Strengthening Leadership and Teaching Capacity Through Community and College Relationships: Two Case Studies

Strengthening Leadership and Teaching Capacity Through Community and College Relationships: Two Case Studies

Joy Lundeen Ellebbane, Carmen Colón, Wendy Pollock
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 27
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-5089-2.ch009
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As more young children enter public education, leaders and principals need to understand informal modes of education that have documented success with young children. In New York City, this need has become more urgent as city funding increased the number of early childhood programs in public schools. With this increase, school leaders need to extend their learning to support these teachers, children, and families. Bank Street College has a long history of work in these spaces and supporting the development of teachers and leaders in these communities. This chapter uses two case studies to outline professional learning models, one with a network of early childhood programs and the other with a K-8 school. The rationale is that change occurs through thoughtful and supportive learning experiences that include reflection and time to consider what is needed to alter teacher/leader practices. The results of these programs can be used by school leaders to support their work with early childhood teachers and form professional learning partnerships with colleges and external organizations.
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Introduction To Early Childhood

Kindergarten today is driven by standards and preparation for standardized tests. The expectations of what children need to know when they enter Kindergarten are closer to what was previously expected in first grade (Carini, 2000; Miller & Almon, 2013). Now, expectations focus on academics, specifically reading and math, in service to the Common Core standards.

Many kindergartens use a highly prescriptive curriculum geared to new state standards and linked to standardized tests. In an increasing number of kindergartens, teachers must follow scripts from which they may not deviate. These practices, which are not well grounded in research, violate long-established principles of child development and good teaching. (Miller & Almon, 2013, p. 11).

A corresponding concern is closing the achievement gap by promoting early childhood education as a means of providing equal access. In 2014, the Pre-K for All initiative in New York City committed to providing access to free, full-day, high-quality pre-kindergarten to every four-year-old, regardless of family income (

Key Terms in this Chapter

Translanguaging: The interaction between two languages to communicate ideas, information, and concepts. This term implies that both languages are of equal status and contribute equally to meaning making using the learner's full language repertoire. A growing pedagogical practice in the education of emergent bilinguals.

Intervisitations: Can occur when educators/home visitors observe in classrooms or similar educational settings for the purpose of gaining new perspectives.

PreK for All: NYC’s initiative to expand public education to all pre-kindergarten eligible children.

3K: New York City’s initiative to expand public education to three-year-olds.

Emergent Bilinguals: Children who are learning two languages at the same time. It is a mindset shift from perceiving the home language as a deficit and English as the preferred language.

Positive Stance: A strengths-based approach to working with children and families.

Developmental-Interaction Approach: An approach to education developed at Bank Street College of Education in New York City. The approach is based on child development theory and emphasizes the interaction of the relationships among children and teachers/adults, the environment, and materials.

Funds of Knowledge: Theoretical model developed by Luis Moll to describe the resilience and expertise that families in the non-dominant culture bring to educational settings.

Home Visiting Programs: Programs that support children, prenatal through prekindergarten, and families in their homes. The home visiting staff provide services and work with parents and children one-on-one.

Family Childcare Center: Programs with two to five classrooms serving children from birth through pre-k, with a program director and teaching staff. The family childcare centers are family-owned programs in smaller settings or from their home. The teaching staff is usually the owner-director and one or two other staff members.

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