Practical Application of My Graduate Program

An important overarching theme of the content for this week of class has been what it takes to become an early childhood professional. In your reading and discussion on professional standards you had to defend standard 6d: Integrating knowledgeable, reflective, and critical perspectives on early education (NAEYC, 2011). In your discussion on ethics in early childhood education you acknowledged the importance of engaging in an “ongoing process of self-reflection…” (Bredekamp, 2017, figure 16.3). As you can see, an important aspect of becoming a professional is reflection. In the article, Fostering Reflection  (Links to an external site.) , Danielson (2009) states that “Great teachers know when to make decisions quickly and when to step back and reflect” (para. 1). As part of your reflection as both an educator and a student, it is important that you understand how the learning you are engaged in right now will not only benefit your future career, but has important practical application. The purpose of this assignment is to guide you in this reflection process in the hopes that as you progress through your program you will continue to reflect on what you learn in each course. Content Expectations: For this assignment you will create a presentation for your future self. This presentation should be created as a 5-6 slide power point or Google Slides presentation. Your presentation audience is your future self upon completion of your program capstone course. Your presentation must include the following: Goal(s) upon Entering this Program Identify your career goals and what led you to begin your graduate program. Defend why these goals are important to you and the impact they will have on the field of early childhood education. Program Learning Outcomes (PLO’s) Summarize each of the 7 program learning outcomes (please refer to the instructor guidance for a complete list of the program learning outcomes). In your summary, include examples how each PLO is specifically aligned with the NAEYC Standards for Early Childhood Professional Preparation and its practical application to the field of early childhood education. Support this portion of your presentation by directly citing the NAEYC standards. Tying it Together Explain specifically how each program learning outcome supports your individual career goals. Defend to your future self how mastering each of the program learning outcomes has practical application to not only the field of early childhood education, but also to your specific career goals. Support this portion of your presentation with at least two scholarly resources. Research and Resource Expectations: Source Requirement: At least two scholarly peer-reviewed or credible sources. Please use the MAECEL Source Guide if you need assistance with how to locate scholarly peer-reviewed or credible sources. Writing and Formatting Expectations: Title Slide: Must include a separate title page with the following: Title of presentation Student’s name Organization: Demonstrates logical progression of ideas. Syntax and Mechanics: Writing displays meticulous comprehension and organization of syntax and mechanics, such as spelling, grammar, and punctuation. re RESOURCES NECESSARY FOR ESSAY: Essential Learning (Read and Reflect) Topic 1 Elaboration – Becoming a Professional Being that person that others look up to, comes to for answers, and being educated are all part of being not only a teacher, but a professional. Being a professional can mean so many different things.  It is important that you not only see yourself as a professional but that the families and colleagues you work with, as well as the community you work in also see you as a professional. Being a professional means you are up to date on current trends and topics, you are a researcher that implements important and relevant developmentally appropriate practices and ideas into your daily schedule, and you are committed to your profession (the way children learn, the way children grow and develop). You also become involved in the early childhood field and research, attend and collaborate on topics, ideas and current trends that help you teach young children and work with families.  In general, elementary teachers are considered professionals because they are required to have a bachelor’s degree and a professional license to teach at a public and many times private school (Bredekamp, 2017).  These teachers must also attend continuing professional development and activities to stay current in the field (requirement depending on school district). Right now there are no uniformed education requirements for teachers that care for children birth to age 5, but these teachers should still adhere to and participate in all ethical and professional responsibilities and conduct (Bedekamp, 2017). One of the most valuable steps in becoming a professional is joining organizations that provide you with ideas, resources, and professional development opportunities that allow you to stay abreast on topics, trends and ideas in your profession.  Here are several websites and lists of professional organizations that you can become a member of and meet other colleagues that have the same goals and aspirations as you do (Early Childhood Organizations  (Links to an external site.) , NAEYC  (Links to an external site.) , National Child Care Association  (Links to an external site.) , Early Learning Leaders  (Links to an external site.) , Child Care Aware National Organization List  (Links to an external site.) , PACE  (Links to an external site.) , High Scope  (Links to an external site.) ).  These are just a few of the resources that you have the ability to become a member of—many are free. There are also unions that teachers belong to that help increase wages and working conditions. Professionals should also uphold and adhere to professional standards. These may differ from state to state and school district to school district.  NAEYC is one professional organization that many early childhood professionals and schools look to for the position statements they write. Bredekamp, 2017 states “Other relevant professional standards may include: Child care licensing requirements National, state, or local standards for curriculum content and child outcomes Requirements for reporting and preventing child abuse (discussed in your text) (p. 527). Lastly professionals should uphold the NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct  (Links to an external site.) . This statement defines the core values of educators along with providing examples and guidance for how and what professional teachers should do. It is not only a professional statement but should be reflected on personally and exists for program administrators, principals, teachers, and all others involved with young children. Topic 2 Elaboration – Ethical Expectation What is an ethical expectation and responsibility? As stated by Bredekamp (2017), ethical responsibilities “refer to the obligations that every teacher agrees to uphold with honesty, integrity, and respect” (p. 528).  Along with these obligations, teachers should also follow the NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct  (Links to an external site.) .  Educators have an ethical responsibility to their students and the families they work with.  The The Association of American Educators  (Links to an external site.)  has an overview and list of ethical stances teachers are to uphold. Teachers are presented with issues, situations, concerns, and problems on a daily basis. Sometimes in a difficult situation answers are not clear and this is called an ethical dilemma.  On page 535 of your text and figure 16.3 the NAEYC Statement of Commitment can be seen not only as an ethical stance for teachers but a personal acknowledgement for you, as you make decisions as a leader of children and others. Here is another great place to look for code of ethics: NEA  (Links to an external site.) As a teacher and professional you are committing yourself to helping children and families, and above all protecting and advocating for those children in your care.  You are the role model that sets an example and promotes positivity.  You are the one that other’s look to for guidance, information, answers, and professionalism.  You have an ethical responsibility to children, families, colleagues, co-workers, employees, society and the community at large. The responsibility you hold is great and should be considered and reflected upon with the utmost care and thought. Topic 3 Elaboration – Self-Assessment: Muddies Point (Optional) This is an optional assignment for you and for the instructor. Here you will reflect on Week 2 content.  Here are the two questions you will reflect on: What is the most important thing you learned so far in this course, and how specifically does it apply to your current or future career? What question(s) have been left unanswered for you so far in this class that you would like to know more about? Even though the self-assessment is optional it is a great way to stop, think, and self-reflect about what you have learned this week, what unanswered questions you still have, and what you would still like to know more about. Assessment Guidance This section includes additional specific assistance for excelling in the discussions for Week 1 beyond what is given with the instructions for the assessments. If you have questions about what is expected on any assessment for Week 1, contact your instructor using the “Ask Your Instructor” discussion before the due date. Discussion 1: Becoming a Professional Due Day 3 Thursday Because you are a professional and you are committed to helping children and families the NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct  (Links to an external site.)  will help you when you encounter an issue or situation that causes you an ethical dilemma. As the professional, others will be looking to you for answers. The NAEYC Code of Ethics will also help you determine ideas and positive ways to handle situations you may encounter. For Week 2 Discussion 1 Becoming a Professional you will need to again review NAEYC Standards for Early Childhood Professional Preparation  (Links to an external site.)  that you read in Week 1 of class. Below are some tips to assist you with this discussion: Here is a list of organizations to keep in mind: (Early Childhood Organizations  (Links to an external site.) , NAEYC  (Links to an external site.) , National Child Care Association  (Links to an external site.) , Early Learning Leaders  (Links to an external site.) , Child Care Aware National Organization List  (Links to an external site.) , PACE  (Links to an external site.) , High Scope  (Links to an external site.) ). For ideas on how joining these organizations will enhance your ability as an early childhood education professional, please review the beginning of this guidance. Remember that the NAEYC Standards for Early Childhood Professional Preparation  (Links to an external site.)  is important to use for this discussion both as a resource and as cited evidence to support your points. The key elements of Standard 6 in the NAEYC Standards for Early Childhood Professional Preparation  (Links to an external site.)  are as follows: 6a: Identifying and involving oneself with the early childhood field 6b: Knowing about and upholding ethical standards and other professional guidelines 6c: Engaging in continuous, collaborative learning to inform practice 6d: Integrating knowledgeable, reflective, and critical perspectives on early education 6e: Engaging in informed advocacy for children and the profession (p. 17).   When responding to your peers make sure you read this article: How Parents Feel About Their Child’s Teacher/School: Implications for Early Childhood Professionals  (Links to an external site.)  to support your suggestions. Discussion 2: Ethical Expectations- Due Day 3 Thursday As an early childhood professional we have standards we are held to not only with teaching practices but ethical and professional codes.  The NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct  (Links to an external site.)  can be considered your resource that provides you guidance on your responsibilities to “children, families, colleagues, and the broader society” (Bredekamp, 2017, p. 528). For this discussion you will need to read NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct  (Links to an external site.)  in its entirety. When defending your rankings be sure you are properly citing at least one scholarly source and your course text.  You need a minimum of two different sources for this discussion. Remember, besides cited research, you can also share stories, ideas thoughts and examples to help you explain why is it important that early childhood professionals adhere to each of the principles outlined in the code. When you design your Wordle, use the NAEYC statement of commitment in your text on page 535 (figure 16.3) to help generate some ideas. The image to your right is an example of the wordle that will be used throughout your program for your Leadership journals.  While you will be using different words, the image depicts an example of one way you can arrange your chosen words. Make sure there is relevance to your current or future work with students, and that your words acknowledge your ethical responsibilities to children and their families. Be sure to save your Wordle in such a way that you can return to it, as you will be asked to edit it in later weeks of class. Discussion 3: Self-Assessment: Muddiest Point (optional)—Due Day 7 Monday This is an optional assignment for you and for the instructor. As you consider what your feelings are during this week take time to decide what you have learned, what you wanted to learn, what helped you, the research you used etc.   Here are the following questions to answer: What is the most important thing you learned so far in this course, and how specifically does it apply to your current or future career? What question(s) have been left unanswered for you so far in this class that you would like to know more about? Even though the self-assessment is optional it is a great way to stop, think, and self-reflect about what you have learned this week, what unanswered questions you still have, and what you would still like to know more about. This also gives the instructor some insight on what information is helpful and where there needs to be more emphasis. Assignment: MAECEL Virtual Toolbox-Tool #2 Practical Application of My Graduate Program This week you have reflected on what a professional is, what the standard of ethics are, and how the ethics will or do help you in your profession.  You also took time to think about what you, as a graduate student learned this week, what you still want to know, and what types of resources have helped you.  As you can see, self-reflection and practicing reflection as a professional is very important.  For this assignment read the article, Fostering Reflection  (Links to an external site.) . Danielson (2009) states that “Great teachers know when to make decisions quickly and when to step back and reflect” (para. 1). The weekly learning assignments in your graduate program are important and practical your future profession. The purpose of this assignment is to guide you in this reflection process in the hopes that as you progress through your program you will continue to reflect on what you learn in each course. Below are some further tips to support your success on this assignment:     The PLO’s for this program are: PLO 1: Evaluate evidence-based theories and strategies aligned with early development and learning needs to support high quality learning environments. (NAEYC 1, 4) PLO 2: Assess effective communication and collaboration strategies to positively influence partnerships with community agencies and families with young children. (NAEYC 1, 2) PLO 3: Evaluate early childhood curricula designed to promote development and learning across all domains of development. (NAECY 2,4,5) PLO 4:  Evaluate effective assessment and evaluation strategies, tools, and procedures designed to improve outcomes for young children, families, and programs. (NAEYC 2,3) PLO 5: Design discipline-specific action research based on relevant theory and research methodology. (NAEYC 1,3,4,6) PLO 6: Propose ethical solutions that promote educational transformation in the field of early childhood education. (NAEYC 6) PLO 7: Construct a personal definition of leadership as an early childhood education professional. (NAEYC 6) Remember, you are summarizing each of the seven PLO’s and are stating how each one specifically aligns with the NAEYC Standards for Early Childhood Professional Preparation  (Links to an external site.) , by directly citing the NAEYC standards. There are hints provided after each PLO as to which NAEYC standard it aligns with, but you need to elaborate and expand on exactly what that alignment means. Remember, make this presentation applicable to you and your future career by really focusing on the practicality of what you are asked to do.

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