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Exploring your role: A Practitioner's Introduction to Early Childhood Education. (Professional Books).

EXPLORING YOUR ROLE: A Practitioner's Introduction to Early Childhood Education. M. R. Jalongo & J. P. Isenberg. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill, 2000. 482 pp. $68.00. Tapping into their years of teaching young children in a wide variety of settings and their work with college students and teachers, these university professors have written an innovative textbook for beginning early childhood educators. In a pleasant deviation from the usual introductory textbook, the authors make the information interactive for readers. For example, students are encouraged to "pause and reflect or react" or "research and reflect."

Case materials at the start of each chapter set the tone for exploring educators' roles with children ages birth to 8. Readers are introduced to teachers working with three separate age groupings in section titled "Meet the Teachers." Each chapter features a realistic problem-solving scenario in which the authors focus on a child and highlight the views of three different professionals or family members. This approach helps students become acquainted with the importance of collaboration. Relevant field-tested, in-class workshops at the conclusion of each chapter add a useful application dimension.

The authors masterfully adapt the 12 diverse roles of contemporary early childhood educators identified by the National Association for the Education of Young Children as the practical basis for each chapter (e.g., "Exploring Your Child Advocacy Role From a Historical Perspective" and "Exploring Your Role as a Child Development Specialist"). All chapters begin with specific student outcomes, rather than objectives, thereby adhering to current accreditation standards for teacher education programs.

An outstanding feature of this text is the highlighted expert testimony by leaders in the field, through which students can familiarize themselves with educators' thoughts on contemporary issues. Jalongo and Isenberg skillfully relate theory, research, and practice in this easy-to-read, well-organized text, which welcomes early childhood practitioners to the profession. Reviewed by Susan A. Miller, Professor of Early Childhood Education, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania
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Copyright 2001, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Miller, Susan A.
Publication:Childhood Education
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Dec 22, 2001
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