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ERIC Number: ED470618
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Dec
Pages: 14
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Learning Partnerships in Rural Early Childhood Settings.
Coombe, Kennece; Lubawy, Joy
A study examined six aspects of learning communities in early childhood settings in rural New South Wales (Australia). These aspects are reflection, individual development, diversity, conversation, caring, and shared responsibility. Surveys of 15 directors of early childhood programs indicated that the reflective component of the learning community had some merit for preschool, but staff should be encouraged to reflect methodically, collegially, and with purpose. The developmental aspect appeared to be highly dependent on in-house strategies or serendipitous learning in a process of teaching by doing rather than by justifying, explaining, or theorizing. Analysis of the diverse community component pointed to a need to spread some power and control and the associated responsibilities. The conversational aspect of the learning community appeared to be well-developed, though more effective listening may be needed to foster feelings of empowerment and ownership in others. It is the caring community with which early childhood educators most closely identify. The caring aspect comprises the universal attributes of the interdependence of members; giving and receiving, nurturing relationships; and a positive approach to working with young children and their families. The directors' comments were useful in explicating this phenomenon. Although teachers did recognize that boundaries of confidentiality and professional accountabilities prevented a total sharing of responsibility within their centers, they acknowledged the benefits of sharing the load both in terms of reduced stress for teachers and empowerment of other stakeholders. (TD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia