What does it mean to be a "professional" in early learning? In this course, we explore the power that early educators have to help children develop cherished childhood memories as they learn and explore in ways that can lead to a lifelong love of learning and success. We explore the history of early education, current topics and controversies, and anticipate the future of the field as students explore their role as emerging early childhood educators.
What skills and attributes are essential to be an effective early educator? Early educators include parents, childcare providers, preschool and elementary school teachers, and any other person who interacts with children. In this class, we explore, through theories of learning and development, how developing foundational trusting relationships with children, observing and learning from children, and applying research-based best practices in our interactions with children allows us to effectively encourage self-regulation and self-directed, teacher-guided learning.
What does guidance and planning theory look like in practice? In this course, students apply their training and experience in previous guidance and planning courses into working with children in early elementary school classrooms. Classroom learning involves more in-depth exploration of foundational guidance and planning principles through discussion and reflection on interactions with children in elementary school classrooms.
As we, as a society, look to the future, the early experience of our children and the strength of our education system is a big key to laying the foundation for a prosperous society. The learning and discovery children experience in the early years provides the foundation for lifelong learning and exploration. I am proud to be a meta-educator: someone who teaches teachers. Through encouraging discovery and a critical exploration of the field of education and what it means to be an educator, I hope to be able to play an indirect role in helping many children develop the skills which will allow them to prosper.
My research focus is on the experience that preschool children have in early learning classroom settings, with a focus on activation of physiological stress systems in children in preschool settings. Publications include examination of the effect of teacher-child relationship quality on children's physiological stress and an examination of multiple physiological stress measures on children's executive control. Currently, I am collecting data on college student's learning experience in different laboratory classroom settings. Additional projects include the role of parents and family functioning on children's physiological functioning, physiological activity and health, and dominance hierarchies in preschool classrooms.
Auburn University--Human Development and Family Studies
Brigham Young University--Family Studies and Human Development
Brigham Young University--Psychology
Brief Bio: I was born and raised in the small Central Utah farming community of Scipio, where cows outnumber people by at least 4:1. As a child growing up in Central Utah, I was very involved in outdoor activities, sports, and farmwork. My interest in child development came from growing up in a family with seven younger siblings with a mother who had studied child development in college. I remember her pointing out examples of Piaget's stages of cognitive development as I watched my younger siblings grow. As a college student studing psychology, I realized that all of the papers that I wrote for classes focused on child learning and development. I focused on child development and early childhood education in my graduate studies at BYU and then at Auburn, and I am continuously amazed at the complexity of children's learning and development in the early childhood years.