Research Competencies in the Education of Young Children

Expected by NAEYC

(Advanced Programs)

Excerpts from:

National Association for Education of Young Children. NAEYC Standards for Early Childhood Professional Preparation: Advanced Programs. Approved July 2002.

Introduction

Standards Summary

I. Core Standards

II. Essential Professional Tools for All Candidates in Advanced Programs

I. Core Standards

II. Essential Professional Tools for All Candidates in Advanced Programs


Introduction

Depth and specialization

Beyond the common core, each candidate needs the opportunity to gain significant depth of theory, research, and professional competence in an area relevant to the candidate's current work and future goals.

(2)

Immersion in one or more hands-on "learning situations"

Strong advanced programs also offer candidates intensive internships, field experiences, research opportunities, or other contexts in which to apply theoretical and research-based knowledge in a systematic, scholarly way and to develop advanced skills.

(2)

Early childhood teacher educator/researcher

The specialization also emphasizes skills in generating new knowledge through research, most strongly at the doctoral level.

(5)

Standards Summary

I.   Core Standards

II.   Essential Professional Tools for All Candidates in Advanced Programs

3.   Communication Skills

Advanced program candidates possess a high level of oral, written, and technological communication skills, with specialization for the specific professional role(s) emphasized in the program.

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4.   Mastery of Relevant Theory and Research

Advanced program candidates demonstrate in-depth, critical knowledge of the theory and research relevant to the professional role(s) and focus area(s) emphasized in the program.

(11)

5.   Skills in Identifying and Using Professional Resources

Advanced program candidates demonstrate a high level of skill in identifying and using the human, material, and technological resources needed to perform their professional roles and to keep abreast of the field's changing knowledge base.

(11)

6.   Inquiry Skills and Knowledge of Research Materials

Using systematic and professionally accepted approaches, Advanced program candidates demonstrate inquiry skills, showing their ability to investigate questions relevant to their practice and professional goals.

(11)

I.   Core Standards

Standard 1. Promoting Child Development and Learning

Early childhood accomplished teacher

The differences between initial and advanced program candidates lie in the extent of developmental knowledge, the specificity of research-based understanding, and in some cases, the decision to focus in greater depth on one or more aspects of early development and learning.

(12)

Early childhood public policy and advocacy specialist

Candidates focused on public policy and advocacy demonstrate their child development knowledge and skills through developing or identifying public policies that support development and learning in ways consistent with research and professional practices. They also should be able to critique policies that fail to support development and learning, using research to back up their views.

(12)

Early childhood teacher educator/researcher

Demonstrations of competence may include using effective methodologies to generate new knowledge about development and the conditions that promote it

(13)

Standard 2. Building Family and Community Relationships

Supporting explanation: All advanced program candidates

Again, research-based, in-depth knowledge is vital to all candidates in advanced programs.

(13)

Early childhood teacher educator/researcher

Depending on the specific emphases within their programs, these candidates show skill in using sound methodologies to generate new knowledge about families of young children

(14)

Standard 3. Observing, Documenting, and Assessing to Support Young Children and Families

Supporting explanation: All advanced program candidates

Future early childhood leaders should be at the forefront of research, policy, and best practices in the assessment of young children, and in program evaluation.

(14)

Early childhood public policy and advocacy specialist

Candidate focused on public policy and advocacy have many opportunities to demonstrate mastery of assessment-related knowledge and skills. While not involved in direct assessment, they must have research-based understanding of assessment issues and assessment policies at the local, state, and federal levels

(14)

Early childhood teacher educator/researcher

Major gaps exist in the development and validation of assessment tools and in the analysis of the effects of various assessment approaches in improving child and program outcomes. Such research areas may be the focus of advanced program candidates in this specialization.

(15)

Standard 4. Teaching and Learning

Early childhood accomplished teacher

Other candidates (or other program specializations) might focus on early childhood mathematics, developing in-depth knowledge and application of recent research on children's mathematical competence. Still others might organize their graduate study around issues in teacher-child or teacher-family relationships, using inquiry skills to develop action research projects.

(16)

Early childhood administrator

Candidates in the Administrator specialization learn about and document their competence in taking current research and best practice in relationships, curriculum, and pedagogy and translating those into program-, state-, or agency-level actions.

(16)

Early childhood public policy and advocacy specialist

Candidates focused on policy and advocacy will demonstrate mastery of the "Teaching and Learning" domain by developing or identifying public policies that support high-quality teaching and learning in ways consistent with research and professional practices. They are able to critique policies that fail to support high-quality teaching and learning, using research to back up their views.

(16)

Early childhood teacher educator/researcher

Every subtopic within this standard suggests multiple research questions that can be addressed through quantitative or qualitative methods. Candidates should identify significant research questions, critique current research, and design worthwhile studies. Those candidates who will be preparing future teachers in higher education or community programs learn and demonstrate research-based approaches to building others' skill in curriculum development and teaching strategies.

(16)

Standard 5. Growing as a Professional

Early childhood public policy and advocacy specialist

Specialization in this area strengthens candidates' ability to identify, research, and develop policies that support a well-compensated, stable early childhood work force and a well-financed system of early education.

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Early childhood teacher educator/researcher

And researcher candidates require special competence in understanding and using ethical guidelines for the protection of human subjects, especially when those research subjects are vulnerable young children.

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II. Essential Professional Tools for All Candidates in Advanced Programs

3.   Communication Skills

All candidates demonstrate skills in the use of technology needed for their professional role, including use of word processing and editing tools, databases, search engines and other Internet tools, and presentation software.

(18-19)

4.   Mastery of Relevant Theory and Research

Advanced program candidates demonstrate in-depth, critical knowledge of the theory and research relevant to the professional role(s) and focus area(s) emphasized in the program. All candidates, regardless of specialization, apply critical perspectives as they read and evaluate scholarly writing and research in their field.

(19)

5.   Skills in Identifying and Using Professional Resources

Advanced program candidates demonstrate a high level of skill in identifying and using the human, material, and technological resources needed to perform their professional roles and to keep abreast of the field's changing knowledge base. All candidates demonstrate familiarity and skill in using relevant library and Internet resources as well as community resources, networks of colleagues, and other sources of knowledge and professional growth.

(19)

6.   Inquiry Skills and Knowledge of Research Methods

Using systematic and professionally accepted approaches, advanced program candidates demonstrate inquiry skills, showing their ability to investigate questions relevant to their practice and professional goals. All candidates also demonstrate essential knowledge of the strengths and limitations of various research methods, with emphasis on the professional role(s) and focus area(s) emphasized in the program. Some candidates (all doctoral candidates) demonstrate skills in conducting research and in presenting research findings to professional audiences.

(19)

Last modified February 9, 2005
by Boris Teske, Prescott Memorial Library,
Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, LA 71272