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5 Great Books for Early Childhood Education Professionals

Anshu Pande
5 Great Books for Early Childhood Education Professionals

The Importance of Being Little by Erika Christakis – A bold challenge to the conventional wisdom about early childhood, with a pragmatic program to encourage parents and teachers to rethink how and where young children learn best by taking the child’s eye view of the learning environment. Christakis’s message is energizing and reassuring: young children are inherently powerful, and they (and their parents) will flourish when we learn new ways of restoring the vital early learning environment to one that is best suited to the littlest learners. This bold and pragmatic challenge to the conventional wisdom peels back the mystery of childhood, revealing a place that’s rich with possibility.

 

Handbook of Early Childhood Education By Robert C. Pianta – Comprehensive and authoritative, this forward-thinking book reviews the breadth of current knowledge about early education and identifies important priorities for practice and policy. Robert C. Pianta and his associates bring together foremost experts to examine what works in promoting all children's school readiness and social-emotional development in preschool and the primary grades. Exemplary programs, instructional practices, and professional development initiatives—and the systems needed to put them into place—are described. The volume presents cutting-edge findings on the family and social context of early education and explores ways to strengthen collaboration between professionals and parents.

 

Foundations of Early Childhood Education: Teaching Children in a Diverse Society by Book by Janet Gonzalez-Mena – Foundations of Early Childhood Education: Teaching Children in a Diverse Society is a practical introduction to the field of early childhood education and can even be used as a hands-on guide. The text emphasizes observations skills and the need to understand child growth and development, special needs, developmentally appropriate practice, positive guidance, an overview of curriculum, and the importance of working with families. Based firmly on research, but with a focus on practice, the text gives students the information they need to function in early childhood settings of various types including classrooms, child care programs, and infant centers. The information is reinforced by a multitude of real-life examples--dialogues, case studies, stories, and anecdotes--that help students make the connection between theory and practice. The text also integrates and discusses cultural influences and stresses what students need to know about working with children from diverse backgrounds.

 

Curriculum in Early Childhood Education: Re-examined, Rediscovered, Renewed by Nancy File – Curriculum in Early Childhood Education: Reexamined, Rediscovered, Renewed provides a critical examination of the sources, aims, and features of early childhood curricula. Providing a theoretical and philosophical foundation for examining teaching and learning, this book will provoke discussion and analysis among all readers. How has theory been used to understand, develop, and critique curriculum? Whose perspectives are dominant and whose are ignored? How is diversity addressed? What values are explicit and implicit?

The book first contextualizes the historical and research base of early childhood curriculum, and then turns to discussions of various schools of theory and philosophy that have served to support curriculum development in early childhood education. An examination of current curriculum frameworks is offered, both from the US and abroad, including discussion of the Project Approach, Creative Curriculum, Te Whāriki, and Reggio Emilia. Finally, the book closes with chapters that enlarge the topic to curriculum-being-enacted through play and that summarize key issues while pointing out future directions for the field. Offering a broad foundation for examining curriculum in early childhood, readers will emerge with a stronger understanding of how theories and philosophies intersect with curriculum development.

 

Spotlight on Young Children: Observation and Assessment (Spotlight on Young Children series) Holly Bohart and, Rossella Procopio – The debate surrounding testing and accountability in early childhood education continues, but one thing is universally agreed upon: effective observation and assessment of young children’s learning are critical to supporting their development. Educators balance what they know about child development with observation and assessment approaches that both inform and improve the curriculum. This foundational resource for all educators of children from birth through third grade explores;

What observation and assessment are, why to use them, and how

Ways to integrate documentation, observation, and assessment into the daily routine

Practices that are culturally and linguistically responsive

Ways to engage families in observation and assessment processes

How to effectively share children’s learning with families, administrators, and others 

Find inspiration to intentionally develop and implement meaningful, developmentally appropriate observation and assessment practices to build responsive, joyful classrooms.

 

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