The Voice of the Practitioner

November 13, 2015

By Dr. Robert Gundling, Deputy Operating Officer,  Sunshine Early Learning Center 

Imagine a world where the voice of early care and education leaders, advocates, administrators and teachers, mainly in community-based programs is represented in articles in journals, on national task forces, panels, Hearings in Congress and other activities designed to improve the early care and education system in the United States. Consequently, issues that affect practitioners that others write about would be reported with greater accuracy and insight from the practitioners and would include recommendations on how to address the challenges. After all, those providing the direct services are closest to impacting the lives of young children and families.

Today it seems as if those individuals who are recognized as the voice of early care and education either have no experience working directly with children and families or have not participated in programs providing direct services to young children and families. Higher education faculty, advocates who write reports about the state of early care and education in the country and others not necessarily familiar with the “real” world of early care and education are invited to participate in the activities designed to influence the improvements in early care and education.

Some of the potential benefits of including the voice of the practitioner are:

•Increase value and respect for the work that practitioners do each day to make sure young children have the foundation they need to succeed in school and in life.
•Greater probability of collectively impacting the lives of young children, their families and the professionals who work with them.
•Increased potential for a more structured form of collaboration to improve the pace in moving the field of early care and education forward to benefit young children, their families and the staff who work with them.
•Increased interest in journal articles as practitioners realize the articles having information relevant to their work.
•The motivation to develop their writing skills would affect more practitioners as they saw the potential to participate in writing articles for publications.
•More diverse information received by politicians at a Hearing as the practitioner’s perspective is added because of their participation in the Hearings.
•The Reports and White Papers would include information and action items benefiting those providing direct services.

Two examples of how the voice of the practitioner is represented in print are Teaching Young Children,  and the Voice of the Practitioner.  The authors of the articles in both of these publications are teachers.

With more opportunities to include the voice of practitioners in activities that are intended to strengthen and improve the quality of the early care and education system of more meaningful changes that benefit young children would improve. The ultimate result would be more young children would have the foundation they need to succeed in school and in life.

Share:

Recently Posted:

Blog - Text Search
Blog - Category Search
Blog - Search by Tags
Blog - Publish Date

Being Neighbors on 9/11

The morning sun lit a clear, blue sky as America started its day. Highways filled with traffic and railroads rumbled with trains. Planes soared into that cloudless sky, two from Boston, one from Newark and...