Sink or Swim: Child Care Teachers' Perceptions of Entry Training Experiences

Feb. 01, 2011

Source: Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, Vol. 32, Issue 1, 2011, pages 5-25.

This study aimed to explore child care teachers' perceptions of their initial preservice and in-service training experiences.

Eighteen child care teachers working in six for-profit centers were interviewed.

Based on the participants' responses, the findings are organized in two themes.
First, many of the participants entered the field without significant training and education, received little or no preservice training, and then participated in minimal amounts of in-service training.
Therefore, these teachers described their experience as being “thrown into the classroom.”

Second, due to this lack of training, the teachers discussed the ways in which they were “figuring out how to do it” in terms of using their own natural abilities, learning by experience, and learning from other teachers by watching and asking questions.

The results have implications for the field in terms of designing and structuring professional development opportunities for child care teachers to better meet their needs within particular contexts.

Updated: Sep. 24, 2012