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Finding space for infants and toddlers in early childhood teacher preparation programs


Previous research has highlighted the need to improve teacher education programs with the intent of preparing infant–toddler professionals as working with infants-toddlers and families requires a unique skill set. The following mixed methods research study supported these assertions by examining the early childhood education (ECE) undergraduate teacher preparation course content in a large northeastern state, through document analysis and a survey of faculty. The findings indicated that very few of the research-based, best practices (relationship-based practices, family-centered practices, creating environments, reflective and ethical practices, and fieldwork experience in high-quality classrooms with children under three), identified for working with infants and toddlers were the main-focus of any of the ECE undergraduate teacher preparation courses. This research offers recommendations for ways that undergraduate ECE teacher preparation programs can support the infant–toddler workforce. The recommendations include adding dedicated infant–toddler courses and supervised fieldwork opportunities with children from birth to 36 months into ECE undergraduate coursework. (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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