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When We Don’t Know Theories As Well As We Thought What Society Expects of ECE Teachers The discussion of theory and education is a difficult one for our field, and our approach to this discussion has often been to sac- rifice quality to social expectations. During my CCR&R training sessions, many teachers demonstrated their lack of self-worth as professionals by prefacing their remarks with words like “I hate to say”; “I’m sorry to put it this way, but”; “It’s embarrassing to admit”; “So many of us think this, but nobody ever wants to say it”; “We’re not sure our director would understand, but”; “What point is there?” Their apologetic prefaces set the tone for what- ever came next—the teachers first devalued their own ideas and words. It seems as though we don’t value our role as profession- als enough, or we mistake habit or conventional wisdom for core knowledge of the ECE profession. The discussion of theory and education is a difficult one for our field, but it’s also a difficult concept for the society we live in. And not just in the United States—Kate Ellis, who in 2013 was the Australian minister for early childhood, child care, and youth and minister for employment, was in the news for defending a bill (in her country) that would extend quality funds for teacher training and development to three hundred million dollars. This money would be spent solely for the purpose of educating and compensating early childhood workers in a more appropriate way. In her speech, she objected to politicians who call those caring for young children “dimwits.” In other words, many people do not value our work. I was struck by similari- ties between Ellis’s assessment of her country and my own experiences working in ECE. Ellis pointed out that many senior government administrators in Australia believe women should want to do ECE work out of the kindness of their hearts, “for the good of the children,” without consideration of their need to be paid. This perspective is sometimes shared by women who 15