In their quest for more respect, the early childhood education profession is trying to make their profession well, more professional. There is good reasoning behind it. They want the education for the children to be high quality and they want the educators to be seen as experts in the field.
The interesting disconnect at the moment is that most of the educators I’ve met have incredibly professional ideas, but may lack the language and theories to phrase them in a way that “experts” understand.
When I was leading an early literacy workshop, everyone in there could tell me why you read and the importance of encouraging it and even strategies for encouraging it. They just hadn’t been given the research to back up their ideas. In my STEM workshops, the same thing happens, they have incredible “hands on” knowledge of how young children learn these ideas, they just need to be given the theories that explain what they know.
As we move forward with “Making the Profession” (which is the name of the campaign that NAEYC is starting) I hope that we don’t discount the value that educators in the field bring already and we make sure to acknowledge and encourage them to add to what they know.