Advertisement

Early Childhood Education Journal

, Volume 47, Issue 2, pp 153–162 | Cite as

Edges and Boundaries: Finding Community and Innovation as an Early Childhood Educator

  • Margaret ClarkEmail author
Article

Abstract

This study describes how a group of early childhood educators from a diverse range of classroom cultures and pedagogies came together to form a network of support and collaboration, what Gorodetsky and Barak (Teach Teach Educ 24(7):1907–1918, 2008) define as an ‘edge community of practice.’ This year-long study involved a group of nine educators, who met for monthly workshops to discuss their teaching pedagogies, struggles, and successes. This article explains how this group of educators engaged in thoughtful deliberations about common educational concepts, such as ‘assessment’ and ‘classrooms’, and from these discussions, emerged from the experience with new and innovative perspectives on teaching young children. These educators, while quite different in their pedagogical approaches, critically examined their own practices, formed supportive relationships, and emerged with new and innovative understandings of early childhood education.

Keywords

Early childhood Professional development Teacher education Community of practice Edge community 

References

  1. Bassok, D., Fitzpatrick, M., Loeb, S., & Paglayan, A. S. (2013). The early childhood care and education workforce from 1990 through 2010: Changing dynamics and persistent concerns. Education Finance and Policy, 8(4), 581–601.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Borko, H. (2004). Professional development and teacher learning: Mapping the terrain. Educational Researcher, 33(8), 3–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bornfreund, L. (2015). Every student succeeds act and early learning. Retrieved from http://www.edcentral.org/every-student-succeeds-act-early-learning/.
  4. Brydon-Miller, M., & Maguire, P. (2009). Participatory action research: Contributions to the development of practitioner inquiry in education. Educational Action Research, 17(1), 79–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cochran-Smith, M., & Lytle, S. L. (Eds.). (1993). Inside/outside: Teacher research and knowledge. New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  6. Cochran-Smith, M., & Lytle, S. L. (2009). Inquiry as stance: Practitioner research for the next generation. New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  7. David, J. L. (2008). What the research says about… Collaborative inquiry. Educational Leadership, 66(4), 87–88.Google Scholar
  8. Escamilla, I. M., & Meier, D. (2018). The promise of teacher inquiry and reflection: Early childhood teachers as change agents. Studying Teacher Education, 14(1), 3–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Gearhart, M., & Osmundson, E. (2008). Assessment portfolios as opportunities for teacher learning (CRESST Report 736). Los Angeles: University of California, Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing.Google Scholar
  10. Giroux, H. A. (1988). Teachers as intellectuals: Toward a critical pedagogy of learning. Granby, MA: Bergin & Garvey.Google Scholar
  11. Gorodetsky, M., & Barak, J. (2008). The educational-cultural edge: A participative learning environment for co-emergence of personal and institutional growth. Teaching and Teacher Education, 24(7), 1907–1918.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gorodetsky, M., & Barak, J. (2009). Back to schooling: Challenging implicit routines and change. Professional Development in Education, 35(4), 585–600.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gorodetsky, M., Barak, J., & Hadari, H. (2007). A cultural-ecological edge: A model for a collaborative community of practice. In E. Munthe E & M. Zellermayer (Eds.), Teachers learning in communities: International perspectives (pp. 99–112). Rotterham: SensePublishers.Google Scholar
  14. Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. National Governors Association Center for Best Practices. (2010). Building an early childhood professional development system (Issue Brief). Washington, DC: R. Demma. Retrieved from https://www.nga.org/files/live/sites/NGA/files/.
  16. Nieto, S., Gordon, S., & Yearwood, J. (2002). Teachers’ experiences in a critical inquiry group: A conversation in three voices. Teaching Education, 13(3), 341–355.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Noddings, N. (2013). Caring: A relational approach to ethics and moral education. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  18. Odum, E. P. (1971). Fundamentals of ecology (3rd edn.). Philadelphia, PA: Saunders.Google Scholar
  19. Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative research & evaluation methods (3rd edn.). Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications, Inc.Google Scholar
  20. Perry, K. (2015). Why 2015 was a benchmark year for early childhood education. Retreived from http://hechingerreport.org/why-2015-was-a-benchmark-year-for-early-childhood-education/.
  21. Reinking, D., & Bradley, B. A. (2008). On formative and design experiments: Approaches to language and literacy research. New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  22. Ryan, S., & Goffin, S. G. (2008). Missing in action: Teaching in early care and education. Early Education and Development, 19(3), 385–395.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Star, S. L., & Griesemer, J. R. (1989). Institutional ecology, ‘translations’ and boundary objects: Amateurs and professionals in Berkeley’s Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, 1907–39. Social Studies of Science, 19(3), 387–420.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Tegano, D. W., & Moran, M. J. (2005). Conditions and contexts for teacher inquiry: Systematic approaches to preservice teacher collaborative experiences. The New Educator, 1(4), 287–310.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Tsui, A. B. M., & Law, D. Y. K. (2007). Learning as boundary-crossing in school–university partnership. Teaching and Teacher Education, 23(8), 1289–1301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Tuck, E. (2009). Suspending damage: A letter to communities. Harvard Educational Review, 79(3), 409–428.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Turner, N. J., Davidson-Hunt, I. J., & O’Flaherty, M. (2003). Living on the edge: Ecological and cultural edges as sources of diversity for social-ecological resilience. Human Ecology, 31(3), 439–461.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Whitebook, M., Phillips, D., & Howes, C. (2014). Worthy work, STILL unlivable wages: The early childhood workforce 25 years after the National Child Care Staffing Study, Executive Summary. Berkeley, CA: Center for the Study of Child Care Employment, University of California, Berkeley.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Education DepartmentUniversity of HartfordWest HartfordUSA

Personalised recommendations