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The impact of a focused professional development project on the practices and career paths of early childhood education teachers

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ABSTRACT Early childhood education (ECE) teacher professional development refers to the various modalities of providing new and or additional content knowledge to the teachers who work with children birth to

ABSTRACT Early childhood education (ECE) teacher professional development refers to the various modalities of providing new and or additional content knowledge to the teachers who work with children birth to five. The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of an Arizona United Way-administered intervention project designed to provide focused professional development activities to 15 ECE teachers at seven high-need, center-based early care and education settings. Specifically, this study determined if these interventions influenced the teachers to undertake formative career path changes such as college coursework. In addition, the study also sought to understand the views, beliefs, and attitudes of these ECE teachers and if/how their perspectives influenced their educational career paths. Data were gathered through the triangulated use of participants' responses to a survey, face-to-face interviews, and a focus group. Findings demonstrate that the teachers understand that professional development, such as college coursework, can increase a person's knowledge on a given topic or field of study, but that they feel qualified to be a teacher for children birth to five even though 12 of the 15 teachers do not hold an AA/AAS or BA/BS degree in any area of study. Further, the teachers suggested that if they were to earn a degree it would most likely be in another field of study beside education. These responses provide another reason professional development efforts to encourage ECE teachers to seek degrees in the field of education may be failing. If ECE teachers wanted to invest time, energy and funds they would acquire a degree, which provided more financial reward and professional respect. 

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Examining neighborhood, maternal, and cultural influences on Mexican-origin adolescent mothers' educational outcomes

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Mexican-origin adolescent females have the highest birthrate of all other ethnic groups in the U.S. Further, teen mothers are at significant risk for poor outcomes, including low educational attainment. Therefore,

Mexican-origin adolescent females have the highest birthrate of all other ethnic groups in the U.S. Further, teen mothers are at significant risk for poor outcomes, including low educational attainment. Therefore, examining predictors of Mexican-origin teen mothers' educational attainment was the main goal of the current study. Future-oriented beliefs such as educational aspirations and expectations are suggested to have positive implications for adolescents' educational attainment in general. Therefore, guided by bioecological, social capital, status attainment, social learning, and collective socialization of neighborhood theories, the current study examined neighborhood, maternal, and cultural predictors of 190 Mexican-origin parenting adolescents' educational aspirations, expectations, and attainment. With respect to maternal predictors, the study examined mother figures' (i.e., grandmothers') educational attainment, and aspirations and expectations for the adolescent as predictors of adolescents' educational attainment. Using a multi-informant, longitudinal analytic model, results suggest that adolescents' educational expectations, rather than aspirations, significantly predicted adolescents' attainment one year later. Additionally, grandmothers' educational attainment was indirectly associated with adolescents' educational attainment via the educational expectations of both the grandmother and the adolescent. Further, the neighborhood context indirectly informed adolescents' educational attainment via both grandmothers and adolescents' educational expectations. Finally, adolescents' ethnic identity affirmation was significantly associated with adolescents' educational attainment two years later. Implications regarding the importance of educational expectations and ethnic identity affirmation for at-risk parenting adolescents' educational attainment will be discussed.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Expectations and the post transition of young adults with an autism spectrum disorder to post-secondary education

Description

Over the past two decades, substantial research has documented the increase of students with disabilities enrolling in post-secondary education. The purpose of the study was to examine factors identified

Over the past two decades, substantial research has documented the increase of students with disabilities enrolling in post-secondary education. The purpose of the study was to examine factors identified as significant in preparing individuals who fall on the autism spectrum for post-secondary experiences. The study was exploratory in nature and designed to identify perceived critical program elements needed to design successful post-secondary transition programs for students with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The study used archival research and grounded theory to look at expectations of parents with young adults with an ASD and young adults with an ASD on post-secondary transition and to discern whether expectations impact the successful post transition of young adults. More than likely, due to an overall increase in the prevalence of ASDs, many more students with an ASD will be attending a post-secondary educational setting in the near future. Understanding expectations and particular challenges faced by students with an ASD will be necessary for colleges to meet the unique needs of this population.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011