Supporting the Professional Development of Early Childhood Teachers in Head Start: A Case of Acquiring Technology Proficiency

Arzu Arıkan, David E. Fernie, Rebecca Kantor
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The main purpose of this paper is to describe an exemplary professional development approach in technology learning and its outcomes for early childhood teachers in Head Start in the context of a technology project. The study utilized a collage of qualitative methods including case study, ethnography, and grounded theory. Research participants were selected using purposive sampling methods, and they include 23 people who participated in the technology project. Data collection techniques included multiple, face-to-face, telephone and focus group interviews, observations, and collection of documents and artifacts related to the technology project from the participants. NVIVO qualitative data management software was used for the analysis, and the coding procedures were applied that grounded theory offered. Findings suggest that the communities of learner model of professional development supported early childhood teachers’ technology learning in Head Start. The learning curve experienced by the teachers in emotional, cognitive and behavioral dimensions indicates the importance of nature of learners and supportive learning contexts in technology learning.

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