15 Jan

Early Childhood Goffin Book Study Guest Expert #5 Announced!

The fifth guest expert participating in this book study is… (drum-roll please)

BeyondthePages.Goffin.2015[1]

Gayle M. Stuber!

Gayle StuberDr. Stuber is an Early Childhood Specialist who recently retired from her position as Early Childhood Coordinator for the Kansas State Department of Education. (1998-2015). Her interest areas include Early Childhood systems, School Readiness and Success, Early Learning Standards, data systems, and leadership. As part of her work, Dr. Stuber worked with professional colleagues and stakeholders to develop Early Learning Standards for Kansas, a Kansas School Readiness Framework, a School Readiness Data Initiative, and administered pre-kindergarten programs for the state. She was also a partner with other early childhood state level professionals in multiple projects, grant writing experiences, and state level work groups. Before coming to the Kansas State Department of Education, Dr. Stuber taught at Baker University for four years (1994-98) and developed early childhood and special education courses. As part of her work at Baker, Dr. Stuber created and implemented a child care center in collaboration with the local school district.

1972: B.S. in Elementary Education
1986:  M.A. in Early Childhood Education
1994:  Ph.D. in Early Childhood Special Education

Gayle will be leading our dialogue on Feb. 23rd, 2016, regarding chapter 2 of Stacie Goffin’s book Professionalizing Early Childhood Education As a Field of Practice: A Guide to the Next Era.

*Just joining? You can find all the book study details HERE. Grab your copy of the book (did you enter the book giveaway yet?) and join in for this epic online event beginning on Feb. 1st, 2016! Invite your friends and colleagues to join you!


12 Jan

Early Childhood Goffin Book Study Guest Expert #4 Announced!

The fourth guest expert participating in this book study is… (drum-roll please)

BeyondthePages.Goffin.2015[1]

Jill Bella!

Jill BellaJill Bella, Ed.D., is Director of Quality Supports for the McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership and Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education at National Louis University (NLU). In these roles she coordinates and conducts research, training, and consultation for local and state initiatives on the Early Childhood Work Environment Survey (ECWES) and the Program Administration Scale (PAS). Dr. Bella is a national reliability anchor for the PAS and BAS. She holds a doctorate degree in Adult and Continuing Education from NLU. Dr. Bella also has both a master’s degree in special education/early intervention and a bachelor’s degree in child development from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Prior to joining the Center, she worked at several child care centers and Akron Children’s Hospital as an early intervention specialist and training associate. Dr. Bella’s research interests include organizational climate, advocacy for the early childhood workforce, systems thinking, and early childhood leadership. She is co-author of A Great Place to Work, Inspiring Peak Performance, and Zoom: The Impact of Early Childhood Leadership Training on Role Perceptions, Job Performance, and Career Decisions.

Director, Quality Supports and Assistant Professor
(800) 443-5522, Ext. 5059
jill.bella@nl.edu
@JillMBella

Jill will be leading our dialogue on Feb. 16th, 2016, regarding chapter 2 of Stacie Goffin’s book Professionalizing Early Childhood Education As a Field of Practice: A Guide to the Next Era.

*Just joining? You can find all the book study details HERE. Grab your copy of the book (did you enter the book giveaway yet?) and join in for this epic online event beginning on Feb. 1st, 2016! Invite your friends and colleagues to join you!


7 Jan

Early Childhood Goffin Book Study Special Guests #2 & #3 Announced!

The second guest expert participating in this book study is… (drum-roll please)

BeyondthePages.Goffin.2015[1]

Roseann Murphy!

Roseann Murphy

Roseann Murphy’s early childhood profession spans nearly four decades. Her extensive resume includes positions as a Child Care Advocate, Owner and Director of Infant/Toddler/Preschool Centers, Private In-Home Teacher, Resource and Referral Coordinator, Family Child Care Educator, and trainer. As an Infant Care Specialist  her work includes, Parenting Coach, Early Childhood Teacher, Workshop Leader, and Infant Nutrition Adviser.

Roseann was inspired by the work of Infant Specialist Magda Gerber. She attended the very first RIE trainings in Los Angeles and was a panel presenter at the International Infant Conference presented by Resources for Infant Educarers® Conference held at UCLA Los Angeles in 1979. She is the founder/owner/director of Malibu Infant Toddler Child Development Center and Little River School working with children from infancy through kindergarten. Roseann studied early childhood development at Pacific Oaks in Pasadena and University of California in Los Angeles.

After spending most of her ECE career in Southern California, Roseann now resides in Northern Illinois where she continues her work as a parenting coach, early childhood education consultant, board President of a child development center, foster parent and adoptive parent.

Roseann Murphy provides support and guidance to professionals and parents through private consultations, workshops, classes and through her online collection of written works both by herself and guest writers. Roseann connects with professionals and parents through Essence of Child Caring’s website, Facebook page, Twitter feed, Pinterest board, and YouTube channel. Roseann Murphy does private parent and early childhood consulting. You can reach Roseann by email at EssenceOfChildCaring@gmail.com. Blog https://essenceofchildcaring.edublogs.org

Roseann is also an artist who loves nature, enjoys organic gardening, caring for her many rescue animals and anything Shabby Chic.

“Pretty much everything this woman, Roseann Murphy, posts about infants and children is worth the time to read. Roseannis an expert in infant and child development. I love that I have such an amazing friend in her. Rock on Roseann” – Lee AnnLang

Roseann will be co-leading our dialogue on Feb. 9th, 2016, regarding chapter 1 of Stacie Goffin’s book Professionalizing Early Childhood Education As a Field of Practice: A Guide to the Next Era.

The third guest expert participating in this book study is…

Magdalena Palencia!

Magdalena P

Magdalena S. Palencia has worked extensively in all areas of education. Early in her career Magdalena taught history, Spanish grammar, and geography at some of the most prestigious schools in Argentina, including Escuela de Educacion Tecnica SEGBA, The Catholic University of Argentina, and Instituto 25 de Mayo. As co-founder and director of The Century of the XXI non-profit cultural association, Magdalena worked in conjunction with the Santa Monica Library to elevate cultural awareness of Latin America. As head teacher of Little River School in Malibu, Magdalena applied her expertise in early childhood education to create an innovative curriculum for fostering early development incorporating the latest research and findings in the field.

Apart from personal consulting for parents and educators alike, Magdalena shares her expertise and the latest developments in early childhood education through her blog, A Bilingual Childhood Education Blog by Magdalena S. Palencia. Currently, Magdalena is a Spanish literature and Geography teacher at La Escuela Argentina en Los Angeles, where she is also the acting Vice Principal.

Magdalena will be co-leading our dialogue on Feb. 9th, 2016, regarding chapter 1 of Stacie Goffin’s book Professionalizing Early Childhood Education As a Field of Practice: A Guide to the Next Era.

Magdalena’s email is Magdalena.palencia@gmail.com
Blog: http://magdalenaspalencia.blogspot.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/magdapalencia/

*Just joining? You can find all the book study details HERE. Grab your copy of the book (did you enter the free book giveaway yet?) and join in for this epic online event beginning on Feb. 1st, 2016! Invite your friends and colleagues to join you!


5 Jan

Early Childhood Goffin Book Study Special Guest #1 Announced!

The first guest expert participating in this book study is… (drum-roll please)

BeyondthePages.Goffin.2015[1]

Kyra Ostendorf!

Kyra O

Kyra Ostendorf is Vice President of Curriculum, Assessment, and Professional Development at Kaplan Early Learning Company. In this role, she is responsible for supporting Kaplan’s internal teams and external partners and customers with regard to the curriculums and assessments that Kaplan publishes and sells. She also oversees Kaplan’s professional development offerings. Kyra’s most recent project at Kaplan has been to bring Connect4Learning: The Pre-K Curriculum to market after its years in development with a leading team of content experts through funding from the National Science Foundation.

Before joining Kaplan, Kyra was the acquiring editor at Redleaf Press for seven years. There she identified and developed prospective authors to add to the Redleaf portfolio resulting in over 200 publications, including:

  • Giants in the Nursery: A Biographical History of Developmentally Appropriate Practice by David Elkind, PhD (2015);
  • Doing the Right Thing for Children: Eight Qualities of Leadership by Maurice Sykes (2014);
  • Learning from the Bumps in the Road: Insights from Early Childhood Leaders by Holly Elisa Bruno, Debra Ren-Etta Sullivan, Janet Gonzalez-Mena, and Luis Hernandez (2013);
  • Winning Ways for Early Childhood Professionals series by Gigi Schweikert (2012, 2013, and 2014); and
  • Teaching in the Digital Age: Smart Tools for Age 3 to Grade 3 by Brian Puerling (2012).

Kyra was a classroom teacher at the University of Minnesota’s Shirley G. Moore Laboratory School—this foundational experience continues to inform her roles as an editor and provider of content and services.

For the past five years, Kyra has been actively involved with the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) National Dialogue. In 2016, Kyra will serve as Chair of the new Affiliate Advisory Council that was formed from the recommendations she helped write while serving on the committee that crafted the recommendations to the governing board for the new NAEYC mission, affiliate structure, and increased member voice.

In addition, Kyra recently completed her tenure on the board of the Minnesota Association for the Education of Young Children (MnAEYC) and Minnesota School-Age Care Alliance (MnSACA), where she was instrumental in leading the two organizations into their collaboration of sharing an executive director and having a joint board of directors.

In 2015, Kyra was named an Emerging Leader by Exchange magazine.

Kyra holds an MEd in Early Childhood Education from the University of Minnesota and a BA from Macalester College. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with her husband and two sons, ages 13 and 9.

@KyraOstendorf

Kyra will be leading our dialogue on Feb. 2nd, 2016, regarding chapter 1 of Stacie Goffin’s book Professionalizing Early Childhood Education As a Field of Practice: A Guide to the Next Era.

*Just joining? You can find all the book study details HERE. Grab your copy of the book (did you enter the book giveaway yet?) and join in for this epic online event beginning on Feb. 1st, 2016! Invite your friends and colleagues to join you!


3 Jan

Who Are These ECE Guest Experts?

Guest Experts Man                                                                         Guest Experts Woman

I’m excited to announce a super lineup of 9 content experts who will provide commentary for my next early childhood blog book study! Who are they? Stay tuned…starting on Tuesday, I will begin releasing the names of our guest experts. One name will be released each day (T & TH) during the month of January!

*Just joining? You can find all the book study details HERE. Grab your copy of the book and join in for this epic online event beginning Feb. 1st!

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BeyondthePages.Goffin.2015[1]


18 Dec

Divided and Fragmented…Change on the Horizon?

Many in the early childhood field would agree that the momentum surrounding early childhood education throughout the country seems to be building in our favor. On local and national levels, in the media and the government, with educators and politicians, early care and learning is in the news. This is exciting, but I’m torn because although the polls are showing that a majority of Americans believe in the importance of early education and care, I wonder if change is actually on the horizon.

We in early learning and development have known for years, backed by science, that the early years are critical. We also know through research findings that professional learning is a key component in consistent high quality care. Many in the field have been shouting these facts for years! In fact, I’d argue that although our field has made recent strides forward, historically we’ve been moving at a snail’s pace. We need a sense of urgency – now is the time for a monumental push (and perhaps a shove!) Stacie Goffin is calling on us, within the field, to develop a “collective will or a shared passion for creating an alternative future” for tomorrow’s children. (Dahlin)

Did you notice that different early childhood terms were used in the first two paragraphs? Early childhood education, early care and learning, early education and care, early learning and development… why are there so many? Do they refer to the same thing? Why is it that in nearly every state there are various early childhood systems working individually, disconnected from others doing similar work. I’ve always questioned these “silos” that seem to be deep-rooted within our field. Why reinvent the wheel ourselves when we can tap into our field’s greatest asset…each other!

Last spring, the Institute of Medicine and National Academy of Sciences released the Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8 report calling for the transformation of the early childhood workforce.

“Persisting with the status quo for the professionals who do this important, complex work will perpetuate today’s fragmented approach to the care and education of young children, resulting in inadequate learning and development, especially among America’s most vulnerable families and communities. The report offers recommendations to build a workforce that is unified by the foundation of the science of child development and early learning and the shared knowledge and competencies that are needed to provide consistent, high-quality support for the development and early learning of children from birth through age 8.” (Institute of Medicine)

“This is a defining moment for ECE. Despite the best of intentions, we remain a divided field of practice and lack what it takes to ensure that each and every child with whom we interact as early educators experiences an optimum early learning experience. There is a starting place for the work, though — conversations with intent. These are conversations that engage us in personal and collective reflections that invite thinking together about creating an alternative future for ECE as a field of practice. Catalyzing these conversations is the focus of Professionalizing Early Childhood Education As a Field of Practice: A Guide to the Next Era.” (Goffin)

How are we going to think together in conversations with intent and unite as a field of practice, when we are spread across the nation engaged in varied areas of the workforce? I thought about this very question for nearly two years after I met Stacie. Beyond The Pages (BTP) was launched in August, 2015, as a vehicle to promote conversations with intent and inspire a passion for change. BTP is an innovative online book study. This online feature takes you ‘beyond the pages’ and creates group dialogue. What makes it unique? The group dialogue is prompted and informed by content experts who bring their voices to each week’s discussion.

I had the opportunity recently to sit down with Dr. Lilian Katz to discuss her thoughts on our profession’s future. She said that “we need to come to an agreement on the body of principles…to sit down and agree on principles of practice​ for early childhood educators​.” I told her about BTP and waited for her response. “I’d say the blog book study is worth trying…to develop more insight and interaction between practitioners. You see, when practitioners come together and exchange information, they deepen their insight, understanding, and awareness of complexities in the field.” I whole-heartedly agree Dr. Katz!

Together, we can help ECE realize its potential! It is with that in mind that I invite YOU to participate in the next Beyond The Pages blog book study, beginning Feb. 1st, 2016. This study will center around Stacie Goffin’s book Professionalizing Early Childhood Education As a Field of Practice: A Guide to the Next EraVisit the following link to learn more about this fantastic way to get involved. http://goo.gl/m3u5qo It is my genuine hope that this book study feature intrigues individuals, serves as inexpensive professional development, provides access to resources otherwise not attainable, and encourages meaningful conversations. Learn. Love. Lead.

4519D5BF-89B4-4342-915F-2541C6A48A5A[23]

BeyondthePages.Goffin.2015[1]

Braa, Dawn M., MAEd., and Stacie G. Goffin, Ed.D. “Beyond The Pages Book Study Frequently Asked Questions.” Enhancing Young Minds. Dawn Braa, 15 Dec. 2015. Web. 17 Dec. 2015. <https://enhancingyoungminds.com/2015/12/beyond-the-pages-book-study-goffin-frequently-asked-questions/>.

Dahlin, Melissa, MA. “2015 Roundtable: Leading for Excellence – Summary.” CENTER ON ENHANCING EARLY LEARNING OUTCOMES(n.d.): n. pag. 15 Aug. 2015. Web. 2015. <http://ceelo.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/ceelo_roundtable_2015_summary_final_web.pdf>.

“Institute of Medicine.” Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation. Packard Foundation, McCormick Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Department of Education, Maternal and Child Health Bureau (HRSA), Administration for Children and Families , HHS, 1 Apr. 2015. Web. 18 Dec. 2015. <http://iom.nationalacademies.org/Reports/2015/Birth-To-Eight.aspx>.


17 Dec

Beyond The Pages Book Study (Goffin): MNCPD Approved Training (Self-paced)

I’m pleased to announce that MN participants of our Beyond The Pages book study (Goffin) may earn 6 training hours for active participation. This is an approved course through the MN Center for Professional Development! This course applies towards the Core Competency Area of VIII. Professional Development and the CDA Content Area of Maintaining Professionalism.

Participants can participate LIVE each week following the book study schedule OR may complete it as a self-paced course.

The following guidelines are for participants seeking MNCPD/Develop hours or a certificate for active participation in the Beyond The Pages Early Childhood Book Study (Goffin):

  1. Participants will SUBSCRIBE to the Enhancing Young Minds (EYM) blog. Then, drop me a note stating your participation by visiting my Contact Me page. Include your name and email address. Put “BOOK STUDY” in the subject area and “I PLAN TO PARTICIPATE” (and anything else you’d like me to know) in the message area. Simply follow along each week to access the new discussions about the book.
  2. Participants will pay for training hours/certificate by visiting the top-right of this blog and click Donate under PAY for Book-study Certificate Here. ($30)
  3. Participants will obtain a copy of the chosen book Professionalizing Early Childhood Education as a Field of Practice: A Guide to the Next Era by Stacie Goffin.
  4. If you are on Facebook, JOIN this eventhttps://www.facebook.com/events/1078301142189381/
  5. Participants will read the chapters according to the timeline and review the correlating expert commentary on my blog.
  6. Participants will participate by posting thoughtful and reflective responses (regarding book readings and expert commentaries) in the comments section of the blog post each week for the duration of the blog study. That means that participants will post 8 reflections. If participants are bloggers themselves and are blogging about this experience, including their reflections, they are able to simply post the weblink to their blog post in our blog comments section.
  7. Participants will keep an organized log (Word document) of all comments or blog posts (with dates and chapters) and email them to Dawn Braa (dawnbraa1@gmail.com) at the end of the study.
  8. Participants are responsible for submitting their certificate to Develop to be entered in their learning record UNLESS they JOIN DEVELOP (free to create an account). If participants submit their MNCPD Develop ID# to Dawn along with their organized log of participation, course completion will automatically be entered onto their MNCPD learning record!

*Participants must successfully complete all requirements to be eligible for training hours/certificate.
**Duplicate certificates will not be sent.

If you live outside MN and are seeking training hours, I suggest you also document your active participation and inquire with your state about approval possibilities. I am not guaranteeing approval of any kind outside of MN, but you will receive a certificate after successful completion.

To learn more about this study, including the FAQs, click HERE!


17 Dec

Beyond The Pages Book Study Frequently Asked Questions (Goffin)

Here’s the information you’ve been waiting for! My next book study will be focused on Stacie Goffin’s book Professionalizing Early Childhood Education as a Field of Practice: A Guide to the Next Era. I’m honored to announce that there is another fantastic lineup of early childhood experts to assist in leading the conversation around this book! In the coming weeks, those content experts will be announced. Did I mention that Redleaf Press is sponsoring a BOOK GIVEAWAY beginning on Jan. 2nd, 2016? Stay tuned! (Although the LIVE book study has ended, blog visitors are welcome [and encouraged!] to participate).

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BeyondthePages.Goffin.2015[1]

I realize that some of you may be new to the idea of an online book study. Don’t worry…there are no prerequisites for participation. Everyone is welcome and I’m so glad that you’ve stopped by! Do join us, won’t you?

FAQs

  1. How does this study work?
    Participants will read the chosen book and visit the blog for weekly guest expert commentary to further their thought-process, dialogue, etc. Follow along by using the Book Study Timeline (below). You may check in at your convenience each week. You are also invited to participate in the weekly dialogue on the blog by commenting below each post. Your experiences and perspective will help others on this journey. The profession needs your voice! Because this is an online study, the commentary will be available at a later date should you get behind. Please note that the Ask The Author feature is only guaranteed during the live book study dates.
  2. Where can I purchase the book?
    NAEYC comprehensive members should have received this book in the fall (2015). See the links below to purchase a copy of Professionalizing Early Childhood Education as a Field of Practice: A Guide to the Next Era.

    1. Redleaf Press – Use code PROECE to save 10% on Stacie Goffin’s Professionalizing Early
    Childhood Education As a field of Practice
     through 3-1-16*

    2. NAEYC
    3Amazon
  3. How do I access the blog book study?
    You may access the book study a few different ways:

    Visit my Blog– https://enhancingyoungminds.com/ and subscribe (upper right-hand corner)
    Like my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/EarlyChildhoodIdeasResources
    Follow on Twitter– https://twitter.com/dawnbraa
    Attend the Facebook Book Study Event https://www.facebook.com/events/1078301142189381/
  4. Do I need to register?
    First, be sure to
    SUBSCRIBE to the Enhancing Young Minds (EYM) blog. Then, drop me a note stating your participation by visiting my Contact Me page. Include your name and email address. Put “BOOK STUDY” in the subject area and “I PLAN TO PARTICIPATE” (and anything else you’d like me to know) in the message area. Simply follow along each week to access the new discussions about the book. *Note* If you are seeking a certificate for training hours, you’ll need to follow these steps <–Click
  5. Is there a fee?
    No, not to participate, except the cost of the book (approx. $20). *Minnesota participants seeking training hours through MNCPD/Develop or anyone seeking a training certificate is required to pay $30 prior to receiving hours/certificate (6 hours). Pay by visiting the top-right of this blog and click Donate under PAY for Book-study Certificate Here.
  6. Can I participate?
    Absolutely!  You may participate a few different ways: read the book, follow along with the study, share on social media, post chapter comments on our blog and/or Facebook page, and/or blog your responses to chapter topics on your blog and link back to our expert commentaries. Twitter hashtag #BeyondThePages
  7. What is Ask the Author?
    The author of this book, Stacie Goffin, has generously agreed to participate in our blog study by answering questions from participants!  How cool is that?! #AskAuthor
  8. What if I miss the LIVE study? Can I still participate?
    Yes, absolutely! This book study will be available online afterwards. This allows you to join and begin at any time. (see #4) Decide on a pace that works for you. Be sure to comment on the EYM blog so we can all be part of your conversation as well!

Book Study Timeline!
(After reading, click on the chapter to view the expert commentary for the coinciding chapter. Click the name to learn more about the guest expert)


7 Dec

Beyond the Pages: Next Book Study Choice!

Stacie_library-web

Stacie Goffin is the Principal of the Goffin Strategy Group. Established in 2004, the Goffin Strategy Group dedicates itself to building early childhood education’s ability to offer effective programs and services to young children through leadership, capacity, and systems development. Stacie works with local and state non-profits, philanthropy, governments, and national organizations. A widely published author, Stacie’s conceptual leadership focuses on advancing early childhood education as a professional field of practice.

Prior to forming the Goffin Strategy Group, Stacie led the five-year effort to reinvent the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s [NAEYC] early childhood program accreditation system. This effort resulted in a newly designed delivery system, updated accreditation criteria, and first-ever national program standards for early childhood education programs serving children from birth through kindergarten.

A former senior program officer at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, professor in higher education, and preschool educator, Stacie served as the founding chair of multiple organizations, including the Early Childhood Funders Collaborative, Kansas City’s Metropolitan Council on Early Learning, and the West Virginia Network for Young Children.

Stacie is an author of several seminal publications, including Ready or Not: Leadership Choices in Early Care and Education (with Valora Washington); Early Childhood Education for a New Era: Leading for Our Profession; and the recently released Professionalizing Early Childhood Education as a Field of Practice: A Guide to the Next Era. Both her writing and presentations have earned her a well-respected reputation as an agent for change.

You can learn more about Stacie Goffin online by visiting her webpage. Stacie will be closing our What If Everybody Understood Child Development? book study and announcing our next study book choice on Dec. 7th. (Just learning about my book study? Access the fall book study HERE**IMPORTANT MESSAGE FOR THOSE WHO PARTICIPATED IN THIS STUDY: Please complete this short survey! http://goo.gl/forms/WBU0YPYdAT Thank you!

——————————————————————-

“You’ve spent the last several months reading and thinking about Rae Pica’s book, What If Everybody Understood Child Development? And now you’re about to read its concluding blog.

Rae’s book topic is an important one. Few early educators question the importance of child development knowledge as fundamental to meaningful and impactful interactions with young children. Being literal in the extreme, though, what if, in fact, everybody understood child development and its importance in furthering children’s early learning and development? If this were the case, what is now central to early childhood education’s (ECE) occupational expertise would be commonplace, minimizing the societal contribution of ECE’s specialized knowledge and undermining its stature as an occupation that makes a difference in children’s lives.

The sentences above are unlikely to materialize, but here’s why they still merit our consideration.

book imageWithout an arguably unique societal contribution, ECE cannot be formally identified as a professional field of practice. Without a defining purpose that distinguishes our knowledge and skills from commonly held information or from the contributions of other fields of practice, ECE cannot claim public recognition as a profession. When considered in this way, Rae’s book title offers the perfect segue to our next blog book study of Professionalizing Early Childhood Education As a Field of Practice: A Guide to the Next Era.

Let’s return to the question of ECE’s unique contribution to children’s early learning and development. How would you answer these questions: What do you think distinguishes ECE’s knowledge base and practice from other child-serving professions interacting with the same age children? What commonalities bind us together as a field of practice, regardless of a program’s sector, policy mandate, or financing? Then consider this: What is the identifying name for our field of practice: early childhood education? Early care and education? Early education and care? Early learning and development? I know from experience that this list is not inclusive. Why do we lack a shared identifier for our field? Why do we continue to invent new terminology to describe who we are and what we do?

The next blog book study asks these and many other questions to probe our thinking about our identity as a field of practice and the future we want for ECE. Be forewarned, these questions are not easy to answer. They push us to critically consider our fragmented state and the divergences that exist between our aspirations for ECE as a field of practice and the field’s current status. They push us to question ECE’s current trajectory as a field of practice and what we can do about it.

A Defining Moment in Time

This is a defining moment for ECE. Few of us familiar with ECE are unaware of its struggle to fulfill its ambitions as a field of practice. Even though the ECE field is receiving increased recognition of its importance and is experiencing significant growth in policy support and funding, it continues to be characterized by a fragmented delivery system, reliance on an underdeveloped workforce, and uneven public respect. Despite the best of intentions, we remain a divided field of practice and lack what it takes to ensure that each and every child with whom we interact as early educators experiences an optimum early learning experience.

Further, this reality is unlikely to change unless the ECE field comes to terms with its lack of organization as a unified field of practice with defined expectations and accountabilities for a competent and responsible workforce.

Advancing ECE as a Professional Field of Practice

A budding movement is emerging in response to this crisis of fragmentation—a drive to organize ECE as a professional field of practice united by a shared overarching purpose, defining body of knowledge and practice, common professional identity, and accountability to one another, as well as to children and families.

Because of the nature of ECE’s work, few would question that it ought to be a profession and be recognized as such. Yet to qualify as a recognized profession, ECE will have to have attributes that define professional occupations—criteria such as a prescribed scope of work as a field of practice and formal preparation as a prerequisite to being licensed to practice.

This will require us to move beyond ECE’s history of willingly accepting people into the “profession” with varying education levels, credentials, and competencies, and ensuring that early educators are prepared to facilitate children’s learning and development prior to interacting with them and their families in formal early learning settings.

These are not trivial shifts in thinking. Advancing ECE as a recognized professional field of practice requires us to move beyond changes targeting incremental program improvements and instead engaging in the demanding but energizing work of transforming ECE as a field of practice.

The time has come for envisioning ECE as a recognized profession and determining how this will be achieved. The time has come for us to step forward, take charge of change, and confront the choices that becoming a professional field of practice will demand of us.

Many other fields of practice have confronted similar turning points: medicine, physical and occupational therapy, nursing, and architecture, to name a few. We can learn from their journeys. We can unify ECE as a field of practice, increase our individual and collective competence, and promote greater consistency in what children learn and are capable of doing across early learning settings.

Although professions vary in how they’re organized, they share the commonalities that are the hallmark of professional fields of practice. The work ahead, by definition, will be dynamic and emergent. This means it won’t be possible to devise an all-inclusive action blueprint in advance of starting ECE’s journey. Nor will a viable approach likely emerge in response to someone driving a predetermined change agenda. Rather, the work has to be driven by our shared vision for the field’s future, the choices we make regarding ECE’s defining purpose and character, and an openness to learning while we’re in the midst of change.

There is a starting place for the work, though — conversations with intent. These are conversations that engage us in personal and collective reflections that invite thinking together about creating an alternative future for ECE as a field of practice. Catalyzing these conversations is the focus of Professionalizing Early Childhood Education As a Field of Practice: A Guide to the Next Era. As Robert Fritz underscores for us, “We have been trained to think of situations that are inadequate to our aspirations as problems. When we think of them as problems, you are taking action to have something go away: the problem. When you are creating, you are taking action to have something come into being: the creation.”[1]

By focusing on the future we want to create for ECE as a professional field of practice, we have the shared opportunity to help ECE realize its potential. Fulfilling this aspiration depends on each of us — individually and collectively — to become engaged with redirecting ECE’s trajectory. Your engagement in the next book blog study will begin your personal journey in this direction.”

Stacie Goffin
Website: https://sites.google.com/site/goffinstrategygroup/about-us
Copyright: Goffin Strategy Group, LLC, 2015

[1] R. Fritz. (1989). Path of least resistance: Learning to become the creating force in your own life. New York: Fawcett Columbine, p. 11, italics in original.

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*More details to come soon regarding the book study…including a book GIVEAWAY! Stay tuned. The next BTP book study will be hosted on this blog. Be sure to SUBSCRIBE (at the top of this page)!


3 Dec

Congratulations! First Book Study Finisher!

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Jennifer from MN is the first to have completed my first Beyond The Pages blog book study for training hours. She participated in all 14 discussions – way to go!

Jennifer says of the study, “I enjoyed the wide variety of topics covered and thought all the guest bloggers brought helpful insights.  I can’t wait to hear what we will read this spring!”

Thank you for your participation Jennifer! It was lovely to have you as a participant.

*If YOU missed the fall study, don’t worry! Since it’s online, you can participate at any time 🙂 Simply visit my college program blog where it’s hosted. Decide on a pace that works for you. Get Rae Pica’s book, read it according to the timeline (not necessarily in order), and read the correlating guest expert commentaries (click on chapter links) and comments for more insights and resources. Be sure to comment on the blog – share your thoughts and stories – be heard!

The announcement for the next book study will be coming next week…stay tuned!