What Does it Mean to be a 'Good' Early Childhood Teacher? An Analysis of Themes in Application Essays Submitted to Two Early Childhood Education Teacher Certification Programs

July 2007

Source: Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, Volume 28, Issue 3 July 2007, pages 205 - 217

Three teacher educators at two colleges in western New York have used content analysis to analyze prospective undergraduate and graduate students' applications to their early childhood education programs. Despite a number of apparent differences between both the applicants and the programs to which they were applying, there was a remarkable degree of similarity in applicant essays around the ways in which they constructed and communicated their understandings of the "good" early childhood teacher.

These constructions raise questions about how this discourse is disseminated, understood, taken up, and perpetuated in teacher education programs. The implications of this analysis pose challenges and present possibilities for early childhood teacher educators working from nonmainstream perspectives.

Updated: Jan. 27, 2008