ERIC Number: ED365432
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Sep-17
Symposium on Questions about the Quality of Early Childhood Provisions.
Katz, Lilian G.
This paper addresses two questions relevant to practices and policies in early childhood education (ECE). The first question addressed is, Given the worldwide focus on ECE, what are the priorities in practice-oriented research in school life? Educators struggle with the issue of whether research makes much difference to practice. It is suggested that the early childhood field is essentially ideological, and that practice is more influenced by ideology than by research. The second question is, If educators aim to raise the quality of ECE provided, what are the priorities for teacher education? In answer to this question, it is suggested that there is a strong relationship between the quality of ECE provided and the status of practitioners in the field. Factors that impact the low status of ECE practitioners are prevalent beliefs that teaching young children requires few skills and deserves low pay, and that teaching young children "comes naturally" and does not require professional training. The second of these two beliefs is countered by the observation that there are two differences between parenting and teaching young children. First, teachers work with groups of children, rather than one child or a few children, and teachers work with other people's children. In order to teach well, teachers should have a knowledge of child development. However, child development knowledge, though it can provide principles for practice, cannot determine the goals of education. These must be determined by the larger community. A third question, concerning the direction of educational policy toward quality or quantity of education, is raised but is not discussed. (BC)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Europen Conference on the Quality of Early Childhood Education (3rd, Kriopigi, Chalkidiki, Greece, September 1-3, 1993).