Source: Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, Volume 28, Issue 2 April 2007, pages 97 - 113
The eight early childhood educators who participated in this study were admitted into a 60-credit statewide distance-delivered Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree program at the University of Alaska. All eight educators were women of Alaska Native ancestry who lived and worked in remote and rural Native communities. Seven of these teachers were employed by Head Start programs and one taught preschool for a rural school district. A major goal of the statewide distance-delivered AAS program is that participants will become skilled observers of children and learn to use observation to make decisions that foster developmentally appropriate and culturally responsive services. All the course work in our AAS degree program involves actively doing and using observations of children. This study is based on a principle that intrinsic changes can occur in program management, curriculum development, and teacher practice when teachers learn how to use observation of children rather than external evaluation to make decisions about their programs.