This study examines the professional identities of early educators with master's degrees in the United States. While other democratic nations have begun to move toward fully funded early care and education that offers qualified teachers a living wage, early education in the U.S. continues to be vastly underfunded and inconsistently regulated. Through semi-structured interviews with five teachers I identified specific ways in which highly qualified early educators have constructed professional identities within a marginalized profession. Results indicate that the attainment of a Master's degree in Early Childhood Education [ECE] positively influences teachers' abilities to take a leadership role, reflect critically on the field, and participate within the broader public sphere to enact change. Implications of this study highlight the pivotal role that early educators with master's degrees play in shaping the future of ECE in the U.S.
Keywords: Early Care and Education, professional identity, professional status, reflection, leadership
|Advisor:||Kroll, Linda R., Shimpi, Priya|
|Department:||School of Education|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 53/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Education Policy, Early childhood education, Cognitive psychology|
|Keywords:||Early care and education, Leadership, Professional identity, Professional status, Reflection|
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