Professionalizing the Early Childhood Education Field: What Does it Mean and Why Does it Matter? | Policy [M]atters, Episode 5

by Stacie Goffin and Teri Talan

Welcome to Policy [M]atters, Episode 5.

Policy [M]atters is a video chat series between Teri Talan of the McCormick Center and a guest author in early childhood policy. The chats, which began in the summer of 2015, take place and are distributed on a quarterly basis. (Want to catch up or revisit the series? Explore year one of the chats and topics here.)

Our guest author for the next year (four episodes) will be Stacie Goffin. Stacie has authored several books, including: Professionalizing Early Childhood Education As a Field of Practice: A Guide to the Next Era, Early Childhood Education for a New Era: Leading for Our Profession, and Ready or Not: Leadership Choices in Early Care and Education, which was co-authored by Valora Washington.

In episode 5, Stacie offers context on how and why the field has arrived at the topic of “professionalization.” Teri inquires about the term’s meaning. Stacie draws several parallels to other professions, such as nursing and medicine, while providing two attributes that define a profession.

The conversation then turns to the topic of whose interest is being served—children or the early childhood education workforce? Can multiple interests be served at the same time? Is talk of compensation for the early childhood workforce self-serving? Listen to the chat to hear Stacie and Teri’s take. Share your perspective in the comments section below.

What questions do you have for Teri and Stacie? What feedback do you have on the Policy [M]atters series? Share them, too, in the comments section below.

Dr. Teri Talan is the Michael W. Louis Chair at the McCormick Center and Professor of Early Childhood Education at National Louis University. She is co-author of the Program Administration ScaleBusiness Administration Scale for Family Child CareEscala de Evaluación de la Administración de Negocios, and Who’s Caring for the Kids? The Status of the Early Childhood Workforce in Illinois.

A recognized leader and author in early childhood education, Stacie Goffin has led change initiatives spanning higher education, local, state, and national organizations; organizational development; and advocacy, resulting in change for systems, policy, and practice. Stacie is a member of the McCormick Center’s Advisory Board and is a frequent presenter at the McCormick Center’s Leadership Connections national conference.