In this study, researchers examined the collaborative process that occurred when early childhood teacher candidates and engineering students partnered to design exhibits to be used in an informal learning setting for young children.
The findings present data from 52 early childhood candidates who participated in the study over the course of two fall semesters in consecutive academic years.
Utilizing case study methodology, observations, formal interviews, artifact collection, and student self/peer reviews were employed to collect data.
The findings reveal that cross-college, project-based learning has the potential to positively impact early childhood teacher candidates’ professional identity and that clinically-based teacher preparation was significant in helping teacher candidates feel successful in the project. The research presents innovative practices for early childhood teacher candidate preparation.