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ERIC Number: ED525469
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 148
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1244-9483-8
Understanding the Early Childhood Practicum Course in California Community Colleges
Millovich, June M.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The Claremont Graduate University
The early childhood practicum course is the venue through which college students synthesize prior learning about developmentally appropriate teaching practices and apply it in supervised fieldwork settings. Prior research identifies that while this course has a central place in the preparation of teachers, there are acknowledged gaps of information about both the components of the course and the experiences of the students. This study investigated the current policies about, and experiences with the early childhood practicum course as it is taught in California community colleges. The goal of the research was to collect and analyze data to reflect the course as it is currently taught and identify components that students and instructors recognize as either valuable or missing. This study included two groups of participants: community college early childhood practicum instructors and the students enrolled in their courses. A survey instrument was developed and mailed to the students and instructors in a total of 148 sections of California community college early childhood practicum at 89 colleges. A total of 457 student surveys and 48 instructor surveys were returned from 48 colleges. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, Pearson correlation, and stepwise multiple regression. A composite profile was developed from the findings illustrating the practicum course as it is most commonly designed and taught. Results from a series of multiple regression analyses indicated that several categories of pre-course experiences: number of early childhood education units completed, work experience with young children, and course work in specific topics positively predicted students' feelings of preparation for success in the course. Additional results indicated that course elements of smaller class size, supervision by highly qualified mentor teachers, key mentoring practices, and specific assignments positively predicted students' feelings that this class positively influenced their early childhood teaching abilities. Findings would be highly useful for faculty as a baseline from which to create courses that maximize the time the students spend in their practicum experiences. Additionally, this new knowledge base provides significant support for both curriculum development projects and work towards consensus in early childhood teacher preparation which will clarify and enable transfer pathways to four year institutions. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California