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Celebrating our Profession

Posted by: Rhonda November 24, 2015

The air in the conference center was electric with the energy of thousands of early childhood educators. Converging from around the globe to attend the 2015 NAEYC Annual Conference, they represented the millions of teachers, researchers, and advocates who serve our youngest learners. The theme of last week’s gathering was “The Power of the Profession.” And what a profession to celebrate!

Of all levels of education, the early childhood curriculum “is the most solidly grounded in philosophy, in clearly articulated methodology, and in theory and research,” writes David Elkind. “Those who contributed to the discipline of early childhood education came from occupations and professions outside the academic domain. What they had in common was an understanding of children. And that is what makes early childhood education unique; it starts with the child and not with the subject matter.”

From a strong foundation in philosophy to more recent fortification in scientific research, the history of early childhood education is permeated by this central principle: the maturing needs, abilities, and interests of the child should drive early childhood curriculum. Not politics. Not academic pressure. Not state-mandated testing.

“We have come too far from where early education began: with the child.” These words from Dr. Elkind say it all, but you’ll want to read the whole article