Early Childhood Education Professional Development: Adult Education Glossary

Though one method of PD delivery is generally predominant in a given situation, training, technical assistance and education frequently overlap. All three of these may be organized and sponsored by institutions of higher education. College and university instructors may be engaged in delivery of all three types of PD. Many college students are already working in the field and may be participating in training or TA as part of or parallel to degree completion.

For example, all teacher education programs include practical training, sometimes called clinical practice, field experience, internship, co-op, or student teaching. All teacher education programs include observation, supervision, feedback, and reflection on practice as part of this clinical practice. Higher education institutions often include a campus lab school or children’s center in which the children’s teachers, college students and college instructors observe, practice and reflect together on their work with young children.

In addition, many colleges and universities have partnerships with school districts, Head Start or other community agencies to organize student teaching practice, reflection, coaching and mentoring from faculty and experienced peers. Early childhood faculty may be important partners in the transition of recent education program graduates into their first teaching positions, through new teacher induction programs. They may participate as mentors or coaches in state or community quality improvement and professional development initiatives.

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