Date of Completion

4-24-2012

Embargo Period

4-23-2012

Open Access

Open Access

Abstract

This study identified the professional development opportunities Connecticut pre-kindergarten teachers found helpful for improving their teaching and how this information was related to their personal characteristics and their level of high quality instruction and supports for early literacy. Participants were 16 female teachers from eight different centers across central and eastern Connecticut. High quality instruction and supports for early literacy were assessed observationally, and teachers’ ideas about professional development and their personal characteristics were assessed through semi-structured interviews. The results indicated that although teachers did mention multiple different professional development opportunities, discussion was overwhelmingly identified as the most helpful opportunity. This was mentioned by teachers of all levels of education, age, experience, and type of site. There were some differences in regard to opportunities teachers felt were helpful for improving their teaching based on personal characteristics, but there was a lot of similarity. Additionally, some opportunities that teachers mentioned were significantly related to the quality of their instruction and supports for early literacy. Discussion focuses on the importance of these findings for Connecticut as policy changes emerge in regard to qualifications early childhood educators must meet.

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