Becoming an infant caregiver: three profiles of personal and professional growth.This study focused on the first year process of personal and professional growth for three student-caregivers as they began working with infants and families in child care. Qualitative qualitative /qual·i·ta·tive/ (kwahl´i-ta?tiv) pertaining to quality. Cf. quantitative.
pertaining to observations of a categorical nature, e.g. breed, sex. case study analyses of the participants' first-semester notebooks and second-semester interviews revealed universal and individual themes that support and expand on previous findings, informing our understanding of the experiences of new infant/toddler caregivers. Findings from this study suggest that new infant caregivers experience many of the same thoughts and feelings that have been documented in the literature on new teachers. These new infant caregivers were concerned about their relationships with children, their interactions with parents, and their need for support from their environment; in addition, they were concerned with learning the routines and procedures of the classroom and developing a sense of themselves as caregivers. However, there are also some distinct differences in the nature and structure of work with infants and families that posed special challenges for these novice infant caregivers. Among them were adjusting to the physical and emotional intensity of nurturing such very young children, the need for new practical and theoretical knowledge about working with infants and families in the earliest years, the Years, The
the seven decades of Eleanor Pargiter’s life. [Br. Lit.: Benét, 1109]
See : Time challenge of setting limits for children who are so young and nonverbal non·ver·bal
1. Being other than verbal; not involving words: nonverbal communication.
2. Involving little use of language: a nonverbal intelligence test. , and the need for ongoing collaboration Working together on a project. See collaborative software. and community building as they worked with others to provide continuity of care. Findings are discussed with reference to implications for caregiver care·giv·er
1. An individual, such as a physician, nurse, or social worker, who assists in the identification, prevention, or treatment of an illness or disability.
2. training and suggestions for future research.
Research on the process of becoming a new teacher has informed our understanding of how to train and support professionals as they enter the field. Most studies, however, focus on teachers who work with elementary school elementary school: see school. children. Few researchers have looked at the process of becoming an infant caregiver. As greater numbers of infants and toddlers are being cared for in groups, teachers are moving from preschool and kindergarten kindergarten [Ger.,=garden of children], system of preschool education. Friedrich Froebel designed (1837) the kindergarten to provide an educational situation less formal than that of the elementary school but one in which children's creative play instincts would be classrooms into infant classrooms. These teachers are faced with a variety of issues that they must negotiate with little background or preparation.
The researchers' aim in this study was to carefully examine the personal and professional growth of three student caregivers during their first year working with infants and families in child care. Through this examination, they hoped to gain insight into the unique issues faced by new practitioners in the field of infant/toddler care and education, thus informing teacher preparation and teacher practice.
The review that follows offers a brief description of the literature, describing: 1) the most important qualities of a competent infant caregiver, 2) the increased significance of relationships and collaboration when working with very young children and their families, and 3) the emotional process that new teachers go through in their beginning stages of professional development. The researchers will describe how each of these areas contributes to a more integrated understanding of the experiences faced by new infant caregivers.
The Qualities of a Competent Infant Caregiver
New teachers and caregivers come to the teaching profession with a variety of perspectives and backgrounds. They bring ideas that emerge from their own rearing, culture, family experiences, and values (Balaban Balaban may refer to:
abbreviation for chicken (1). , 1996).
Although different teaching styles may be equally effective (Hamilton Hamilton, city, Bermuda
Hamilton, city (1990 est. pop. 3,100), capital of Bermuda, on Bermuda Island. It is a port at the head of Great Sound, a huge lagoon and deepwater harbor protected by coral reefs. , 1994), certain characteristics of very young children must be taken into account when working with infants and toddlers. Those who make the transition from elementary or preschool teacher A Preschool Teacher is a type of early childhood educator who instructs children from infancy to age 5, which stands as the youngest stretch of early childhood education. Early Childhood Education teachers need to span the continum of children from birth to age 8. to infant caregiver are often impressed im·press 1
tr.v. im·pressed, im·press·ing, im·press·es
1. To affect strongly, often favorably: by the differences they encounter, such as how babies communicate, and that caregivers need to be very observant ob·ser·vant
1. Quick to perceive or apprehend; alert: an observant traveler. See Synonyms at careful.
2. , provide more intimate contact, and offer a lot of physical support to the children (Keenan Keenan is a male Irish name which means "Ancient, Distant". Keenan is an anglicisation of the Irish name Cianáin. The Keenans were historians to the McGuire clan. , 1997, 1998).
Novice teachers may find that working with infants and toddlers, and their families, can be much more complex than anticipated. Casper Casper, city (1990 pop. 46,742), alt. 5,123 ft (1,561 m), seat of Natrona co., E central Wyo., on the North Platte River; inc. 1889. It is a rail, distribution, processing, and trade center in a farming, ranching, and mineral-rich area. , Stott, Cooper, and Finn (2000) discuss both the complexities and ambiguities that constitute infant/family work, as they articulate articulate /ar·tic·u·late/ (ahr-tik´u-lat)
1. to pronounce clearly and distinctly.
2. to make speech sounds by manipulation of the vocal organs.
3. to express in coherent verbal form.
4. the multiple competencies required of practitioners. For example, those caring for infants and toddlers must not only have a broad understanding of child development, but also be able to appreciate individual differences in development. They must be grounded in traditional understandings, while at the same time open to new learning in a rapidly changing field. They must become comfortable with a certain degree of ambiguity Ambiguity
ultimate authority in ancient Greece; often speaks in ambiguous terms. [Gk. Hist.: Leach, 305]
pledge to husband has double meaning. [Arth. as they work to balance what sometimes appear to be opposing needs of infants and toddlers and their families. While they are struggling to become skillful skill·ful
1. Possessing or exercising skill; expert. See Synonyms at proficient.
2. Characterized by, exhibiting, or requiring skill. in their planned interactions with babies and toddlers, they must remain aware of the spontaneous spontaneous /spon·ta·ne·ous/ (spon-ta´ne-us)
1. voluntary; instinctive.
2. occurring without external influence.
having no apparent external cause. teachable teach·a·ble
1. That can be taught: teachable skills.
2. Able and willing to learn: teachable youngsters. moments within which so much of infant learning takes place.
Relationships and Collaboration
Relationships are a key component of all teachers' work. Early childhood teachers need to build and establish relationships with children and their families, and to create a collaborative col·lab·o·rate
intr.v. col·lab·o·rat·ed, col·lab·o·rat·ing, col·lab·o·rates
1. To work together, especially in a joint intellectual effort.
2. environment with other staff members. These elements seem to take on even greater significance for those who work with infants. For infants, especially, relationships with caregivers are of primary importance (Kontos The kontos was the Greek name for a type of long wooden cavalry lance used by Sarmatian cavalry, notably cataphracts. It was also adopted by the cataphracts of Armenia, Parthia and the Sassanid Empire. It was also used by the Germanic warriors of the south. & Wilcox-Herzog, 1997). Infants need to be able to trust the adults in their environments in order to take risks when exploring and learning (Keenan, 1997). Modeling respect and interacting meaningfully helps caregivers develop a trusting relationship with very young children (Chick, 1996). Caregivers express their belief in children's capabilities and support their potential to learn through their relationships with them.
Best practice across early childhood education calls for collaboratively working with parents; this is extremely important in child care (Szanton, 2001). Establishing a positive relationship at the start will help to ensure a productive child care experience for both infants and parents. Under ideal circumstances CIRCUMSTANCES, evidence. The particulars which accompany a fact.
2. The facts proved are either possible or impossible, ordinary and probable, or extraordinary and improbable, recent or ancient; they may have happened near us, or afar off; they are public or , caregivers and parents communicate daily and work together to provide continuous care for children that supports their learning and development (Keenan, 1997, 1998). A quality infant caregiver must hold parents in high regard. Caregivers must be sensitive to parents' needs, understanding how they may find it difficult to leave their children in child care (Chick, 1996).
Positive working relationships among caregivers are also critical. Team collaboration takes on a particular significance in infant child care due to the physical and emotional demands of caring for such young children, the need for lower ratios of adults to children, and the inability of the children being cared for to speak for themselves. Working with a team of people, as is typically the case when providing care for infants and toddlers, can present a very different experience for caregivers than that of being the sole teacher in a classroom. Bergen Bergen, city, Norway
Bergen (bĕr`gən), city (1995 pop. 221,645), capital of Hordaland co., SW Norway, situated on inlets of the North Sea. It is Norway's second largest city and a major shipping center. (1994) emphasizes the need for caregivers to agree on common goals, and to be aware of each others' styles, abilities, and needs, if they are to take on the roles that fit them best. Caregivers need to trust each other, communicate verbally and nonverbally Adv. 1. nonverbally - without words; "they communicated nonverbally"
non-verbally , have mutual goals, coordinate their work, and divide their tasks. "Because teachers often work intuitively, discussion is extremely valuable in clarifying with each other their experiences in the classroom" (Keenan, 1997, p. 92).
The Emotional Process of New Teachers
When working with infants and toddlers, emotions need to be carefully considered as emotions make up a large part of the daily classroom experiences. A crucial aspect of becoming an infant-toddler caregiver is coming to terms with one's own emotional issues, as well as those that will inevitably arise among babies and toddlers, their parents, and other professionals. Infant caregivers, like other teachers, are often unprepared for the emotional responses that await AWAIT, crim. law. Seems to signify what is now understood by lying in wait, or way-laying. them (Hargreaves Har·greaves , James Died 1778.
British inventor of the spinning jenny (c. 1764). He patented his device in 1770.
Noun 1. Hargreaves - English inventor of the spinning jenny (1720-1778)
James Hargreaves , 1998; Hargreaves & Tucker 1991; Weinstein Weinstein is a German surname meaning wine stone and may refer to:
Novice teachers generally have concerns about their identity, their sense of self, and how they will manage their classrooms. They may feel uncertain, anxious, isolated, and tense tense [O.Fr., from Lat.,=time], in the grammar of many languages, a category of time distinctions expressed by any conjugated form of a verb. In Latin inflection the tense of a verb is indicated by a suffix that also indicates the verb's voice, mood, person, and . Olson Olson may refer to:
British playwright and member of the Angry Young Men who is best known for his first play, Look Back in Anger (1956).
Noun 1. (1991) followed four new teachers, recording their first-year adj. 1. Being in the first year of an experience especially in a U. S. high school or college; - of a person.
Adj. 1. first-year - used of a person in the first year of an experience (especially in United States high school or college); "a experiences. They found that teachers felt that they lacked the emotional security needed to be able to achieve control over their classrooms and their feelings. Teachers also felt that they needed to be part of the school's community and culture. By talking to Noun 1. talking to - a lengthy rebuke; "a good lecture was my father's idea of discipline"; "the teacher gave him a talking to"
rebuke, reprehension, reprimand, reproof, reproval - an act or expression of criticism and censure; "he had to other novice teachers, they discovered that they were not alone or any different from other new teachers. As they expressed their feelings, they were able to find support from each other. The teachers studied discussed their need to evaluate their personal goals and search for their own pedagogical ped·a·gog·ic also ped·a·gog·i·cal
1. Of, relating to, or characteristic of pedagogy.
2. Characterized by pedantic formality: a haughty, pedagogic manner. understandings as they developed a philosophy of teaching.
Researchers have explored the stages of teachers' professional development, often with a particular focus on the challenges of the initial transition to teaching, or on the first year (Baptiste Baptiste is a French given name or surname, and may be a shortened form of Jean-Baptiste (literally, John the Baptist).
People whose surname is Baptiste include:
tr.v. sur·round·ed, sur·round·ing, sur·rounds
1. To extend on all sides of simultaneously; encircle.
2. To enclose or confine on all sides so as to bar escape or outside communication.
n. this stage of teachers' professional development include concerns about their role, their personal sense of their adequacy, and their teaching methods and evaluations. Teachers at this stage are often portrayed por·tray
tr.v. por·trayed, por·tray·ing, por·trays
1. To depict or represent pictorially; make a picture of.
2. To depict or describe in words.
3. To represent dramatically, as on the stage. as governed gov·ern
v. gov·erned, gov·ern·ing, gov·erns
1. To make and administer the public policy and affairs of; exercise sovereign authority in.
2. by feelings of self-doubt self-doubt
A lack of faith or confidence in oneself.
self-doubt and a need for acceptance (Bloom bloom
1. the general appearance of the surface. In carcass meat it is the glistening, transparent effect and the gentle pink color that gives a good bloom to the carcass. It is the result of proper tissue hydration coupled with the correct proportions of fat, connective tissue and , Sheerer, & Britz For Britz in the district of Barnim, see Britz, Brandenburg.
Britz is part of the Berlin district of Neukölln. It is known for being the site of the transmission facility of RIAS, now Deutschlandradio. , 1991).
These concepts from research on teacher development provide a background for the present study. Insufficient research focuses on the experiences of caregivers working with infants and toddlers for the first time. In order to gain a more in-depth in-depth
Detailed; thorough: an in-depth study.
detailed or thorough: an in-depth analysis
understanding of the process of becoming an infanttoddler caregiver, the following research questions were explored in this study:
1. How do three new infant caregivers describe their thoughts, feelings, and experiences during their first year working in an infant child care classroom?
What did they value most?
What did they find surprising or challenging?
What helped to make them feel comfortable and supported?
What did they learn over time?
2. How do these findings inform professional preparation and practice for infant caregivers new to the field?
Program philosophy and structure. This study was conducted in the infant room of a university-based child care program that serves as a transdisciplinary training site for graduate students studying infant development and practice. The program philosophy supports infants' and toddlers' growing competence by respecting and building upon their experiences within their families. Thus, family concerns are considered of great importance in the infant room, and collaboration with families is highly valued. Student training fellows are trained to observe and interpret children's cues, and to respond to their needs and requests on an individualized in·di·vid·u·al·ize
tr.v. in·di·vid·u·al·ized, in·di·vid·u·al·iz·ing, in·di·vid·u·al·iz·es
1. To give individuality to.
2. To consider or treat individually; particularize.
3. basis. At the time the study began, one classroom served a mixed-age group of up to 10 children, ages 6 weeks to 36 months. Thus, caregiver adaptability a·dapt·a·ble
Capable of adapting or of being adapted.
a·dapta·bil in order to meet a wide variety of developmental needs was an expectation built into the program.
Over the course of this year-long study, the age range and size of the mixed-age group of infants and toddlers varied. During the second semester se·mes·ter
One of two divisions of 15 to 18 weeks each of an academic year.
[German, from Latin (cursus) s of the study, the structure of the infant room changed. The center expanded by opening a separate classroom for toddlers. The infants and young toddlers (ages 6 weeks to 24 months) were moved into a smaller classroom designed especially for their use, and so their group only included 8 infants.
Infant population. During the year in which this study took place, 16 infants and toddlers were cared for in the infant room. They ranged in age from 5 to 30 months. Thirteen of the infants and their families were of European American A European American (Euro-American) is a person who resides in the United States and is either the descendant of European immigrants or from Europe him/herself.
Overall, as the largest group, European Americans have the lowest poverty rate  descent descent, in anthropology, method of classifying individuals in terms of their various kinship connections. Matrilineal and patrilineal descent refer to the mother's or father's sib (or other group), respectively. , two were Asian, and one was African American African American Multiculture A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa. See Race. . Infants attended the center from 12 to 40 hours per week.
Student practicum practicum (prak´tikm),
n See internship. with weekly seminar. The student caregivers' responsibilities as training fellows included a minimum of 8 hours of direct caregiving per week, as well as participation in a weekly seminar relating theory to practice. Seminar assignments included readings on infant and toddler development, and on such topics as dealing with separation and sleep issues, working with families, and the importance of relationships in child care. Each student caregiver was assigned as·sign
tr.v. as·signed, as·sign·ing, as·signs
1. To set apart for a particular purpose; designate: assigned a day for the inspection.
2. at least one infant or toddler as their "key child." As the "key caregivers" for these children, the students were expected to serve as liaisons between their key children and their families and the other caregivers. They typically paid extra attention to their key children, focused on them for their child observation assignments, and completed a developmental summary of one of their key children at the end of the semester. During their caregiving hours, however, the students and staff were jointly responsible for all of the children in the infant room, and student caregivers were not expected to have an exclusive one-on-one one-on-one
1. Consisting of or being direct communication or exchange between two people: one-on-one instruction.
2. Sports Playing directly or exclusively against a single opponent. relationship with their key children.
Infant room staff. Student caregivers received feedback from the staff in the infant room on a regular basis. Two full-time full-time
Employed for or involving a standard number of hours of working time: a full-time administrative assistant.
full caregivers provided ongoing supervision and interactive modeling for students during their practicum hours. Students were encouraged to seek guidance from the caregivers when needed, but also had the space within the classroom to develop their own caregiving styles and get to know the children and families at their own rates. Due to the dynamic nature of the infant classroom, however, caregivers had to find ways to work collaboratively in meeting the children's needs. Generally speaking, schedules are often unpredictable, making the ability to adapt quickly as new situations arise a necessity.
Three of the graduate students taking the Infant Development and Practice course for a full year (two semesters) participated in this study. Each student, identified with a self-selected pseudonym pseudonym (s`dənĭm) [Gr.,=false name], name assumed, particularly by writers, to conceal identity. A writer's pseudonym is also referred to as a nom de plume (pen name). , will be described briefly below. All three of the participants were unmarried and had no children of their own.
Maya. An African American master's mas·ter's
A master's degree. student in clinical psychology, 29-year-old Maya also had a background in general psychology. She had worked for two years with older preschool and school-age children, primarily within clinical settings. Her previous experience with infants and toddlers had been limited to occasional babysitting.
Victoria. A Mexican American Mexican American
A U.S. citizen or resident of Mexican descent.
Mexi·can-A·mer master's student in early childhood/bilingual education, 25-year-old Victoria had a background in early childhood education. She had taught preschool-age children for two years. Her previous experience with infants and toddlers had been limited to caring for the children of relatives and friends.
Francesca Fran·ce·sca , Piero della
See Piero della Francesca. . A Dominican Dominican
Member of the Order of Friars Preachers, a Roman Catholic preaching and teaching order founded by St. Dominic. It dates officially from 1216, when Pope Honorius III gave it his approval, though Dominic had begun to build it at least a decade earlier. American American, river, 30 mi (48 km) long, rising in N central Calif. in the Sierra Nevada and flowing SW into the Sacramento River at Sacramento. The discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill (see Sutter, John Augustus) along the river in 1848 led to the California gold rush of master's student in early childhood special education and bilingual education bilingual education, the sanctioned use of more than one language in U.S. education. The Bilingual Education Act (1968), combined with a Supreme Court decision (1974) mandating help for students with limited English proficiency, requires instruction in the native , 25-year-old Francesca had a background in early childhood education. She had taught preschool-age children in a private child care setting for two years, and had limited experience with infants and toddlers in the same setting.
Although all three participants were enrolled in the Infant Development and Practice course during the fall semester, due to a scheduling conflict Maya could not attend the weekly seminars with the other students. Nevertheless, she participated in the practicum, met weekly with the course instructor, and completed all of her course assignments. During the spring semester, all three participants were enrolled in the practicum and the seminar.
Phase One data collection process. Participants were followed throughout their first academic year of training at the center. Data was collected in two phases, with each phase focusing on one semester. During semester one, all of the student caregivers were asked to respond to a weekly series of questions in a personal notebook, which served as the basis for interactive communication with the course instructor (the first author) regarding their experiences in the practicum. Topics and questions were selected to provide a framework within which the student caregivers could express: their own values and past experiences; what they hoped to learn during the practicum; their feelings, opinions, and reflections on issues that arose during their time in the classroom; and their suggestions for possible solutions to problems that emerged with children, families, or other caregivers (see Boshes, 1999).
Open-ended questions A closed-ended question is a form of question, which normally can be answered with a simple "yes/no" dichotomous question, a specific simple piece of information, or a selection from multiple choices (multiple-choice question), if one excludes such non-answer responses as dodging a during the first week of training focused on the caregivers' initial feelings, questions, or concerns; strengths they felt they brought to the center; and goals they wanted to accomplish. After they began to work directly with the children, they were asked each week to describe: 1) whether and how they were feeling more comfortable as caregivers; 2) in what ways their experiences with supervisors, other caregivers, parents, children, and in the seminar had contributed to these feelings; and 3) any changes in their relationships with the children (Recchia Recchia is a genus of plant in family Simaroubaceae. It contains the following species (but this list may be incomplete):
Phase One coding process. At the end of the first semester, each notebook was reviewed and participant responses were recorded. Responses to both specific and open-ended questions were examined, first for each participant individually and later across all three participants. During the process of reviewing the notebooks, ideas that emerged repeatedly in the data were noted. These emergent emergent /emer·gent/ (e-mer´jent)
1. coming out from a cavity or other part.
2. pertaining to an emergency.
1. coming out from a cavity or other part.
2. coming on suddenly. themes then were grouped into response categories.
Both researchers completed the coding process independently, then compared their coded categories. The researchers came to a consensus on the major themes that emerged, and collaboratively named and described these themes, using direct quotes from the participants for further illustration. Once coding categories were established for each participant, both researchers reviewed the data again to look for comparisons across the participants' responses.
Phase Two data collection process. Based on the themes that emerged in the participants' first semester experiences, a short series of open-ended questions was generated for use in a semi-structured interview A semi-structured interview is a method of research used in the social sciences. While a structured interview has a formalized, limited set questions, a semi-structured interview is flexible, allowing new questions to be brought up during the interview as a result of what the , which took place in the infant room near the end of the participants' second semester. All of the interviews were conducted by the second author in a quiet room at the center; these interviews lasted from 30-50 minutes, and were audiotaped and later transcribed. The interview questions focused on the following topics: 1) caregivers' general feelings about their second semester at the center, addressing their relationships and experiences with supervisors, staff, other caregivers, parents, and children; 2) the types of knowledge they felt they had gained over the course of the semester; 3) their perceptions of differences in themselves as caregivers; and 4) whether they felt they had achieved their goals for the semester.
Phase Two coding process. Transcribed records of each interview were reviewed independently several times by both authors, and emergent themes were recorded and later categorized cat·e·go·rize
tr.v. cat·e·go·rized, cat·e·go·riz·ing, cat·e·go·riz·es
To put into a category or categories; classify.
cat . The authors then shared their coded categories, collaboratively refining refining, any of various processes for separating impurities from crude or semifinished materials. It includes the finer processes of metallurgy, the fractional distillation of petroleum into its commercial products, and the purifying of cane, beet, and maple sugar their names and descriptions. After examining each interview, responses were compared across participants. Finally, data from semester one were examined alongside second semester data to create individual profiles for each participant across the academic year, and to elucidate e·lu·ci·date
v. e·lu·ci·dat·ed, e·lu·ci·dat·ing, e·lu·ci·dates
To make clear or plain, especially by explanation; clarify.
To give an explanation that serves to clarify. themes that were common to all participants and those that were unique to each. Anecdotes from the participant interviews were used to help clarify each of the caregivers' responses.
Upon completion of the individual case profiles, participants reviewed them for accuracy. All three agreed that their profiles accurately represented their perspectives. Two participants suggested minor editorial changes, which were incorporated into the text.
Issues and themes that emerged through data analyses will be described in response to the posed research questions, beginning with a description of universal themes--those themes that were expressed by all three of the participants, during Phase One and Phase Two of the project. Although these issues and ideas varied in intensity from one caregiver to another, each arose repeatedly in the data. Next, the authors will review individual themes--those themes that emerged as very strong for one of the participants, but not for the others. These findings will be synthesized syn·the·sized
1. Relating to or being an instrument whose sound is modified or augmented by a synthesizer.
2. Relating to or being compositions or a composition performed on synthesizers or synthesized instruments. for each participant within a case profile, tracing their individual experiences throughout the course of the academic year.
Universal Themes--Phase One: Notebook Analysis
Four primary themes emerged across participants. Two of the themes were universally strong, and two were stronger for one or two of the participants, but presented consistently by each of them.
Caregiver-child relationships. The most prominent theme across participants was caregiver-child relationships. The respondents In the context of marketing research, a representative sample drawn from a larger population of people from whom information is collected and used to develop or confirm marketing strategy. most frequently mentioned issues surrounding their experiences in coming to know the children. Although many of these responses were generated by the question asked each week in the notebooks ("Have you experienced any changes in your relationship with your key child this week?"), the issue of building relationships with the children frequently came up in response to open-ended questions as well.
It seemed that from the beginning, the participants were very focused on how children responded to them. They took great pleasure in the children's positive responses and expressions of affection AFFECTION, contracts. The making over, pawning, or mortgaging a thing to assure the payment of a sum of money, or the discharge of some other duty or service. Techn. Diet. , as shared by Maya: "A. (while her mother was present) gave me a huge kiss and explored my face!" But they also seemed very aware of those children who needed extra time before they could be comfortable being close to new caregivers. Francesca shared the following about one of her key children, who took several weeks of warming up to her: "H. has allowed me to take walks with her, hold her hand, change her diaper, and play with her or talk to her at the table." The participants seemed to observe children's behaviors very carefully for signs of responsiveness, as illustrated in the following entry by Victoria:
While I was giving M. his bottle this morning, halfway through he sat up and stared at me for several seconds. Then it seemed like something clicked, and he fell back into my arms and continued with his bottle. It was as if he was recognizing me.
Their responses made it clear that making positive connections with the children was at the heart of their work in the infant room.
Support. The second most cited universal issue centered on support. The participants' notebook entries Noun 1. notebook entry - an entry in a notebook
entry - an item inserted in a written record typically illustrated how much they valued working within a supportive environment. Support came from the supervisors, teachers, and the other student caregivers, who, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. Francesca, were "a great support team--open in discussing ideas and feelings." Victoria expressed how much she valued "being able to observe and interact and share the room with the great caregivers," adding that "I definitely feel a lot of what I have learned comes from them." The participants also talked about support in terms of "not being alone," and feeling validated val·i·date
tr.v. val·i·dat·ed, val·i·dat·ing, val·i·dates
1. To declare or make legally valid.
2. To mark with an indication of official sanction.
3. by others, as expressed in the following response by Maya:
I was so relieved re·lieve
tr.v. re·lieved, re·liev·ing, re·lieves
1. To cause a lessening or alleviation of: relieved all his symptoms; relieved the tension.
2. to see "stress" on the face of the persons who have been here for quite a while. I didn't did·n't
Contraction of did not.
didn't did not
didn't do feel so alone nor nearly as ineffective. To know that someone viewed the situation similar to the way ... I did, helped validate To prove something to be sound or logical. Also to certify conformance to a standard. Contrast with "verify," which means to prove something to be correct.
For example, data entry validity checking determines whether the data make sense (numbers fall within a range, numeric data my feelings.
Interactions with parents. The third major universal theme was interactions with parents. For all of the participants, developing relationships with parents was considered a rewarding yet challenging process. Maya, for example, seemed to need extra time to establish relationships with parents, saying "I still have not had the opportunity to talk with the majority of the parents. I need to make more of an effort with this." Francesca shared her feelings about what she learned from visiting her key child's family in their home by stating, "The home visit has enhanced my knowledge of how important it is to connect home and school. Really observing and taking the time out to talk to parents makes a big difference. We can both share our observations together." Victoria shared her concerns about being uncomfortable with certain parents as follows:
A.'s parents caused some uncomfortable feelings in me just in the way they interact with each other.... I also feel that M.'s parent is kind of distant from me, although I have already introduced myself as M.'s key caregiver. It may just take more effort on my part to approach her.
Perception of roles. The fourth major universal theme focused on the participants' perception of their roles as caregivers in the classroom. Comments associated with this theme came in response to several specific open-ended questions, but also were found throughout the notebooks in response to more general questions. All three of the participants emphasized how important it was for them to be nonintrusive with the children while providing a supportive environment. Francesca expressed this sentiment by saying, "Children love to do things that they are told not to do. They need to find out 'why' for themselves. They are so curious. Life is new to them and they have opportunities to find out all about it." But this did not come as easily to each of them, as illustrated by Maya's comments below:
I feel it is important to meet the child at his developmental level and regard him as an independent person.... With many of the older children, I find myself uncomfortable at times. I do not always know if I am responding in the appropriate way to their questions or signals. I am trying very hard each day to see questions from their point of view.
These student caregivers, new to the infant room, also seemed to draw intuitively on their own early experiences of being cared for as young children, especially in their initial responses to the infants and toddlers in their care, as expressed in one of Victoria's notebook entries below.
My mother was my caregiver until I went to kindergarten. I talk things out much like my mother did with me. I also have a tendency to listen and not assume, because my mother always gave me time to talk. I do realize, however, that I have to make a conscious effort to allow children to do everything they are capable of doing. Sometimes, my mother would be pressed for time and would often do things for me that I was already capable of doing.
Universal Themes--Phase Two: Interview Analysis
The following common themes emerged from this review and the analysis of the interviews conducted at the end of the second semester: routines and procedures, relationships with children, and changes in the respondents' sense of themselves as caregivers. Each will be discussed in greater detail below.
Routines and procedures. The most prominent theme centered around the issue of learning the routines and procedures of the infant room. All three caregivers talked about how important it was for them to learn the individualized routines for each child, in terms of changing their diapers, feeding them, and helping them go to sleep. This knowledge made them feel more comfortable and more confident in their interactions with children and other caregivers in the infant room. As Victoria stated, "I felt a lot more comfortable this semester in terms of knowing the procedures"; and Maya elaborated on this growing confidence in the following way:
My biggest fear during the first semester was that I am letting my fellow caregivers down. Like I am not pulling my share. And this semester, since I know the routines, I feel like I know what I am doing, so I don't don't
1. Contraction of do not.
2. Nonstandard Contraction of does not.
A statement of what should not be done: a list of the dos and don'ts. have to wait for anyone to tell me.
All three participants expressed the belief that knowing the different procedures was somehow key to their further development, because it allowed them to focus on issues that were more important to them as individual caregivers. A good example of this is provided in the following anecdote anecdote (ăn`ĭkdōt'), brief narrative of a particular incident. An anecdote differs from a short story in that it is unified in time and space, is uncomplicated, and deals with a single episode. from Francesca, in which a connection is made between knowing the routines, which in large part constitute the infant curriculum, and being able to use that knowledge in a way that cultivates children's independence.
Encourage them and foster their abilities and their independence in certain ways, whether it is ... getting their own blankets ... holding their diaper ... letting them choose between two bibs ... cleaning up ... picking out their own high chair.
Relationships with children. The second common theme focused on relationships with the children. By the second semester, the caregivers felt they had established working relationships with their key children and were now able to develop stronger relationships with new children or those they had worked with less during the previous semester. In all three situations, however, the caregivers found it hard to balance their relationships between old and new children, and between their key children and the rest of the children, as evidenced in the comments of first Victoria and then Francesca, below:
This semester I knew a lot of the children already, but I still have to balance [between] focusing on my key child since he is so little. ... The first few weeks of the semester, I was struggling with that. ... I really felt I had to stay by him.
At the beginning I felt, I don't know Don't know (DK, DKed)
"Don't know the trade." A Street expression used whenever one party lacks knowledge of a trade or receives conflicting instructions from the other party. if I can use this word, jealousy Jealousy
See also Envy.
Jesters (See CLOWNS.)
flower symbolizes jealousy. , but I felt that when she [former key child] saw me giving a lot of attention to Z [new key child] she would crawl To search the Internet for hosts, Web pages or blogs. See crawler. all over and just peek at me. ... I also felt guilty that I wasn't was·n't
Contraction of was not.
wasn't was not
wasn't be dedicating time to her. ... I tried to include her in helping me with Z.
Sense of self as caregivers. Finally, the three respondents commented on the changes they experienced during the second semester in their role as caregivers. All three of them discussed how they became more confident as caregivers, both in providing care for the children and in understanding the children's needs and interests. Victoria simply stated, "I have a better understanding of each child," while Francesca and Maya provided more complex responses. Maya said, "I definitely feel confident. ... I am learning to put appropriate boundaires ... to be open and respectful re·spect·ful
Showing or marked by proper respect.
re·spectful·ly adv. . ... I have learned to listen to what is happening inside" and Francesca commented on the importance of really knowing each child's routines:
So now I see myself ... like a full caregiver. ... I can be ... with a group of children and not just focus on one child. I am aware of everything that is going on in the setting. ... I feel comfortable if you [ask] me, "What does this child need?" I [can tell you] "It's it's
1. Contraction of it is.
2. Contraction of it has. See Usage Note at its.
it's it is or it has
it's be ~have one o'clock--I think he is ready for a nap."
Through their interview responses, all three caregivers described the process of change they had experienced during the second semester, and how they had begun to see the infant room procedures and routines, their relationships with the children, and even themselves as caregivers differently. Despite their diverse backgrounds and experiences, the participants shared these major themes.
Individual Themes: Case Profiles
Individual themes emerged during both phases of data analysis. Personal goals and challenges mentioned by each participant in response to questions posed in their notebooks during Phase One were consistently revisited in their responses to the interview questions of Phase Two. In a review of the data from both phases of the study, two broad themes emerged that encompassed each participant's unique way of thinking about her experiences--goals achieved and goals still to be achieved. In order to provide a more integrated picture of individual differences in each of the participants' professional development over the course of her first academic year in the infant room, the following case profiles, using these two broad themes (goals achieved, goals still to be achieved) as a framework, are presented.
Maya. For Maya, this training year in the infant room presented many opportunities for learning, not only about infant development and care, but also about herself. Maya appeared more focused on, and more articulate about, psychological aspects of her learning experience than did the other participants. Throughout her notebook and interview, Maya repeatedly referred to ways in which her observations of the children informed her understanding of herself and gave her insight into her own interpersonal in·ter·per·son·al
1. Of or relating to the interactions between individuals: interpersonal skills.
2. world. Near the end of her first semester in the classroom, for example, Maya shared this insight: One staff member and I discussed the miracle of A. and K. walking. We had never had the privilege to do so before. The act of watching them turn from babies to "walking" children was really amazing a·maze
v. a·mazed, a·maz·ing, a·maz·es
1. To affect with great wonder; astonish. See Synonyms at surprise.
2. Obsolete To bewilder; perplex.
v.intr. . It placed into perspective for me the step-by-step process of life, even though I am prone to forget this sometimes.
In the following anecdote taken from her interview, Maya also shared with us how she has learned to consider her inner world and emotions when working with young children:
I listen to what my feelings are saying and not try to gloss over Verb 1. gloss over - treat hurriedly or avoid dealing with properly
skate over, skimp over, slur over, smooth over
do by, treat, handle - interact in a certain way; "Do right by her"; "Treat him with caution, please"; "Handle the press reporters gently" them, not try to change them.... If I am sad, [I] just let the sadness wear itself out. And in doing that, I feel I would have a much better time with the children.
Nurturing and keeping the children safe were important goals for Maya, and ones that she felt she had accomplished. However, throughout the year, Maya struggled with finding a balance between achieving these goals and setting limits for the children. Although Maya consistently indicated that she valued giving the children a sense of freedom, this desire on her part was often in conflict with her own need for a sense of control in the classroom, particularly with the young toddlers. At first, she seemed almost in awe of the children's competencies, as exemplified in the following responses to questions posed about her first observations of the infant room:
I was struck by the sense of order that these children seem to have. Rarely did they run over one another or interfere with another child's activities. This is surprising in children of such tender age.... I would have to say [I felt] wonder at the immense freedom of exploration that the children have.
This sense of freedom appeared to be in contrast to what Maya herself had experienced growing up, as she shared in this piece of her own early childhood history:
My caregivers included my mother, grandparents grandparents npl → abuelos mpl
grandparents grand npl → grands-parents mpl
grandparents grand npl , and older church members. There were always many people around to care for me and my sisters when my parents were away. They ... spoke to us as "little adults." ... [However,] one teacher in particular respected the space of the children while upholding structure. This is the teacher I am most like--I feel it is most important to meet the child at his developmental level and regard him as an independent person. Certainly, not just [as] a "little adult."
In contrast to the other participants, Maya also expressed a greater concern about her own performance in the infant room. She made several comments expressing concern about letting the other caregivers down or worry over her performance:
I believe this week I asked more questions. I received very warm and appropriate responses. This helped me to know that I was not being held to some "rigid" performance standard. ... The amount of caregivers is always reduced on Fridays The word Fridays, a plural form of the day of the week Friday, may represent any of the following:
1. Highly or excessively active, as a gland.
2. Having behavior characterized by constant overactivity.
3. Afflicted with attention deficit disorder. in trying to prevent any mistakes.
Despite her own developing philosophy about supporting children's freedom and independence, Maya continued to have doubts about her role in setting limits and dealing with potential conflicts, as indicated m comments such as the following:
With many of the older children I find myself uncomfortable at times. I don't always know if I am responding in the appropriate way to their questions or signals. I am trying very hard each day to see questions from their point of view.
With increased experience and comfort in the infant room, Maya was able to practice setting limits for the children more easily. At the end of the year, however, she still expressed this as a goal toward which she needed to continue working.
I am working on achieving the big goal of setting boundaries. I have learned to say "No" and really stand by it. ... I feel this is certainly the most painful part right now but also the turning point. If I can just get over this, I will be on my way to becoming such a balanced teacher. I want to be able to set limits for the children, respect their space, talk with them, nurture NURTURE. The act of taking care of children and educating them: the right to the nurture of children generally belongs to the father till the child shall arrive at the age of fourteen years, and not longer. Till then, he is guardian by nurture. Co. Litt. 38 b. them.
Victoria. Victoria categorized her achievements over the year into theoretical and practical knowledge. When asked to remind us of the goals she had set for herself when she started in the infant room, she spoke of infant development knowledge. As a second-semester caregiver, Victoria said, "I have achieved a lot of knowledge in that sense and it has opened a whole new perspective on child development." Victoria also expressed how her experience in the infant room helped improve her practical skills working with children, particularly around the issue of how much freedom to give to the children to initiate and lead activities before she would intervene intervene v. to obtain the court's permission to enter into a lawsuit which has already started between other parties and to file a complaint stating the basis for a claim in the existing lawsuit. :
I think that this semester I let myself be led by the children more than I did last semester. I think that is something I accomplished ... [in] my prior teaching experience. ... You set more structure, you had more to say of what you were going to do in the classroom, even though the children kind of led the activity.
Victoria's insights into how infants learn demonstrated her ability to make clear distinctions between the ways she was working in the infant room as opposed to the ways she had worked in the past with older preschoolers. At one point in her interview, Victoria talked about how much she had developed her observation skills by stepping back and tuning in tuning in,
v process in which a therapeutic touch practitioner centers himself or herself so as to be aligned with or “in tune” with a healing energy “frequency,” so that the patient may choose to join the practitioner (tune to the infants' reliance on gestures and sounds for communication. She stated, "It is not only letting them be, ... but also being able to read what it is they want through all sorts of expressions and gestures."
One issue that came up for Victoria, much more than for the other participants, was her desire to be more involved in the day-to-day day-to-day
1. Occurring on a routine or daily basis: the day-to-day movements of the stock market.
2. activities of the infant classroom. As a student caregiver, Victoria was only required to be in the classroom two days per week. Throughout her first-semester notebook, Victoria commented repeatedly about the ways in which she felt she was not able to get the whole picture of life in the infant room: "Sometimes I feel that I have to 'catch-up' on anything that may have happened the days I wasn't in the center." Victoria made a clear distinction between herself as a student and the "real" caregivers in the classroom. At times, it seemed as though she felt left out of the planning and follow-through fol·low-through or fol·low·through
1. The act or an instance of following through: a book promotion campaign with no follow-through.
2. that was the full-time staff's responsibility:
Consistency in the class is important and [we] student-teachers especially need to be informed about anything new, because we are only in the class two times a week and rarely have anything to do with what happens amongst staff.... Seminar provides us with different view points and anecdotes of what happens when we are not there, which is always good to know.
At other times, it seemed that Victoria was concerned about being a less important presence for the children than the full-time teachers: "M. seems to be pulling away a little--possibly growing closer to other caregivers, whom he sees every day."
As the year continued, Victoria seemed to come to terms with the number of days she was present in the infant room, and to become more comfortable with her role as a caregiver, as illustrated in the following anecdote:
I have developed a greater sense of the class as a whole, in terms of me being part of it. I know where things are, how things get done, etc. Plus, I know much more about the children and their families. This plays an enormous part in feeling comfortable.... I've I've
Contraction of I have.
I've I have
I've have been through a transition where I now feel more like one of the permanent caregivers--that is, I don't feel like a student only.
At the end of the year, Victoria had this to say about her goals yet to be achieved in the infant classroom:
Being able to be aware of what is going on in the classroom ... really be a little sharper in thinking on my feet ... being able to read certain behaviors and how you go [about] addressing those behaviors ... take more charge of the things that go down on the charts, I have to be more on top of that ... to really take more charge in class, not to take control.
Francesca. Francesca, who entered the practicum with a "willingness to learn everything and anything, a desire to grow in the field," described her achievements during the year by giving examples of her experiences in the infant room. More than the other participants, however, she related her practice to the theory that she was learning through seminar readings and discussion.
[By] having J. as a key child I have seen theory and practice come together.... I strongly believe by what I've seen [in the infant room] that enhancing the environment produces lots of interest and interaction [between] children and materials.... I thought that changing the environment ... every day was going to be overwhelming for the children, but it proved to be otherwise and actually very stimulating.... In this center, there is a little of everything and it doesn't does·n't
Contraction of does not. seem to be too much for the children. I was the one who was overwhelmed o·ver·whelm
tr.v. o·ver·whelmed, o·ver·whelm·ing, o·ver·whelms
1. To surge over and submerge; engulf: waves overwhelming the rocky shoreline.
a. at the beginning because it was a totally new idea for me.
In her year-end year-end also year·end
The end of a year.
Occurring or done at the end of the year: a year-end audit.
Noun 1. interview, Francesca expressed how she became more confident in relating to relating to relate prep → concernant
relating to relate prep → bezüglich +gen, mit Bezug auf +acc babies, one of the goals she had set for herself at the beginning of the practicum. She stated that she learned how to talk and listen to babies, especially through her close work with the two 6-month-olds who were her key children.
At the beginning I was confused because I didn't know how much I could interact with the child without taking over.... I learned to step back and observe. This was really helpful because I felt I knew the child better without actually initiating the interaction. For me, with infants it was even tougher because I didn't know how much they were able to do on their own but then I got the hang of it.
She also shared with us the knowledge that she acquired about infant curriculum.
Before I didn't feel [there] was a curriculum for infants other than doing things for them--you know, changing their diapers--but now I see we can include them in the whole process...just explaining things that you do [as you go along].
Another important theme for Francesca was the value of communication: between the caregivers, the caregivers and the children, and the caregivers and the parents. She shared her belief that her communication with her key child's parents helped to build a trusting and continuing relationship with them. She also talked about her communication with the other caregivers and how she learned to ask for information about the things she did not understand.
I feel comfortable going to caregivers and say[ing], "You know, I saw that you put out this today, what made you [decide on that]? Did you see a child do something in particular that made you say, let's let's
Contraction of let us. use finger paint today?" ... Constant communication with the caregivers and parents has improved and I feel comfortable with that.
More than the other participants, Francesca's comments throughout the year focused on the importance she placed on being a part of the caregiving community She frequently remarked in her weekly notebook on the "team spirit" of the student caregivers, referring to the group as a "very supportive team" and commenting on how "it feels that we are all helping each other out." For example, Francesca shared how she would rely on the other caregivers for help when faced with a cranky crank·y 1
adj. crank·i·er, crank·i·est
1. Having a bad disposition; peevish.
2. Having eccentric ways; odd.
3. baby who wouldn't would·n't
Contraction of would not.
wouldn't would not
wouldn't would sleep: "I might tell another caregiver how I feel and see if she can take over or suggest something else." Unlike Maya, who often felt concerned about the ways others might be judging her, Francesca seemed to find comfort in having others with whom to share responsibility in caring for the children.
I like to see and feel that I'm I'm
Contraction of I am.
Our Living Language Speakers of some scattered varieties of American English sometimes use I'm instead of I've or I have in present perfect constructions, as in not alone. Everyone in the room takes responsibility for all the children. If a child cries, it is not expected that the key caregiver needs to respond. If the key caregiver is occupied it is assumed that someone else can help.
This study focused on the process of personal and professional growth for three student caregivers as they began working with infants and families in child care. Qualitative analyses of the participants' thoughts and feelings, shared in their first-semester notebooks and second-semester interviews, revealed universal and individual themes that support and expand on previous findings, and that inform our understanding of the experiences of new infant/toddler caregivers.
Relationships with children and interactions with parents emerged as fundamentally important factors in the beginning experiences of these new caregivers. This universal focus on relationships provides empirical support for statements found in the literature. The more intimate nature of relationships and communication with children and families have been described as major elements to be considered in the transition from preschool teacher to infant/toddler teacher (Chick, 1996; Keenan, 1998, 1997). For these new caregivers, working closely with families provided a context for understanding and forming more meaningful relationships with children.
This study also found evidence that effective team teaching was an essential ingredient in providing quality care for infants and families. Working collaboratively gave these new caregivers the opportunity to express personal needs and to support each other in their work. All three participants credited the support they received from supervisors, staff, and other student caregivers as highly important to their work and to the development of their personal identities as caregivers (Bergen, 1994).
These data also support previous findings that demonstrated that beginning teachers are concerned about their role, personal adequacy, and the result of their actions on children's learning (Baptiste & Sheerer, 1997). Concerns about their caregiving role and the ways they related and responded to the children came up repeatedly in the participants' anecdotes. Although each of them focused on this issue in somewhat different ways, it was clearly stated as a major area of growth and change over the course of their first year.
Each of these new caregivers expressed her awareness of learning to work in a different way with infants and toddlers than with preschoolers. They emphasized the importance of becoming careful observers of nonverbal behavior as they learned to understand babies' ways of communicating. Focusing on routines and transitions as an essential part of the curriculum, as well as the need to provide more intimacy This article or section may contain original research or unverified claims.
Please help Wikipedia by adding references. See the for details.
This article has been tagged since September 2007. and a higher level of physical care, were seen as integral aspects of their responsibilities (Keenan, 1997). Learning the routines and procedures of the infant room was critical, as it gave them a basis for developing further as caregivers. Knowing the children's individual schedules and needs was a necessary precursor precursor /pre·cur·sor/ (pre´kur-ser) something that precedes. In biological processes, a substance from which another, usually more active or mature, substance is formed. In clinical medicine, a sign or symptom that heralds another. to caring for them effectively.
Many researchers have documented the growth and change experienced by new teachers (Keenan, 1997; Olson & Osborne, 1991; Veale Veale may refer to:
This page or section lists people with the surname Veale. , 1989). For the infant/toddler caregivers in this study, changes in their perceptions of the caregiving role were very important. As they came to learn more about the children and to more fully understand their caregiving needs, they felt more capable of providing better and more individualized care. This, in turn, helped them to feel more effective and competent as caregivers.
In addition to these more universal experiences as reported by the participants, each of the new caregivers followed in this study also experienced individual changes. The participants each brought her own unique personal and professional histories to this shared experience as new infant caregivers. As found in previous studies of new teachers, these new caregivers' personal perspectives developed and grew according to each of their personal dispositions (Tabachnick & Zeichner, 1984).
One participant, Maya, was particularly concerned about her ability to impose limits on children. She struggled with this issue throughout the year, judging her competence against it. As found in previous studies, classroom management issues are a very common area of concern for novice teachers (Baptiste & Sheerer, 1997; Veale, 1989). This area may assume a new dimension for caregivers new to infant/toddler practice, as "limit setting" often takes place nonverbally (Keenan, 1998). For Maya, this concern seemed to stem in part from her own personal history.
Another participant, Victoria, was concerned over the fact that she was not able to be aware, or in control, of all that happened in the room. She wanted to know more about the children's experiences and provide assistance for all of them. Olson and Osborne (1991) found that the teachers in their study also felt a need to achieve control, and became frustrated frus·trate
tr.v. frus·trat·ed, frus·trat·ing, frus·trates
a. To prevent from accomplishing a purpose or fulfilling a desire; thwart: by the unrealistic goals that they had set for themselves. Given the length of the day in most infant child care settings, no one staff person can be present for all of the hours that some of the children are present, thus highlighting the need for ongoing communication and collaboration. Victoria seemed to come to terms with this issue over the course of the semester, but it took time for her to grow comfortable with the collaborative nature of infant caregiving.
Olson and Osborne (1991) also suggest that novice teachers need to feel part of a subculture subculture /sub·cul·ture/ (sub´kul-chur) a culture of bacteria derived from another culture.
n. and find security in their relationships with peers and veteran teachers. One participant, Francesca, gave evidence to support this. For Francesca, being a part of a community of learners was vitally important. Her thoughts and feelings about working with others were grounded in her early and ongoing experiences as a learner within her own family and culture. Feeling part of a team that supported, helped, and learned from each other facilitated her transition to becoming an infant caregiver.
Throughout these analyses, the researchers have encountered distinct sub-themes under the broad theme of "learning." The participants' individual styles and perspectives highlight the complexity and uniqueness in the ways that each of them came to new levels of personal and professional growth and understanding. Each of the participants in this study learned both practical skills in infant caregiving and theoretical knowledge of infant development during her first year as an infant caregiver. In addition, they learned to look within themselves for a deeper emotional and intellectual understanding of their roles as caregivers. These caregivers shared universal experiences, as well as those that were uniquely grounded in their backgrounds, personal perspectives, and goals for the future.
Implications for Training
Results from this study suggest that new caregivers bring unique personal and professional qualities to their pursuit of work in the infant/family field. Recognizing and validating val·i·date
tr.v. val·i·dat·ed, val·i·dat·ing, val·i·dates
1. To declare or make legally valid.
2. To mark with an indication of official sanction.
3. their individual differences can provide a model for supporting individualized care for children. Expectations for behavior, highly influenced by cultural background and experience, may differ among infant caregivers and the children and families they serve. Caring for infants and families can provoke pro·voke
tr.v. pro·voked, pro·vok·ing, pro·vokes
1. To incite to anger or resentment.
2. To stir to action or feeling.
3. To give rise to; evoke: provoke laughter. unexpected feelings in new caregivers that may be grounded in their own early experiences of receiving care. Providing opportunities to reflect on these feelings within a supportive context can help new caregivers gain perspective and insight into their own and young children's behaviors, promoting collaboration and reinforcing good practice.
New caregivers need time and space in which to learn, develop relationships with infants and families, discover their own caregiving styles, and form their own caregiver identities. Mentoring provided by more experienced staff can help to promote their growth and development. Findings from this study indicate that ongoing communication, among novice caregivers themselves as well as with supervisors, is not only essential to the collaborative work required in most infant classrooms, but also can provide a context for sharing accomplishments, asking questions, expressing concerns, and learning from others.
Limitations and Suggestions for Future Research
This study looked in-depth at the first-year experiences of three student caregivers, as expressed in their own words, in a university-based infant child care classroom. Both authors were actively employed by the center during the time of the study, and had participatory roles in the caregivers' training and supervision. Although these factors may impose limits on generalizing the results, they also provide integrity to the authenticity The correct attribution of origin such as the authorship of an e-mail message or the correct description of information such as a data field that is properly named. Authenticity is one of the six fundamental components of information security (see Parkerian Hexad). , depth, and cohesiveness of the findings.
Findings from this study suggest that new infant caregivers experience many of the same thoughts and feelings of new teachers that have been documented in the literature. However, there are some distinct differences in the nature and structure of work with infants and families that pose special challenges for novice infant caregivers. New infant caregivers need to develop close relationships not only with children, but also with parents and colleagues in order to provide optimal care. Although relationships and collaboration are important aspects of professional practice for all early childhood teachers, these components take on greater significance within the context of infant child care. Infant teachers help form the first bridge between home and "school." Their investment in developing strong, positive, caring relationships with children and families within a caring community helps lay the foundation for further positive school experiences (Elicker & Fortner-Wood, 1995; Pianta, 1997). In addition, when car egivers collaborate, share their ideas and feelings, and negotiate a shared "control" of the classroom space and agenda, they are better able to create a reflective Refers to light hitting an opaque surface such as a printed page or mirror and bouncing back. See reflective media and reflective LCD. and supportive environment within which further personal and professional growth can occur.
Given the growing need for well-trained practitioners in the infant/family field, additional studies are called for that can provide further information on new caregivers' developmental processes across diverse settings. Such research can inform our understanding of the most optimal ways to provide professional preparation and ongoing mentoring for new infant caregivers.
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crippled fiddler with intense feelings. [Br. Lit.: Pendennis]
Cedric of Rotherwood
zealous about restoring Saxon independence. [Br. to "teach"? Young Children, 56(1), 15-21.
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