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Significant Ideas and Progressive Change

by Gwen Morgan and Anne Mitchell
July/August 2012
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/significant-ideas-and-progressive-change/5020628/

Ideas are not one-time “Eureka” moments, but are parts of concepts progressing forward. Sometimes years pass before ideas are implemented. They then resurface, connect with other ideas, and move policies ahead. Meanwhile, the idea remains alive in the field, influencing decisions and goals. Ideas build on one another when implemented.

Our field generates many ideas. We chose to write about four that have built initial good ideas into implemented ­policies and partial solutions.

Idea 1:
Progressive Professional ­Development

History: From the1870s into the 1920s, child development programs emerged in cities and mill towns. Early childhood teachers, called ‘kindergartners,’ taught groups of children ages 2 to 7 and visited families. The Industrial ­Revolution drew families from farms into mills where both parents worked; sometimes children, too. Families lived in crowded tenements and children could no longer roam outdoors.

Training for ‘kindergartners’ evolved into colleges focused on early education. Wheelock was incorporated as a college in 1888; Bank Street in 1916; Erikson Institute in 1966. Tufts University adopted the former Nursery Training School as a Department in the 1930s. In 1923, the Carnegie Corporation funded certain universities and ­colleges to develop new early childhood degree programs.
T.E.A.C.H. was a big idea pioneered in 1974 ...

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