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ERIC Number: ED515337
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 299
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1096-5919-1
Creating, Constructing, and Cultivating Professional Development within a Reggio-Inspired Early Childhood Education Program
Haigh, Karen M.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Union Institute and University
The study examined the professional development system of an early childhood education program which was influenced by the Reggio Emilia Approach to early learning. This multi-site program thrived within low-income, inner-city communities of Chicago. Literature connected to the program's historical context of the Settlement House and the Reggio Emilia Approach was reviewed. Additionally, literature related to theories and practices concerning children's learning and children living in poverty was reviewed. Finally, literature related to professional development and adult learning was reviewed. While research has found professional development to be a key contributor to program quality, research on the quality of systems of professional development in early childhood education is lacking. Methods of professional development from 1993 through 2003 were identified, reviewed, and analyzed in this case study research. The main research question was "What are effective methods for professional development within a program inspired by the Reggio Emilia Approach to early learning?" Data were collected, categorized, and analyzed from three various staff focus group responses and documentation data within the program. Five main categories of professional development were identified and described as structural components, principles and values, strategies and techniques, attitudes and characteristics, and finally outcomes Each of these categories has a series of elements that are described. The value and effectiveness of the methods were discussed as well as their relationship to the Reggio Emilia Approach to learning. Findings suggest professional development is to be sustained and a priority within programs. Building relationships, collaboration, listening, and leadership all contribute to the effectiveness of professional development. Nine methods identified by focus groups to be most effective were noted while use of reflection, revisiting, documentation and dialogue were also found to be key. Suggestions for further study include collaborative endeavors among academic institutions and early childhood education programs concerning the quality of professional development. Furthermore, it would be beneficial to study the impact of professional development on children's learning, and the overall program while considering the costs and time necessary for professional development. [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
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois