This chapter aligns with student learning outcome (SLO) # 1: explain current theories and ongoing research in early care and education and SLO #7: describe major historical figures, advocates, and events shaping today’s early childhood education.
Welcome to the field of early childhood education and to the profession of working with young children! You are beginning the path to the rewarding career of teaching and caring for young children and connecting with the adults and families that care for them. In this first chapter we will explore what it means to be a caring and nurturing educator, discuss the field of early childhood education in general, and learn about some of the historical figures and events that impact the work we do today.
Key points from this chapter
A teacher of young children brings a personal and professional perspective to the classroom.
Many types of programs exist in the field of early learning.
The humanistic field of early learning has significant historical roots that tie to trends found in modern society.
The government plays a role in the field of early learning.
Terminology found throughout this chapter
In addition to terms found in the preface to the text, this chapter introduces terminology including:
NAEYC: National Association for the Education of Young Children—a national association dedicated to the services for children birth to age 8.
Power to the Profession: a national collaboration led by NAEYC that defines the early childhood education profession.
DCYF: Department of Children, Youth and Families. A cabinet level agency focused on the well-being of children in Washington State.
Washington State Core Competencies: a framework that guides decisions and practices carried out by professionals in all early care and education settings.
Values: principles or standards that person believes to be important, desirable, or worthwhile.
Morality: people’s views of what is good, right, or proper: their beliefs about their obligations and ideas about how they should behave.
Temperament: a set of inborn traits that organize the way we approach the world.
Bias: showing favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair.
Code of ethics: a set of guidelines for responsible behavior within the field. Sets forth a common basis for resolving the principal ethical dilemmas encountered in the field of early childhood education.
Advocate: a person who public supports or recommendation of a particular cause or policy.
Inclusion: the act or practice of including all students in the classroom community.