Early learning and development standards: an examination of teachers’ knowledge, practices, and professional development support

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Teressa C.. Sumrall (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Catherine Scott-Little

Abstract: Early Learning and Development Standards (ELDS) articulate what young children should know and be able to do prior kindergarten. In 2013, early childhood experts in North Carolina revised the state’s ELDS and released The North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development (Foundations), which articulates standards across five domains for children birth to age five. Since the release of Foundations, several programs and agencies have developed different types of professional development opportunities, including one-time trainings, ongoing training series, and training(s) combined with technical assistance/coaching. The primary purpose of this study was to provide information about preschool teachers’ engagement in different types and amount of professional development related to Foundations, to document the extent to which teachers have learned how to use Foundations with children and families, and to identify additional professional development needs and supports teachers need. Using a community engaged research approach, these areas of inquiry were examined using survey data from 110 preschool teachers and interviews with nine teachers. Results indicated that preschool teachers working in public schools and Head Start programs most often reported participation in on-going training series and technical assistance/coaching, whereas teachers working in the child care sector reported more engagement in one-time trainings and less participation in technical assistance/coaching. Teachers’ participation in different types of professional development was related to teachers’ familiarity with and knowledge of Foundations, as well as their general implementation of standards. Furthermore, teachers reported using Foundations for general purposes in the classroom such as lesson planning and to inform the assessment process, but they used Foundations less often to inform their work with dual language learners, children with disabilities, and families. Lastly, preschool teachers most commonly reported they would benefit from more in-depth training as well as print resources to provide guidance on how Foundations can be used to inform their work with children and families. The secondary purpose of this study was to examine the extent to which Foundations has penetrated the early childhood workforce in North Carolina using web-based surveys completed by 117 early childhood professionals across the state. Results indicated that many ECE professionals are using ELDS, but there is still more work to be done. Implications and recommendations for effective ELDS implementation are discussed.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2016
Early Learning and Development Standards, Professional Development, Standards
Education, Preschool $x Standards $z North Carolina
Preschool teachers $x In-service training $z North Carolina

Email this document to