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Professional Development for Reflective Teaching

by Margie Carter
January/February 2016
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/professional-development-for-reflective-teaching/5022768/

It has never been more important for teachers of young children to explore ways to examine and improve their own practice. The steady drumbeat from federal, state, and local education officials is to prescribe curriculum, teaching, and evaluation models for early childhood programs. . . . Teachers are often treated as technicians whose competency is measured by how well they match expectations based on narrowly focused criteria. Teacher research is a way for teachers to systematically examine and improve their own practice. It is a way for members of the early childhood education community to reassert their professional autonomy.
— J. Amos Hatch (2012)

Teaching young children is complex work. Every day teachers face many challenges — ongoing chores of caretaking and clean-up, planning and providing an engaging curriculum, communicating with families and coworkers, and responding to the ever-growing pressures for outcomes, assessment, and documentation to demonstrate children's learning. These pressures compete for teachers' attention, making it difficult to keep the joy of being with children at the heart of our work. Teachers can turn to the many resources available to learn about guidance techniques or use a published curriculum to help with planning. But to truly share meaningful experiences with ...

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