learning refers to all of the activities that contribute to developing and
sustaining quality professional practice, including preparation programs, mentoring
and coaching, and ongoing training. Systemic and contextual factors such as
working conditions, availability of resources, and status and well-being of the
professionals also contribute to (or, when scarce, may detract from) a
professional’s ability to learn and improve.
Early care and
education professionals working with children from B–8 play a variety of roles.
For this reason, there are many entry points to the field and multiple pathways
leading to jobs in the profession, and requirements vary by state and local
context and sector. Professional
learning also occurs in many different settings and runs on different
timelines. The lack of consistency and coordination across types of workforce
development is not supportive of a strong B–8 continuum.
While some aspects
learning and practice need to be tailored to specific professional roles,
specialization should be developed in the context of a shared foundation of
child development and early learning. Initiatives and activities that support professional
learning should be high-quality, well designed, and well implemented. All
educators need to develop core
competencies and a shared knowledge base to move children along a
trajectory of learning and developmental goals.