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Cover for Learning Stories and Teacher Inquiry Groups

Learning Stories and Teacher Inquiry Groups

Re-Imagining Teaching and Assessment in Early Childhood Education

Isauro Escamilla, Linda R. Kroll, Daniel Meier


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Learning Stories and Teaching Inquiry Groups is a practical text focused on how ECE practitioners can establish teacher inquiry and reflection groups and integrate the use of learning stories to strengthen their assessment, teaching practices, and knowledge of child development. Drawing on relevant research and the authors' direct work with teachers, the book focuses on describing ways the authors have adapted the framework of the learning stories approach from New Zealand to specific US educational contexts via examples from several urban and rural ECE contexts. The book provides practical examples of novice through veteran early childhood teachers engaging and collaborating in onsite and cross-site inquiry and reflection with a focus on learning stories. This text will be useful for infant, toddler, and preschool teachers taking courses at the AA, BA, and MA levels, as well as teachers engaged in onsite professional development. This text will help early childhood educators learn to write learning stories as an observational and assessment approach to document young children's learning experiences and to deepen teachers' understanding of the role of narrative in linking child development knowledge with effective environmental design, high-quality curricular approaches, and socially and culturally inclusive relationship practices. The text will support early childhood educators' professional development through easily understood instructions and case study samples of inquiry work with learning stories through community of practice. Educators will learn how linking learning stories with regular, systematic forms of teacher inquiry, documentation, and reflection promotes a new image of children as holistic learners.

National Association for the Education of You, 9781938113918, 152pp.

Publication Date: July 13, 2021

About the Author

Isauro Michael Escamilla is the first in his family to graduate from college. He holds an A.A. from San Francisco City College, a B.A. from the California Institute of Integral Studies, and an M.A. in Education from San Francisco State University. His M.A. thesis work was recognized for outstanding academic achievement in creating and utilizing a sustainable garden as an outdoor learning lab for young children. Isauro is currently at work on a doctorate (Ed.D.) in educational leadership. He has presented his pedagogical work at local and national conferences. He also spearheaded a teacher-research group at his school, and developed, with other teachers, a series of parent workshops on child development and violence prevention. Isauro currently serves on the Governing Board of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and has published articles in various journals on teacher inquiry and documentation. Linda R. Kroll is Professor Emerita of Education in the School of Education at Mills College, Oakland, CA. She received her B.A., M.A and PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. Kroll teaches courses in development and learning, research in early childhood and elementary school classrooms, documentation as inquiry and research, and literacy learning in the Masters programs in Early Childhood Education and in Teacher Education, as well in the doctoral program in Educational Leadership. She has written articles on constructivism in education, self-study research practices in teacher education, and teacher education at the early childhood and elementary level. Her most recent publications include Kroll, L.R. and Meier, D. R. (2017), Documentation and Inquiry in the Early Childhood Classroom: Research Stories from Urban Centers and Schools (Routledge), Baumgart, N. A. & Kroll, L.R. (2018), STEAM Concepts for Infants and Toddlers (Redleaf); Kroll L. R. (2012) Self-study and inquiry into practice. Learning to teach in for equity and social justice in the elementary school classroom (Routledge) and Kroll & Meier (2014) Educational change in international early childhood contexts: Crossing borders of reflection (Routledge). Her current work is focused on the use of documentation as inquiry and research in early childhood and elementary classrooms. Daniel Meier is Professor of Elementary Education at San Francisco State University. He teaches in the M.A. program in Early Childhood education, the Multiple Subject Teaching Credential Program, and the Ed.D. program in Educational Leadership. Daniel teaches courses in reading/language arts, multilingual development, narrative inquiry and memoir, qualitative research, and international education. He has written numerous articles and books on important topics in early childhood education, ranging from children's language and literacy learning to teacher inquiry and reflection to international education. Daniel is the co-author, most recently, of Documentation and Inquiry in the Early Childhood Classroom: Research from Urban Centers and Schools (2017, Routledge) and Narrative Inquiry in Early Childhood and Elementary School: Learning to Teach, Teaching Well (2016, Routledge). His newest book, Supporting Literacies for Children of Color -- A Strength-Based Approach to Preschool Literacy Education, is in press with Routledge. Daniel works as a part-time Literacy Instructor in the Berkeley Unified School District, and is the co-founder and co-facilitator of the Las Americas Early Education School Inquiry Group, San Francisco Unified School District. He has also worked on a number of international projects, and is currently examining the role of technology in children's early reading and family literacy practices with a Palestinian colleague in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Annie White is an Assistant Professor with the Early Childhood Studies program at California State University Channel Islands. She teaches undergraduate early childhood courses on curriculum and assessments where learning stories are used as the primary assessment for student early childhood teachers. Also, Annie teaches in the Collaborative Online Doctorate in Educational Leadership (CODEL) program which is a joint Ed.D. program offered by Fresno State University and California State University Channel Islands. She has work experience with Early Head Start (EHS), Head Start, and State Preschool in various roles. Annie's work includes providing trainings and coaching for teachers and family childcare home providers. Annie has taught early childhood education courses at California community colleges. In addition, she has participated on national and international study tours and conducted research, in Reggio Emilia & Pistoia, Italy, Budapest, Hungary, Anji, China and Auckland, New Zealand. Annie is a life-long learner, scholar practitioner, and holds a doctorate in Leadership in Education from the University of California, Davis and Sonoma State University. Her research interests include formative assessments, learning stories, family engagement, and school readiness. Annie has published several journal and magazine articles on Learning Stories.