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Leadership Choices Await Early Care and Education Practitioners

by Stacie G. Goffin and Valora Washington
July/August 2019
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/leadership-choices-await-early-care-and-education-practitioners/5024808/

Twelve years ago, “Ready or Not: Leadership Choices in Early Care and Education” (Goffin & Washington, 2007) asked the question, “What defines and bounds early care and education as a field?” It’s evident to us that the question’s three prongs—the field’s purpose, identity, and responsibility to itself, children, and families—remain unanswered. And it shows. 

Too many children continue to be denied opportunities to realize their potential (Institute of Medicine & National Research Council, 2015), and the same can be said for early childhood educators (Washington & Gadson, 2017; Whitebook, McLean, Austin, & Edwards, 2018). ECE continues to lack a sense of collective urgency regarding the developmental implication of its challenges. 

We wish this reality were otherwise, but now, 12 years later, we think we have a better understanding of why the work needed to redirect ECE’s developmental trajectory hasn’t taken place. For too long, practitioners have been positioned as reactors to other’s decisions on the field’s behalf—be they by policymakers, the field’s established “influentials,” or prominent decision-makers in philanthropy and other public and private realms. This no longer is a viable decision-making approach, though—if ever it was. And in fact, we’re observing a schism emerging between those positioned ...

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