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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET 18 | CHAPTER ONE Formally structuring ECE as a profession will prompt trepidations, 48 and exploring these concerns is essential to building internal cohesion, surfacing fresh possibil- ities, and sustaining the trajectory set for ECE’s future. The questions posed in chapter 3, Thinking Together, attempt to bring our diverse, and often divisive, views to the forefront. As Heifetz alerts us, clarifying what matters most, in what balance, and with what trade-offs will be a central task of our work. 49 The final chapter, Supporting Successful Conversations with Intent, offers sug- gestions related to convening, hosting, and facilitating conversations with intent. For readers interested in deepening their expertise beyond what is offered here, resources are identified in the chapter note attached to this sentence. 50 This book is relevant and timely for a wide audience. It will be of special interest to readers and conversation participants who will experience the greatest change in role and responsibilities once ECE professionalizes. This includes teachers who on a daily basis interact with children in early learning settings, administrators who create working conditions supportive of effective practice, and others such as higher education faculty, trainers, and professional development providers who promote the knowledge, skills, and dispositions essential to teachers’ and adminis- trators’ competence. Individuals in any of these roles can also convene groups to explore the questions outlined in chapter 3. Already, individuals in these various roles are convening study groups or engaging colleagues at their places of work or at state and local meetings. Other conversation hosts, although not limited to them, include the field’s prominent national associations and their affiliated organizations. Yes, courage and risk-taking will be required for the work ahead. Yet bypassing this call to restructure ECE as a field of practice would mean forsaking ECE’s ob- ligations to children, families, and itself as a field of practice. Heifetz would likely label this choice resistance to change or work avoidance. 51 I’m hoping this interpretation is mistaken. The next step is ours to take. Shall we start the conversation? COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL