Works in Early Learning and Development, in Korea. Prof. Bae has served as an editorial board member of several journals of early childhood education in Korea and manuscript reviewer of Early Childhood Research Quarterly since 2008. Her research interests are curriculum of early childhood teacher education, math education for young children, early literacy, and young children's brain development and education.

Immediate Past President

Betty Chan Po-king

Yew Chung Education Foundation, Hong Kong SAR China

Dr. Betty Chan Po-king was re-elected the Immediate Past President of PECERA at its Annual Conference in July 2021. She previously served as the Immediate Past President, President, Vice President and Treasurer between 2004 and 2021, and was the Founding President of the PECERA Hong Kong Chapter since 2007. Dr Chan is the Chairperson of Yew Chung Education Foundation, operating a network of international schools in Hong Kong, China, and Silicon Valley (USA), providing Early Childhood, Primary, and Secondary education. She received her B.Ed. and M.Ed from the University of Hawaii, specialising in Early Childhood Education, and was later awarded the AAUW Scholarship to begin her Ph.D. at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign under the mentorship of Prof. Bernard Spodek. After returning home to Hong Kong to succeed her mother, the Founder of Yew Chung, she later completed her doctorate in 1985 at the Union Institute and University, under the supervision of Prof. Roy Fairfield and Prof. Sarah Smilansky. Dr Chan is a well-known leader in the field of Early Childhood Education in Hong Kong, has introduced concepts such as “learning through play” and “open classroom” in the 1970s. She became a member of the Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation in 1973, and was Convenor and Chairperson of the UNICEF "Childhood in 21st Century" international conference in 1989. Later she focused her efforts on developing a new model of international education, uniting the best elements of the East and the West. She is the Chairperson of the Alliance for International Education (AIE) China Branch since 2008. She also served on various public government advisory committees in Hong Kong, e.g. the Standing Committee on Language Education and Research (SCOLAR) of the Education Bureau (2000-2007), Advisory Committee on Teacher Education and Qualifications (ACTEQ) (2001-2007), etc. In recognition of her pioneering work in Early Childhood Education and consistent advocacy for excellence in all levels of education, Dr Chan was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, the US in 2010, Honorary Fellowship from the Hong Kong Institute of Education, and an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from the University of Bath, the UK in 2015.


Sachiko Kitano

Kobe University, Japan

Sachiko Kitano is an Associate Professor of Early Childhood Care and Education in the Graduate School of Human Development and Environment, Kobe University. Her thesis on Professionalization of Early Childhood Education: the Works of Early American Kindergarten Professional Organizations” received Ph. D in education from Hiroshima University. She is interested in the professionalism in early childhood education and her most recent research interests are in the areas of the function of professional organizations, preparation and in-service training, action research in ECE, and policy. She is the chairperson of PCERA Japan and a member of the executive board of Japan Society of Research on ECCE, Japanese Society for the Education of Young Children, and Japan Association of Research on Child Care Social Work.

Her recent papers in English are The Benefits of Children’s Outdoor Free Play Activities: Examining Physical Activity in Japan (2017); Building Children’s Sense of Trustworthiness towards Empathy and Social Morality (2014); Promoting Action Research in Early Childhood Education (2011); Promoting Professionalism of Early Childhood Care and Education in Japan (2011); and Current Issues in Assessment in Early Childhood Care and Education in Japan (2011)


Shirley Wyver

Macquarie University

Shirley is a senior lecturer in child development in the Department of Educational Studies at Macquarie University.  She has a PhD in developmental psychology.  Her PhD research was in young children's outdoor play and learning and she continues to conduct research in this area.  She is a chief investigator in a multidisciplinary team known as the Sydney Playground Project.  They have investigated a range of physical and social outcomes for young children following our outdoor play intervention.  Future research directions include an examination of outdoor play and executive functions.  Her other research interests include: (i) children with disabilities, particularly low vision and blindness, and (ii) early bilingualism.


Worawan Hemchayart

Chulalongkorn University, Thailand

Dr. Worawan Hemchayart was the Founding President of the PECERA Thailand Chapter since 2008. Dr. Hemchayart is the Treasurer of PECERA at its annual conference in July 2021. She was elected as Head of Division of Early Childhood Education from 2007 to 2008. She is Assistant Professor in Early Childhood Education, Faculty of Education at Chulalongkorn University in Thailand, where she has been teaching for 16 years. She received her bachelor’s and master's degrees from Chulalongkorn University, and her doctorate from Teachers College, Nebraska University at Lincoln, USA. Dr. Hemchayart’s research and academic areas of interest are multicultural education, curriculum, teaching and teacher education in early childhood education. Her teaching courses are in both undergraduate and graduate levels; such as Methodology of Teaching at the Early Childhood Education Level, Learning Areas Integration for Young Children, Teaching and Developing Strategies for Early Childhood Professionals, and Practice and Research in Early Childhood Education. Furthermore, she works as a member of the dissertation proposal approval committees and as a member of the annual book contest approval committees. She is a guest speaker of the Local Administrative Organization and a peer reviewer of Journal Education Studies, of Online Journal of Education (OJET), and of Asia-Pacific Journal of Research in Early Childhood Education (APJRECE).

Journal Director

Jeehyun Lee

Konkuk University, Seoul, Republic of Korea

Dr. Jeehyun Lee was the former editor of the APJRECE from 2010 to 2016 and now is working as a co-editor. She previously served as an associate editor of the APJRECE from the year of 2006 when the PECERA had launched its journal, APJRECE, until the year of 2010. Dr. Jeehyun Lee is currently working as a Professor in the Dept. of Education, College of Education, Konkuk University, Seoul, Korea, where she has been teaching for more than 20 years since 1997 in both undergraduate and graduate level. She graduated from Ewha Women's University in Seoul, Korea. She received M.A. in early childhood education from Ewha Women's University and her doctorate (Ed.D) with concentration of early childhood education from Boston University, USA. She was a recipient of Fulbright Graduate Study Award in 1989. Her academic interests are young children's language & literacy, mathematics, curriculum & instruction, and early childhood teacher education. She has worked to improve quality of early childhood education in Korea serving as a member of many committees in Korea such as Child Care Policy Committee, Evaluation Committee of Kindergarten Specialized Program, Comprehensive Kindergarten Consulting Committee, etc. She also has served as an editorial board member of many journals of early childhood education in Korea.