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2006Research Conference | June 15–16

This conference highlighted the work of invited speakers, independent researchers who have received grant funds from the Institute of Education Sciences, and trainees supported through predoctoral training grants and postdoctoral fellowships. The presentations are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Department of Education or the Institute of Education Sciences.
Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill
400 New Jersey Avenue, N.W.
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The Impact of a Constructivist Training Program on Early Childhood Teachers' Views of Learning and Training

Presenters:
Johnetta Wade Morrison and Kathy Thornburg, University of Missouri-Columbia
Sheila Brookes, Northwest Missouri University, Jennifer K. Henk, California State University-Stanislaus

Abstract: The poster will present qualitative data from the intervention curriculum training project, Preschool Curriculum Evaluation Research. The intervention training focused on early childhood teachers in 11 classrooms (rural and urban) within 10 child care centers in the mid-west. The training occurred in 3 modules, each module implemented over the course of 2 days (12 hours). The professional backgrounds of the teachers extended from no formal training (high school only, but included training to meet state mandated requirements), some formal training (workshops, in-service, and/or associates degree [early childhood education]), to bachelor's degrees (not in child development or early childhood education). The presentation will examine the multidimensional views of 17 early care and education teachers on constructivist curriculum training. The data on the teachers' perceptions and beliefs, as a result of the curriculum training, were ascertained through teacher interviews (i.e., their beliefs about (a) teaching, (b) how children learn, (c) teaching strategies) over the course of one year. The findings generated 3 major themes which identified the 17 teachers within three categories: Early Childhood Education (ECE) as a Career, ECE as a Job Task, and ECE as the Conditional Career. Within each category the data are presented in relation to the (a) group's characteristics, (b) developmental stages, and (c) knowledge structure via the teachers' self-reported teaching practices. The presentation will conclude with a discussion of the findings in reference to professional development training, policy, and suggestions for further study.