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This paper recommends new directions for teacher education in the preparation of early childhood (EC) teachers. It reviews the historic fragmentation of the field, present teacher education practice, and the changes needed to address the needs of children from birth to 8 years who increasingly live in poverty, come from minority populations, face violence in their lives, and lack support from both parents. It then recommends that early childhood teacher education programs adopt reforms that: (1) encourage parent involvement in their children's education; (2) prepare EC teachers to work with impoverished children; (3) recognize the unique needs of teen parents; (4) teach EC educators to work with health and social service providers; (5) link good health with school achievement; (6) train EC teachers to be decision-makers and leaders; (7) include violence prevention training; (8) encourage the recruitment of teachers from African-American and Latino groups; (9) prepare EC students to work with children before and after school; (10) offer courses and practicum experiences with children from birth to age 8; (11) integrate EC education and special education; (12) make teachers at ease in a variety of EC settings; (13) address multicultural concerns; and (14) ground programs in developmentally appropriate practice for children in a variety of settings. Includes 31 references. (MDM)

Descriptors: College Role, Day Care, Early Childhood Education, Educational Change, Higher Education, Poverty, Preschool Education, Preservice Teacher Education, Professional Recognition, Relevance (Education), Teacher Education Curriculum, Teacher Education Programs, Teacher Role

Autor: Kendall, Earline D.


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