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

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.

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Correspondence to Margaret Clark.

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Clark, M. Edges and Boundaries: Finding Community and Innovation as an Early Childhood Educator. Early Childhood Educ J 47, 153–162 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10643-018-0904-z

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Keywords

  • Early childhood
  • Professional development
  • Teacher education
  • Community of practice
  • Edge community