Type of Document Dissertation Author Birken, Brittany Olivieri Author's Email Address email@example.com URN etd-11102004-153002 Title Assessing the Post-Secondary Early Childhood Teacher Preparation Programs in Florida Degree Doctor of Philosophy Department Family and Child Sciences, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Ann K. Mullis Committee Chair Christine A. Readdick Committee Member Ronald L. Mullis Committee Member Sande D. Milton Committee Member Keywords
- Child Development
- Early Childhood Education
- Professional Development
- Teacher Preparation
Date of Defense 2004-11-01 Availability unrestricted AbstractProfessional development of early childhood teachers is a topic with tangible meaning for children birth through five and their families who are served through early care and education services. This study was conducted to assess the availability and accessibility of formal professional development programs that offer college credit and to identify strengths and weaknesses in faculty dynamics, the provision of curricula, and articulation of credit among institutions of higher education in Florida.
The education of early childhood teachers has been identified in previous research as having positive effects on child outcomes, particularly for children who are from low-income families. Research on professional development was necessary to determine if quality educational opportunities are available and accessible for early childhood teachers seeking higher education. Research included examination of formal systems of early childhood education. Faculty representatives from 34 of 38 institutions of higher education in Florida that offer early childhood or child development degrees comprised the sample members for assessment. This was accomplished through replication of research, first conducted by Early and Winton (2001) with a national sample. The purpose of the current research was to provide
accurate baseline data about the number of programs in Florida offering early childhood degrees, the characteristics of faculty in those programs and the kinds of coursework and practica experiences provided to students; and to describe the challenges faced by faculty members in meeting the professional development needs of the early childhood workforce. Findings included descriptive information on curricular content and coverage for early childhood or child development programs in Florida, comparisons of 2-year versus 4-year programs, and comparisons to findings in the national sample. Results are presented in terms of the early childhood student and implications for accessibility, availability, and comprehensibility of the early childhood or child development programs within Florida IHEs.
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