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American Journal of Education Research






This study examined results associated with a field-based undergraduate early childhood teacher education program designed as a response to calls for enhanced field experiences and community-situated teacher education that narrows the preparation-to-practice gap. Specifically, classroom observations were used to assess undergraduates’ progress in developmentally appropriate adult-child interaction during a portion of a semester-long professional preparation sequence focused on infants and toddlers offered in an urban Early Head Start program serving low-income children. During the sequence, a model relying on guided apprenticeship with classroom teachers and continuous direct supervision from university faculty was employed. In addition, a tiered model including universal, targeted, and intensive supports was implemented in order to support candidates in identifying and developing specific areas of need. The participants in this study demonstrated greater responsivity and intentional engagement with infants and toddlers as a result of this intensive preparation sequence. Participants who did not show an initial increase in skills responded to targeted and and/or intensive intervention strategies. This model suggests that by refocusing early childhood teacher preparation through a lens of partnership between EHS teachers, university faculty, and early childhood special education (ECSE) teacher candidates, significant gains in developmentally appropriate practice can be achieved even for candidates early in a preparation program.


Author Posting. © Science and Education Publishing, 2015. This article is posted here by permission of Science and Education Publishing for personal use, not for redistribution. The article was published in American Journal of Education Research, Volume 3, Issue 6, May 2015,

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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