Glossary of ELC terms

Action Research: A form of self-reflective enquiry undertaken by early childhood participants designed to improve  their teaching and their understanding of it.

Administrator: An individual responsible for the implementation  of regulations, policies and operations in an early childhood agency.

Agency:  A provider of preschool educational and care services to young children and their families.

National Association for Child Care Resource and Referral Agency (NACCRA): Referred to as the Area Child Care Council (ACCC) that promotes national policies and partnerships to advance the development and learning of all children, and to promote vision, leadership and support to community child care, resource and referral agencies.

Care: Meaning that the holistic needs and wellbeing of every individual in the preschool are met with kindness and respect.

Case study: A detailed examination of one Practicum classroom. Examination of multiple classrooms would constitute a collective case study.

Categories: Data is organized into patterns and themes during qualitative analysis.

Child Development AssociateThe CDA qualification is earned through an agency with expert early childhood teacher preparation knowledge. It involves 120 hours of early childhood education covering the growth and development of children aged 3 to 5 years. 

College: A higher education institution in which early childhood practicum students, are prepared to teach children from birth through age 8.                   

Conference: A meeting where early childhood teams present and share their Action Research work with other early childhood practitioners.

Constructivism: A theory put forward by Piaget that children build their own learning through actions on their environment.

Cross-agency: Collaboration across different early childhood institutions and agencies designed to promote consistent high quality early childhood educational and care practices.

Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP): As defined by NAEYC: a framework of principles and guidelines for best practice in the care and education of young children, birth through age 8. It is grounded in the research on how young children develop and learn and in what is known about education effectiveness. The principles and guidelines outline practice that promotes young children’s optimal learning and development. (Citation)

Director: An individual who is in charge of a preschool.

Field experiences: The time that early childhood teacher candidates spend in early childhood classrooms that is a requirement for their early childhood degree.

iMovieA video editing software program that enables Macintosh computer users to edit their own movies. by importing video footage. 

Learning community: A group of early childhood staff from different agencies that undertook a semester of professional development together during Practicum.

Literature: Published articles in early childhood professional journals.

NAEYC: The National Association for the Education of Young Children is a leading organization in USA regarding the care, learning and development of young children birth through 8 years.

NCATE: The National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education works to establish high quality teacher preparation through the process of professional accreditation of colleges. 

OCFS: The Office of Children and Family Services serves the public by promoting the safety, permanency and wellbeing of children, families and communities. 

PowerPoint: A computer software program that enables Practicum students to construct slides and create presentations.

Practicum: The first extensive 75-hour field experience in the early childhood teacher education program. 

Practicum candidates: Practicum candidates work during Practicum field hours with an experienced early childhood teacher as they interact with children and teachers during classroom activities, routines and complete required assignments.

Preschool: Preschools provide care and education for children aged 3 – 5 years and focus on their social, physical, language, intellectual and creative development.  Preschools may be owned and operated as private or parochial schools. 

Pre-KindergartenPre-K Can be located in public schools, private schools or daycare centers. It focuses on the care and education the whole child in close partnership with families.

Professional development: Opportunities offered to teacher candidates and early childhood teachers during Practicum that was designed to improve teaching challenges faced in classrooms.

Qualitative data analysis: Involves three stages: (1) Data reduction when collated and summarized in categories; (2) Data display when displayed in charts or diagrams; (3) Conclusions drawn when results are described in words.

Quantitative data analysis: The use of numbers to make sense of data.

Reflection: Teachers’ careful consideration of classroom video recordings for improved future teaching.

Setting: A preschool with classrooms for children aged 3-5 years in which a Practicum student is placed.

Teachers: All adults working in a setting who assume the role of teacher or assistant teacher-teacher aide.

Teaching: Comprising all routines, practices and activities in Practicum classrooms concerned with the education and care of young children aged 3-5 years.

Teaching Materials Center (TMC): A college-based teaching and learning resource center for teacher candidates and for the community at large to use. 


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The ELC: An Early Childhood Learning Community at Work Copyright © 2020 by Heather Bridge, Lorraine Melita, and Patricia Roiger is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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