This article reports findings from a study to investigate the efficacy beliefs, experiences, and instructional practices of pre-kindergarten (pre-k) teachers from a high-need district who engaged in collaborative professional learning experiences provided by a partner university. The study also examined language and literacy instruction for children in their pre-k classrooms. The professional learning occurred as part of a project to support pre-k teachers within the district and to boost teaching effectiveness. Researchers employed a mixed methods approach to investigate how pre-k teacher participants (a) perceived their efficacy as teachers; (b) experienced early literacy-focused professional learning; and (c) approached literacy teaching within their classrooms. Analysis of three years of data reveal alignment between participants’ sense of efficacy and instructional strengths and areas for growth both self-reported and observed. Additionally, participants echoed feelings of exclusion from most professional learning experiences and offered insight into considerations for designing and delivering professional learning opportunities to effectively support pre-k teachers’ literacy instructional practices. (author abstract)
“It felt good to be included”: A mixed methods study of pre-kindergarten teachers’ experiences with professional learning
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