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“The Learning Never Stops”: Lessons from Military Child Development Centers for Teacher Professional Development Policy

Author(s): Debra J. Ackerman

Journal: Early Childhood Research & Practice
ISSN 1524-5039

Volume: 9;
Issue: 1;
Date: 2007;
Original page

Keywords: Early Childhood Education | U.S. Military Child Care | Professional Development

High-quality early care and education (ECE) relies on teacher training. However, state policies require that the ECE workforce attain only minimal preservice credentials, and the field needs more information about inservice professional development models that might effectively train teachers, no matter what their prior experience or education level. With the aim of addressing this policy context, this paper reports on the professional development provided to caregivers in the U.S. military's child development centers. The military model utilizes both a "one-size-fits-all" and constructivist approach and comprises four distinct phases. Each phase is provided or coordinated by an on-site Training and Curriculum Specialist and takes place within a broader context of support. By describing the components contributing to the military model, this paper highlights the many interrelated inputs that may be essential aspects of an ECE teacher professional development system, thus also offering lessons for policy makers who wish to upgrade professional development policies as a means for improving ECE program quality.
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