Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Policy reservations: Early childhood workforce registries and alternative pedagogy teacher preparation
by Belcher, Kimberlee A., Ph.D., Indiana University, 2015, 323; 3732804
Abstract (Summary)

Due to narrowly defined quality measures, teacher preparation in Montessori, Waldorf, Reggio and LifeWays pedagogies is not recognized in many state ECE professional development systems. The problem is compounded by Quality Rating and Improvement System’s child care program ratings, which rely on teacher qualifications as a component of program ratings. Limitations, due to philosophical dissimilarities pertaining to the spirit of the child, ill-fitting measurements of quality, and policy exclusion make it difficult for alternative pedagogy communities to meet qualifications or to obtain scores that count. This is exacerbated by narrow definitions regarding national versus regional accreditation in teacher preparation programs. U

sing a transformative, mixed-methods approach, this study asks, “What is the role and relevance of alternative pedagogy teacher preparation to the professional development system, and where does it fit in the current policy landscape nationwide?” As a follow up question, the study seeks to answer, “What is the process for change?” Through the use of surveys, interviews, and a cultural context model, a way forward is mapped.

Registry policy makers in 28 states and 46 teacher preparation directors, across three types of alternative-pedagogy teacher preparation programs, assisted in data collection, resulting in a recognition baseline. Public sources were used to triangulate a composite snapshot of this national policy situation, demonstrating appropriate policy inclusion in six out of 17 states’ career pathways and/or data collection in ECE workforce registries. Cumulative data revealed alternative pedagogy teacher recognition levels across the country and revealed how relevant policies evolved to become system inclusive. The study concludes by inviting community representatives to respond and to share their experiences and thoughts. Actionable study outcomes, community-developed recommendations, and an advocacy map were circulated in three of four alternative pedagogy communities.

Using a cultural equity paradigm, the study elucidates power relationships between alternative pedagogy teacher preparation and national/state efforts towards ECE professional development and quality improvement policy systems, illuminating where federal and state policy/initiatives are shaping, responding to, and limiting the alternative-pedagogy teacher preparation pipeline in the United States. Recommended courses of action encourage policy collaboration and a cultural shift from policy power over, to power with policy.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Flinders, David, McMullen, Mary
Commitee: Crow, Gary, Keller, Melissa
School: Indiana University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-A 77/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Education Policy, Early childhood education, Teacher education
Keywords: Alternative pedagogy, Montessori, Reggio, Spirit of the child, Steiner, Transformative
Publication Number: 3732804
ISBN: 9781339208688
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