Search results for: Early childhood education
Page 1/25 246 items
Preparing the next generation of preschool teachers who can integrate and make use of ICT to capitalise on and develop young children’s digital competences remains a challenging goal for teacher education programmes (TEP). Given the current gaps in the literature, this study aims to expand and deepen our understanding of the extent to which early childhood pre-service teachers encounter ICT during their training and how they are prepared to use digital technologies in their future practices. The empirical data was generated through a focus group study with pre-service teachers and interview with their teacher educators at an institution of higher education in Sweden. The findings of the study suggest that pre-service teachers feel they have not been adequately prepared to integrate ICT into their future educational practices in preschool. Teacher educators, however, demonstrated a completely different perspective, highlighting a variety of initiatives that they were implementing to prepare the next generation of preschool teachers to use digital technologies. It will discuss why pre-service teachers, unlike teacher educators, feel they are not being adequately prepared to use digital technologies in early childhood education. The study also provides a detailed account of the varied procedures involved in preparing pre-service teachers’ digital competences and makes recommendations to teacher educators on how to enhance future preschool teachers’ Technologica-lPedagogical-Content-Knowledge (TPACK).
Updated: Oct. 12, 2021
Becoming trauma-informed: a case study of early educator professional development and organizational change
An extraordinary number of young children are exposed to trauma that impacts their development and well-being. Early care and education (ECE) programs are uniquely positioned to support children exposed to trauma yet may lack access to resources and professional development to enhance their capacity to deliver trauma-informed care. Using a qualitative multiple case study methodology, this study investigated how five urban ECE programs adopted new trauma-informed practices as a result of participating in a collaborative model for professional learning. This model, called the Breakthrough Series Collaborative, is designed to build both individual and organizational capacity to implement new practices and is supported by theoretical frameworks from organizational and improvement science. The study explored the changes that occurred at the individual, classroom, and organizational levels. Results suggest changes in knowledge and attitudes about trauma, empathy, and teacher empowerment; classroom and practice level shifts including social and emotional teaching and family centered communication; and at the organizational level a more caring and collaborative workplace culture and improved interagency collaboration. The results further suggest that professional development delivered at the organizational level may support the coordinated implementation of new trauma-informed care (TIC) practices by both teachers and administrators building organizational capacity to improve and sustain these practices.
Updated: Sep. 29, 2021
Identifying primary and secondary stressors, buffers, and supports that impact ECE teacher wellbeing: implications for teacher education
Stress has been shown to negatively impact early childhood teachers’ abilities to provide high quality, responsive environments for young children. Previous studies of early childhood teacher stress have focused on the tasks and responsibilities inherent in the job as well as on structural conditions within the field of early childhood education. The present study explored inter- and intra-personal dimensions of early childhood teacher stress and applied the Stress Process model to teachers’ experience of work-related stress. Results from this qualitative study suggest that teachers experience primary stressors associated with the work itself and interactions with others within the workplace. They also experience secondary stressors when their work interferes with other domains of their lives. Despite these stressors, teachers have developed a variety of coping strategies and created networks of social support to buffer the impact of stressors on their practice. These findings use teachers’ own experiences to inform the types of pre-service training, professional development, and policy interventions that have the greatest potential to reduce ECE teacher stress and enable them to provide the highest quality early care and education for all children.
Updated: Sep. 24, 2021
These aren’t the kids I signed up for: the lived experience of general education, early childhood preservice teachers in classrooms for children with special needs
Effective inclusive teaching practices continue to be an area of uncertainty for preservice and practicing teachers. This qualitative study examined the lived experiences of three, general education, early childhood, preservice teachers (PST) completing a field experience in preschool classrooms for children with significant disabilities. All three PSTs in the study were completing a semester long requisite field experience while concurrently completing an introduction to special education course. Both the field experience and the introduction to special education course were required for their early childhood, general education certification program. While the PSTs initially acknowledged anxiety related to working with children with significant disabilities, the levels of anxiety decreased during the experience. Additionally, PSTs noted the importance of the pedagogical skills they acquired from their special education mentor teachers. Highly skilled, special education mentor teachers were noted being critical to a successful experience.
Updated: Jun. 09, 2021
Crossing colleges: the impact of an engineering design collaboration on early childhood teacher candidate development
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.
Updated: May. 13, 2021
Mentoring of newly qualified teachers in early childhood education and care centres: Individual or organizational orientation?
The purpose of this paper is to present and discuss contrasting perceptions regarding “leadership and mentoring” among leaders of Norwegian early childhood education and care (ECEC) centres in their mentoring practices with newly qualified early childhood teachers (NQTs). Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with eight leaders in Norwegian ECEC centres. Leaders in dual roles as leaders and mentors have varying orientations in mentoring NQTs. The paper presents the findings as two main orientations: an individual and an organizational orientation. Individually oriented leaders as mentors focus on individual needs and support of the NQT. Organizationally oriented leaders as mentors emphasize collective reflection and learning in the staff group and include NQTs in various learning processes in the ECEC centre. The study contributes to increased knowledge on how leaders’ views on leadership and organization influence their mentoring with NQTs. The study is relevant for leaders in other educational settings such as schools.
Updated: Feb. 17, 2021
The main objective of the research described here was to learn how young learners self-evaluate their digital competence. A non-experimental and descriptive quantitative methodology was employed, an electronic survey being used to collect the data. Among the main results, the authors highlight that these learners self-evaluate their attitude towards Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) as favourable, their handling of them as moderate and their knowledge of them as scarce. It became clear that they do not have a level of digital competence suitable for being called ‘digital natives’, nor sufficient ability to use ICT in their academic life or in their professional future.
Updated: Nov. 27, 2020
“That’s What You Want to do as a Teacher, Make a Difference, Let the Child Be, Have High Expectations”: Stories of Becoming, Being and Unbecoming an Early Childhood Teacher
This article explores the experiences of four individuals who changed careers into early childhood teaching in Victoria, Australia and later left the profession. The study was conducted with a narrative inquiry approach and reveals insight into motivations for becoming an early childhood teacher (ECT), experiences of being an ECT and factors that lead to un-becoming an ECT. Participants were motivated by pragmatic reasons such as career advancement and family-work compatibility alongside intrinsic interest when becoming an ECT. They entered the profession eager to support children’s learning and development. However, their experiences compromised their health and wellbeing and inhibited them from teaching as they envisioned. The findings of the study hold implications for policy makers, employers and higher education in effort to retain and sustain ECTs.
Updated: Nov. 18, 2020
Developing self-awareness using mindfulness meditation with preservice teachers: reflections on practice
Mindfulness offers a pathway for preservice teachers to develop self-awareness, which is an essential part of personal and professional growth. However, supporting teacher self-awareness is rarely given much attention in teacher education programs. The authors studied the use of mindfulness meditation in an early childhood college course with early childhood preservice teachers. This article reports the main findings that emerged from the students’ journals regarding the mindfulness meditation. Reflecting on the findings, this article suggests that educators need to provide meaningful learning experiences and activities, which could help their students develop the personal qualities necessary to teach with high self-confidence.
Updated: Nov. 03, 2020
Space is not separable from the learning and teaching that take place in and through teacher education programs. In this paper, the authors attempt to illustrate how the use of a spatial lens in preservice teachers field placement can provide them with opportunities to raise questions and understand more about the relationships between self, the discursive construction of others, and taken-for-granted notions of learning and teaching. In helping preservice teachers’ critical reflections upon their spatial experience at their field sites, they specifically focus on “mapping” space as their approach to developing a critical embodied pedagogy. In particular, they highlight one White female preservice teacher’s spatial experience in a homeless shelter. They discuss the implications of developing pedagogical tools from the spatial perspective for early childhood teacher education programs.
Updated: Nov. 03, 2020