Review by: James Cox, The Education Shelf: CA Bookwatch - August 17, 2015
"Professionalizing Early Childhood Education as a Field of Practice: A Guide to the Next Era is a pick for any early childhood education collection strong in professional development and offers the invitation to participate in a process that helps define ECE as a professional field of practice. Chapters focus on professional development processes and discuss many of he major issues that remain in early childhood education. From how a facilitator can handle professional conversations defining the field to workbook pages that lend to meaningful dialogue, Professionalizing Early Childhood Education as a Field of Practice: A Guide to the Next Era is a 'must' for any working in early childhood education. "
Review by: Carol Garhart Mooney, author of Theories of Practice - May 30, 2015
In this small but power packed volume, veteran Early Educator and Child Advocate, Stacie Goffin takes on the ambiguous and challenging dilemmas of defining ECE as a profession. She accurately outlines the way the field has spent decades reacting to our problems professionally rather than proactively defining and implementing necessary changes to accommodate the new research of the scientific community that demands new approaches to the care and education of the next generation.
With courage and a balanced knowledge of the "pushback" bound to occur as these changes are advanced, she insists that the field recognize the urgency of the situation and rise to the necessity of "accepting responsibility for its practitioners' competency and their contributions to children's learning and development."
The book provides a timely call to action for all of us who recognize how typical care and education all too often "...are contrary to our beliefs and knowledge about how best to support children's learning and development." It is clearly written,concise and coherent. Ms. Goffin extends a level of understanding and empathy about the effects of these necessary changes on many currently employed practitioners whose training fall short of suggested expectations for minimal requirements, academically. Yet she takes the stand, without flinching, that this must be viewed as the moral task of our field. It is truly a must read for all who care about children!
Review by: Pamela Winton, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute - March 31, 2015
Few can any longer deny that ECE's fragmentation is hurtful to children and to ECE as a field of practice. Few can now deny that inclusive early learning settings for young children are beneficial to all involved - whether children with typical trajectories of development or those whose development pathways diverge from this trajectory. Fulfilling these aspirations, though, requires we enter into the conversations Stacie proposes. Kudos to her for preparing this guide for our journey.
Review by: Patricia Snyder, University of Florida - March 30, 2015
Goffin's book provocatively and insightfully sets the stage for "conversations with intent" about what should define and unite early childhood education as a field of practice. The inclusion of early intervention and early childhood special education in these conversations is critical to ensure all children and each child as well as their families benefit from a competent and unified workforce. The conversations will not be easy and the questions to be addressed are challenging. The guidebook Goffin has artfully crafted will help stimulate the forms of conversation as well as the collective actions needed to propel us from our present state to a new era$mdash;and a unified field of practice.
Review by: Laura Bornfreund, Early Education Initiative New America Education Policy Prog - March 30, 2015
As Stacie Goffin points out, this is a defining moment for early childhood education. Public need and demand for high quality early childhood programs continue to grow. States and the federal government are considering and increasing licensing standards for centers, education requirements for teachers, and accountability systems for programs serving children birth-to-school entry. Will the field lead defining what is needed for systems of preparation, practice, and accountability or not? Will the early childhood field, as Goffin aptly questions, "realize its potential and fulfill its promise to children, families, and to society, "or will it "continue accommodating the status quo?" Local, state, and federal policy certainly plays an important role in education, including early childhood education. But that role should be supportive, not directive or field defining, but this will only happen with a unified voice from the early childhood education field that articulates how best educators should be prepared and educators and programs should be supported, compensated, and held accountable to meet the needs of the children and families they serve. Goffin has put forth a compelling case and framework for moving forward. The field should embrace it and begin the work to "change from inside out" and become a true profession.
Review by: Margaret Kreischer - March 30, 2015
In this book, Goffin taps the essence of leadership - the unwillingness to live with the status quo. She continues to compel us to face the reality of the ECE profession. She helps us accept that there are no "sidelines" in this work so not to bother looking for those seats. We must be "all in" and thoughtfully engaged in "conversations with intent" if our intention to professionalize ECE is to become a reality. Her strategies and recommended practices give us the courage to begin the journey, the tools to look inward to identify the challenges, and the belief that, if we embrace our fear and the uncertainty in this work, we can make this happen. We must be brave enough to leave the shore and trust the journey. Only we can make the journey, but the children are worth it.
Review by: Matthew Melmed, Zero to Three - March 30, 2015
Stacie Goffin makes a strong case to confront the hard questions that divide the early childhood field of practice. She's right. The time has come to unify and professionalize the field - not just rhetorically but as evidenced by the caliber of interactions with children and their families. We all need to reflect on our roles and rethink our positions if together we are going reengineer an early care and education system which offers infants, toddlers and young children the early learning experiences they so richly need and deserve.
Review by: Paula Jorde Bloom, National Louis University - March 23, 2015
For over a decade Stacie Goffin has persuasively argued that leadership is needed within the field to transform it into a coherent, competent, and accountable profession. In this guidebook she defines the hard questions and provides the tools for structuring conversations that will make that vision a reality.
Review by: Angèle Sancho Passe, author of Evaluating and Supporting Early Childhood Teachers - March 23, 2015
If the world were ideal, what conditions would need to be in place to structure ECE as a
profession?" This question posed in chapter 3 caught my attention and crystalized for me the essence of Professionalizing Early Childhood Education as a Field of Practice. We all know the world is not ideal, but we can and should have the courage to improve it with this book by Stacie Goffin. She leads us to think deeply and to take responsibility for the quality of education for young children. The book's practical suggestions for organizing Conversations with Intent (C/I) give us exactly the guidance needed to move forward and establish ECE as a field of practice. I am optimistic that we will achieve the goal. Read the book, reflect, invite early educators in your area, follow Stacie's model, facilitate a group, stay connected, and together we will make it happen.