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ERIC Number: ED574308
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Sep
Pages: 42
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 40
Teaching the Teachers of Our Youngest Children: The State of Early Childhood Higher Education in Nebraska, 2015
Austin, Lea J. E.; Sakai, Laura; Whitebook, Marcy; Bloechliger, Olivia; Amanta, Felippa
Center for the Study of Child Care Employment, University of California at Berkeley
Midway through the second decade of this century, the importance of early care and education (ECE) to children's lifelong learning and to our nation's economic well-being is recognized up to the highest levels of government, and in businesses, schools, and living rooms across the country. This understanding represents a dramatic shift from earlier decades, and carries with it heightened expectations for what teachers of young children should know and be able to do particularly in light of mounting evidence about inadequate and unequal educational quality for many children, particularly those of color and those living in low-income families. In recent years, Nebraska, like many states, has committed public and private resources toward multiple efforts to improve educational services and to ensure that teacher education degree and certification programs can better prepare their graduates to meet the complex needs of young children of all ages. Critical to responding to this need is the establishment of a well-coordinated and comprehensive professional preparation and development system that can prepare an incoming generation of professionals while also strengthening the skills of the existing early education workforce. Institutions of higher education are critical to meeting these evolving and increasing demands for improving developmental and learning outcomes for the state's young child population. In light of the changing expectations for effective preparation recommended by the Institute of Medicine/National Research Council, and the workforce needs of the state, now seemed the appropriate time to examine the status of early childhood higher education offerings in Nebraska, in order to allow policy makers, institutions of higher education, and other stakeholders to assess the capacity of the state's higher education system and inform policy, practice, and investment. To undertake this assessment, the Institute commissioned the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment (CSCCE) to implement the Early Childhood Higher Education Inventory (Kipnis, Ryan, Austin, Whitebook, & Sakai, 2012a), a research tool used to describe the landscape of a state's early childhood degree program offerings at the associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels, and to provide a portrait of early childhood faculty members. The Inventory findings are presented in two sections. The first section, "Early Childhood Higher Education Today", examines program offerings, faculty characteristics, student supports, and institutional challenges. The second section of this report, "Early Childhood Higher Education, An Evolving Landscape", examines how institutions of higher education are adapting to emerging research related to family engagement and early mathematical development. Each of the recommendations outlined in this report addresses a critical component of a coordinated effort to attain a strong preparation system for Nebraska's early childhood teachers and administrators, central to ensuring that all young children in Nebraska have access to effective early learning experiences. [This report was commissioned by the Buffett Early Childhood Institute at the University of Nebraska. For "Teaching the Teachers of Our Youngest Children: The State of Early Childhood Higher Education in Nebraska. Highlights," see ED574310. For "The State of Early Childhood Higher Education in Nebraska. Technical Report," see ED574311.]
Center for the Study of Child Care Employment. Institute of Industrial Relations, University of California at Berkeley, 2521 Channing Way #5555, Berkeley, CA 94720. Tel: 510-643-7091; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Numerical/Quantitative Data
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Kindergarten; Primary Education; Preschool Education
Audience: Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: Heising-Simons Foundation
Authoring Institution: University of California, Berkeley. Center for the Study of Child Care Employment
Identifiers - Location: Nebraska