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By default or design: Variations in higher education programs for early care and education teachers and their implications for research methodology, policy, and practice

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Whitebook, M., Austin, L. J. E., Ryan, S., Kipnis, F., Almaraz, M., & Sakai, L.
Publication Date: 
1 Feb 2012



Understanding how higher education contributes to teacher performance
is a complex undertaking. It requires identifying which variations in
program content and delivery are most relevant to student learning and
teacher practice with young children. This necessitates appropriate
research methodologies that can illuminate key program variations, which
are re essential for generating solid evidence to inform policy and

By Default or By Design? Variations in Higher Education Programs
for Early Care and Education Teachers and Their Implications for
Research Methodology, Policy, and Practice
draws upon a case study
of two early childhood B.A. completion cohort programs in order to
illuminate the limitations of current ways of conceptualizing and
studying early childhood teacher education. Focusing on four dimensions— program content, clinical experiences, faculty characteristics, and
institutional context—we examine challenges encountered and lessons
learned in seeking to understand differences in educational experiences
among students attending these two programs. We then offer a series of  recommendations for more nuanced ways of describing and evaluating the
quality of higher  education programs for early care and education