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Professional Preparation Defines Quality Early Care and Education Standards for Professionalism in Early Care and Education California Commission on Teacher Credentialing May 9, 2011 Nancy L. Hurlbut, Ph. D. , Humboldt State University Marianne E. Jones, Ed. D. , California State University, Fresno Margaret N. Wild, Ph. D. , University of California, Riverside
Standards for Professionalism in Early Care and Education Established professions have a set of standards based upon degree based coursework. Professionalizing Early Care and Education requires the same set of standards.
Higher Education Is the Core of ECE Professional Preparation Higher Education has set the standard of quality highly educated professional workforce. Higher education degree is necessary for professionalism in Early Care and Education.
Higher Education Is the CORE of ECE Professional Preparation C: Competencies set by the State O: Outcomes measured by developmental milestones R: Rigor, research, and relationship-based practice E: Evidence-based curricula, practice & assessment
Howard Gardner on the Nature of Professions A discipline [profession] constitutes a distinctive way of thinking about the world [and is] dedicated toward the acquisition of the appropriate disciplinary knowledge, habits of mind, and patterns of behavior” (Gardner, 2008, p. 26 -27).
Lillian Katz on Professional Preparation Training is specialized…to insure the acquisition of complex knowledge and techniques. The training processes are difficult and require cognitive strain; thus, there will be a culling or screening process… Candidates are required to master more knowledge than is likely to be applied…
Katz on Professional Preparation (continued) Institutions responsible for professional training must be accredited or licensed by processes monitored by practicing members of the profession. All professional training institutions offer trainees a common core of knowledge and techniques so that the entire membership of the profession shares a common…base.
Katz on Professional Preparation (continued) Professional societies and training institutions, very often in concert, provide systematic and regular continuing education for members” (Spodek, Saracho & Peters, 1988, p. 79 -80).
Early Care and Education Needs to Reflect These Professional Characteristics of Professionals o Considered experts o High degree of generalized and systematic knowledge with a theoretical base o Primary orientation is to public and community interest o Governed by a code of ethics
Early Care and Education Needs to Reflect These Professional Characteristics Preparation for a Profession o Knowledge base unique to the field o Formal education o Achievement of field-specific “credentials”* o Engagement in continuing education o Active involvement in professional associations * as in “one’s credentials”
Early Care and Education Needs to Reflect These Professional Characteristics Competencies Mastery of theoretical knowledge Application of theoretical knowledge to practice Connection to California’s ECE Competencies Connection to California’s Preschool Learning Preschool Foundations and Frameworks Capacity to solve problems Ability to create knowledge, as well as possess it Commitment to continuous learning about the profession Commitment to children and families (Adapted from Small Library Management Training Program)
A Standard of Professionalism Higher Education A college education provides comprehensive professional preparation and socialization to the profession.
Why Higher Education? A college education develops practitioners’ capacities and skills, breadth and depth of knowledge, and dispositions through a: o recursive, o intentional, o sequential program of study, and o face-to-face mentoring.
Why Higher Education? o Develops fluency in theoretical foundations of the field. o Builds knowledge of the research literature. o Introduces students to research methods as both consumers and producers of knowledge. o Emphasizes connections between historical foundations and current theoretical perspectives. o Builds theory to practice.
Why Higher Education? o Goes beyond vocational preparation to build Early Care and Education Professionals. o Goes beyond discipline knowledge and o Cultivates skills. dispositions of inquiry, critical dialogue, and lifelong learning.
Why Higher Education? Degree programs are the essential core of effective, transformative professional development. Supplemental experiences are important extensions and enrichments when built upon a solid CORE (Competencies, Outcomes, Rigor, Evidence Based) o o o specialty or approach-specific knowledge, topical workshops related to developmentally appropriate practice, professional conferences to facilitate networking among early care and education professionals.
Course Credit: The Unit of Measure Course credit has specific meaning in professional preparation: Academic rigor Evidence-based content Accredited (WASC or equivalent, recognized body) Careful, systematic review based on an agreed-upon criteria Identified student learning outcomes and assessments Process of regular assessment of outcomes Part of a expanded course of study leading to a degree
Higher Education Partnerships Facilitate Pathways to Unit Bearing Credit Well-established, proven mechanisms already in place for community-based or professional organizations to partner with institutions of higher education to offer unit credit o Higher education extension divisions established to “extend” offerings not available in regular curricula o Collaborations to provide off-campus, in-community courses, certificate programs, conference credit
Collaborative Partnerships Create Effective Educational Pathways Higher Education is the CORE of Professionalism in Early Care and Education. Alternative Providers have an Important Role in Supplementing the CORE.
Final Reflection Higher Education is committed to creating and supporting educational pathways for Early Care and Education Professionals that lead to degrees without detours, false starts, wasted time, and unnecessary expense.
References Gardner, H. (2008). 5 minds for the future. Boston: Harvard Business Press. Katz, L. (1988). In Spodek, Saracho and Peters (Eds. ), Professionalism and the early childhood practitioner (pp. 79 -80). New York: Teachers College Press. Larson, M. S. (1988). In Spodek, Saracho, & Peters (Eds. ), Professionalism and the early childhood practitioner (p. 75). New York: Teachers College Press. Todaro, J. (2000). Professionalism tutorial. Small Library Management Training Program. http: //www. tsl. state. tx. us/Id/tutorials/professionalis /home/html. Retrieved April 30, 2011.