Senior Director, Policy & Programs Trust for Learning Washington, DC
In New Haven, CT, early childhood educators receive on-going in-service professional learning anchored in the Principles of Ideal Learning.
A survey of early childhood educators in New Haven showed inequity of access to quality professional learning experiences for teachers, administrators, and caregivers. Twenty eight percent (28%) of respondents indicated they do not have access to opportunities to help them develop the skills or knowledge most needed to do their jobs better, and nearly half of respondents indicated they had not had access to professional learning opportunities related to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) or trauma-informed care within the past year.
To address this need in the community, Trust for Learning supported New Haven ChILD to host orientation sessions (open to parents, educators and leaders) on the Ideal Learning Principles and establish two professional learning communities (PLCs) for early education practitioners that meet regularly to engage in peer learning facilitated by ideal learning experts.
The goal of the PLCs is to improve early childhood educator knowledge, skills, and dispositions for using developmentally-meaningful practice aligned with the Principles of Ideal Learning. The grant currently supports two cohorts–one composed of 16 New Haven Public School educators, and one composed of a culturally diverse group of 20 community-based educators. Participant feedback from exit surveys shows that practitioners will be able to integrate the Principles of Ideal Learning into their practice in meaningful ways. The PLCs have also served as a vehicle for knowledge sharing, partnership development, and greater understanding of New Haven ChILD and the Ideal Learning Principles.