ERIC Number: EJ808209
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Approaches to Rural Professional Development
Thornburg, Kathy R.; Scott, Jacqueline L.
Zero to Three, v26 n4 p14-21 Mar 2006
Three professional development approaches have shown promise in raising the competency level of early childhood professionals in rural areas. Provider registry systems gather information that provides a foundation for further professional development initiatives and systemic development. Statewide professional development systems designed to serve all geographic regions of the state involve strategies to engage all providers equally, regardless of their geographic location. A third approach is to specifically target rural communities and geographically remote areas. Systemic factors, such as the political climate of the state administration, the ability to collaborate across state agencies and organizations, the level of available funding, and the perceived needs of the rural population, can drive a state's approach and the resulting strategic plan. Engaging rural providers in professional development opportunities can be complicated by the cultural distinctiveness of the rural population and the lack of uniformity within the early childhood profession's educational standards. This article provides examples of the three types of professional development initiatives that have been undertaken in Idaho, Kentucky, Montana, New York, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Virginia. The authors encourage readers to continue considering the question of what type of education and training benchmark is appropriate for infant-toddler professionals and what types of supports aid rural providers in obtaining that credential.
Descriptors: Strategic Planning, Rural Population, Young Children, Rural Areas, Geographic Location, State Agencies, Educational Opportunities, Faculty Development, Professional Development, Preschool Teachers, Early Childhood Education, Rural Education, Agency Cooperation, Financial Support, Cultural Influences, Infants, Toddlers, Early Intervention
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Idaho; Kentucky; Montana; New York; North Dakota; South Dakota; Virginia