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ERIC Number: ED574335
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 63
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Teachers' Voices: Work Environment Conditions That Impact Teacher Practice and Program Quality
Whitebook, Marcy; King, Elizabeth; Philipp, George; Sakai, Laura
Center for the Study of Child Care Employment, University of California at Berkeley
Early childhood teachers routinely face insufficient teaching supports and inadequate rewards for their education and commitment (e.g., low pay, lack of professional supports, and lack of benefits). These shortcomings contribute to poor program quality and fuel high levels of teacher turnover, preventing program improvement and making it increasingly challenging to attract well-trained and educated teachers to work in early learning programs. To facilitate the process of bringing teachers' voices into quality improvement strategies, the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment (CSCCE) developed Supportive Environmental Quality Underlying Adult Learning, or SEQUAL, as a tool to document contextual information about workplace conditions that impact teacher practice and program quality and to build a vocabulary for the field around teachers' needs for workplace supports. It is a multi-purpose, validated tool that addresses five critical areas of teachers' learning environments: (1) Teaching supports; (2) Learning opportunities; (3) Policies and practices that support teaching staff's initiative and teamwork; (4) Adult well-being; and (5) How supervisors and program leaders interact with staff to support their teaching practice. SEQUAL has been used by Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) administrators and policymakers to understand the interplay between teacher education and the work environment, the relationship between teachers' work environments and indicators of quality, and as a technical assistance tool, to guide improvements to program policies, practices, and conditions necessary to support teachers' work with children. This report presents the findings from the SEQUAL study focused on teaching staff employed in programs participating in Quality Counts in the spring of 2016. Almost all of the programs represented in this report were contracted with the California Department of Education or Head Start to provide services, and accordingly are held to more rigorous standards than other licensed non-contracted programs in the county. This report, describes the design of the study, including information about the sample, the survey instrument, and the data collection and analysis procedures. The report next presents findings beginning with teaching staff responses to items in each of the five SEQUAL domains, including an analysis of how responses varied by site characteristics and quality ratings. The next section provides a detailed description of the personal and work characteristics of teaching staff and explores whether teaching staff assessments of their work environment varied with respect to these characteristics. The report concludes with a discussion of the implications of the findings and recommendations for action targeted towards funders and policymakers.
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 - Research; Numerical/Quantitative Data
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Preschool Education
Audience: Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: University of California, Berkeley. Center for the Study of Child Care Employment
Identifiers - Location: California