Professionalism in Early Childhood Education Doing Our Best for Young Children

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2011-09-08
  • Publisher: Pearson

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Investigate what it means to be an early childhood professional and acquire the knowledge, skills and traits exemplary early childhood educators possess!   Written for those entering the field or striving to grow within the profession, early child care authority and author, Dr. Stephanie Feeney helps readers understand the nature of the profession, what it means to behave in a professional way, and where they stand in their own professional journey. She devotes chapters to moral and technical competence and explains what the terms professionand professionalmean. Complete with self-assessments and first-hand accounts, Dr. Feeney guides readers in understanding what it means to be an educator who embodies the highest standards of professionalism in their work with children, families and colleagues.     Take a look inside... Explores the topic of professionalism-examines what constitutes a profession, the professional status of ECE and issues related to professionalism in ECE. Discusses  what professionalism looks like in the early childhood field (Chapter 4)-includes discussion of the knowledge and skills, or what those who work with young children should know and be able to do.  Addresses  professional behavior (chapter 5)-features discussion of professional conduct, doing what is right, including ethical behavior Showcases exemplars in the field and provide guidance to aspiring early childhood professionals (chapter 6)-draws on the experiences of outstanding early childhood educators and illustrates ways to best serve young children. Includes reflection questions and self-assessments-helps readers examine their own practice and work toward a higher level of professionalism.

Author Biography

Dr. Stephanie Feeney is Professor Emerita of Education at the University of Hawaii at Manoa where she directed early childhood teacher education programs for many years. She received her bachelor’s degree at UCLA, master’s degree at Harvard University, and doctorate at Claremont Graduate University. Her publications include Who Am I in the Lives of Children? (9th edition), Continuing Issues in Early Childhood Education (3rd edition), Early Childhood Education in the Pacific and Asia, Ethics and the Early Childhood Educator: Using the NAEYC Code of Ethics, Teaching the NAEYC Code of Ethics: A Resource Guide, a curriculum for young children, numerous articles, and four children’s books about Hawaii.


Since the mid l980s Dr. Feeney has participated in work on professional ethics for the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). She was co-author of the association’s Code of Ethical Conduct which was developed based on input from the field under the guidance of an Ethics Commission which she chaired. She has worked on two revisions of the Code, on the development of supplements to the Code for Adult Educators and Program Administrators, and she co-authors an ethics column in the journal Young Children.


Dr. Feeney has lectured and taught throughout the United States and in China, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.¿ She has served on the Governing Boards of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the National Association for Early Childhood Teacher Educators (NAECTE), and on committees relating to early care and education in Hawaii and nationally.


Dr. Feeney may be contacted at


Table of Contents

About the Authorp. vii
Acknowledgmentsp. viii
Introductionp. x
Professionalism as a Topic of Studyp. 1
What Is a Profession?p. 3
Historical Context for Understanding Professionsp. 4
What Do the Terms Mean in Popular Culture?p. 4
What Do the Terms Mean in Scholarly Literature?p. 5
Criteria for Determining If an Occupation Is a Professionp. 7
A Continuum of Occupationsp. 9
How Do We Expect Professionals to Behave?p. 10
Issues Regarding Professionsp. 11
Is Early Childhood Education a Profession?p. 13
Factors That Have Influenced the Professional Status of Early Childhood Educationp. 14
What Is the Professional Status of Early Childhood Education?p. 17
Where Do We Stand?p. 24
Prospects for the Futurep. 25
Which Way Should We Go from Here?p. 26
Professionalism as Individual Practicep. 33
Knowledge and Skillsp. 35
Historical Influences on Programs for Young Childrenp. 36
The Influence of Programs for Low-Income Childrenp. 38
The Standards Movementp. 39
Early Childhood Teacher Preparation Standardsp. 40
What Should Early Childhood Educators Know and Be Able to Do?p. 42
How Do Knowledge and Skills Come Together in Practice?p. 53
Behaving Like a Professionalp. 58
Communication and Relationshipsp. 58
Work Ethicp. 61
Moral and Ethical Behaviorp. 62
Behaving Ethicallyp. 68
Advocacyp. 71
Personal Attributesp. 74
What Personal Attributes Are Desirable?p. 75
What Educators Bring into the Worldp. 76
What Educators Are Like as Peoplep. 79
What Educators Bring to the Workplacep. 81
Self-Knowledgep. 83
Doing Your Best for Childrenp. 86
Looking Backwardp. 86
Discover Your Callingp. 87
Take a Developmental Perspectivep. 88
Continue to Learn and Growp. 90
Looking Forwardp. 94
Code of Ethical Conduct and Statement of Commitmentp. 97
Recommended Resourcesp. 108
Self-Assessmentp. 110
Professional Development Planp. 122
Indexp. 124
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