The ELC: An Early Childhood Learning Community at Work
Copyright Year: 2020
Publisher: Open SUNY
Conditions of Use
The authors start with the problem of alignment between the goals of the standards published by NAEYC and the reality of the workplace. They had a grant for close to $150,000 to work with to build meaningful connections for a range of... read more
The authors start with the problem of alignment between the goals of the standards published by NAEYC and the reality of the workplace. They had a grant for close to $150,000 to work with to build meaningful connections for a range of practitioners. Nearly 95 families gave permission for the everyday work of the classroom in which their children were placed to be filmed and analyzed. Six teams were assembled who worked with selected existing material and problems they'd identified in their classrooms. Support from a varied group of sources including weekly team meetings was pooled over the four 16 week semester that this book stems from.
Written by experienced teachers, this book offers both deep and thorough material for those new to the profession and also of value to the experienced provider. Much of the material is an interesting reflection of a discrete experience. It may or may not translate easily for those whose situation is unlike this.
The purpose of this book is to bridge the gap between the clean presentation of theories of child development in college classes and the messy reality of the classroom with many children, multiple and competing needs, and a varied group of co-workers. This gap is decades old and I see little chance of even the required observation practicum filling the space between our aspirations for our profession and the pragmatic experience of the mundane and extreme situations of everyday care for multiple children. The goal of this book is admirable, but it will best be used IN the real setting to remind and coalesce staff around a common intent rather than aid the college side of the problem.
For beginning students (my cohort), this may be too esoteric. The language is fine and a glossary is included, but the conceptual nature of the content seems more relatable for managers, teachers, and directors. This support change and so would be best suited for agents of change, wherever that decision-making might fall.
Very consistent and integrated. All the content is tied to the same research project so it all has the same approach and similar interest and vocabulary.
So far as modules go, this is great. It is easily divided and very limited in length and depth. From my perspective, this would be a tool I'd use with a staff development initiative rather than a college course.
The rich references page is great, and I really appreciated seeing the pre-initiative questionnaire. The whole flows well and allows for the reader to dive into one or two areas of interest/concern. If it was on my personal/professional bookshelf I'd go back to it at various times to focus on one area at a time.
No interface issues other than a minor one in the questionnaire at the end. I really hoped to see segment of the videos referenced. The study relied on 20 minute iMovie videos and they are the basis of the written material. Seeing even a few of these would have given this a more powerful impact.
As a former composition teacher, I'm known to be hyper-critical about this element. I found zero errors!
I feel this is a strong component of this book. Great examples of children from minority communities.
I like what this book does and it does it well. I'm disappointed that it does not fit for my own uses or for the college classes as we have them configured. I hope it finds its way into the world for which I see it most suitable.
Table of Contents
Part I: Setting up the Early Learning Community (ELC)
- 1. Building Blocks for the ELC
Part II: Case Studies2. Improving Children’s Socio-Dramatic Play
- 3. Developing a Science Area
- 4. Improving Opportunities for Physical Play
- 5. Improving Play at the Sensory Table
- 6. Boys’ Capacity to Express Emotions
- 7. Improving Differentiation during Morning Meetings
Part III: Reflections
- 8. Participants’ Responses to the ELC
- 9. Conclusion
- Appendix A: Educators’ Questionnaire
- Appendix B: Teacher Candidates’ Questionnaire
About the Book
The ELC professional development model was designed to improve the quality of teacher candidates’ Practicum field placements and align teaching in field placements with Learning Standards used in the teacher education program.
Teams of four educators from varied settings worked in a Practicum placement setting for one semester to improve their teaching and align it with Learning Standards. An action research approach improved teaching challenges teams faced. Research articles were read to improve teams’ teaching challenges by implementing one agreed strategy. Teams video-recorded, assessed, and reflected on the impact of the strategy on their teaching, on teacher candidates’ learning and on children’s learning.
This text compiles six case studies from this model to illustrate how teaching challenges were improved. Appropriate for practiced educators as well as educators in training, this text provides a real world look into applying Learning Standards in early childhood classrooms.
About the Contributors