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ERIC Number: EJ1084950
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1524-5039
Students Learn about Documentation throughout Their Teacher Education Program
Edwards, Carolyn Pope; Churchill, Susan; Gabriel, Mary; Heaton, Ruth; Jones-Branch, Julie; Marvin, Christine; Rupiper, Michelle
Early Childhood Research & Practice, v9 n2 Fall 2007
Study groups and learning circles can offer a systematic way for early childhood teachers to interact about their work and create a culture of professional development. This paper describes how faculty systematically followed a collaborative co-inquiry process in order to improve a new early childhood interdisciplinary teacher preparation program. The team met on a regular basis throughout one academic year, with the stated objective of infusing observation/documentation knowledge and skills in a coherent and systematic way throughout the students' program of studies. The group created a template of the "cycle of inquiry," which could apply to all courses, and analyzed the documentation process along a series of "skill dimensions": (1) "level" that students are expected to achieve (awareness, application, refinement/integration); (2) "focus" of the students' observations (who, what, where, when, how); (3) width of the "lens" of observation (e.g., focused narrowly on one dimension of behavior or widely on a whole classroom environment); (4) "intended audience" of the completed documentation (e.g., children, parents, professional colleagues); and (5) "finished product" of documentation (e.g., project panel, memory book, slide presentation). The co-inquiry process allowed the faculty to improve the ways that the program helps students move from an awareness level toward a practitioner level in using observation and documentation. The students' reflections and finished work suggest how they learned to promote children's learning, partner with parents, and come to think of themselves as "professionals" in their field.
Clearinghouse on Early Education and Parenting, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 51 Gerty Drive, Champaign, IL 61820. Tel: 877-275-3227; Tel: 217-333-1386; Fax: 217-244-7732; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Tests/Questionnaires; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Nebraska
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A