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Professionalism in Early Childhood Education: Doing Our Best for Young Children


Professionalism in Early Childhood Education: Doing Our Best for Young Children Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Investigate what it means to be an early childhood professional and acquire the knowledge, skills and traits exemplary early childhood educators possess Written for those entering the field or striving to grow within the profession, early child care authority and author, Dr. Stephanie Feeney helps readers understand the nature of the profession, what it means to behave in a professional way, and where they stand in their own professional journey. She devotes chapters to moral and technical competence and explains what the terms profession and professional mean. Complete with self-assessments and first-hand accounts, Dr. Feeney guides readers in understanding what it means to be an educator who embodies the highest standards of professionalism in their work with children, families and colleagues. Take a look inside...
  • Explores the topic of professionalism--examines what constitutes a profession, the professional status of ECE and issues related to professionalism in ECE.
  • Discusses what professionalism looks like in the early childhood field (Chapter 4)--includes discussion of the knowledge and skills, or what those who work with young children should know and be able to do.
  • Addresses professional behavior (chapter 5)--features discussion of professional conduct, doing what is right, including ethical behavior
  • Showcases exemplars in the field and provide guidance to aspiring early childhood professionals (chapter 6)--draws on the experiences of outstanding early childhood educators and illustrates ways to best serve young children.
  • Includes reflection questions and self-assessments--helps readers examine their own practice and work toward a higher level of professionalism.

About the Author

Dr. Stephanie Feeney is Professor Emerita of Education at the University of Hawaii at Manoa where she directed early childhood teacher education programs for many years. She received her bachelor’s degree at UCLA, master’s degree at Harvard University, and doctorate at Claremont Graduate University. Her publications include Who Am I in the Lives of Children? (9th edition), Continuing Issues in Early Childhood Education (3rd edition), Early Childhood Education in the Pacific and Asia, Ethics and the Early Childhood Educator: Using the NAEYC Code of Ethics, Teaching the NAEYC Code of Ethics: A Resource Guide, a curriculum for young children, numerous articles, and four children’s books about Hawaii.


Since the mid l980s Dr. Feeney has participated in work on professional ethics for the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). She was co-author of the association’s Code of Ethical Conduct which was developed based on input from the field under the guidance of an Ethics Commission which she chaired. She has worked on two revisions of the Code, on the development of supplements to the Code for Adult Educators and Program Administrators, and she co-authors an ethics column in the journal Young Children.


Dr. Feeney has lectured and taught throughout the United States and in China, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.¿ She has served on the Governing Boards of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the National Association for Early Childhood Teacher Educators (NAECTE), and on committees relating to early care and education in Hawaii and nationally.


Dr. Feeney may be contacted at


Table of Contents


·        How I came to write this book

·        Why address this topic now?

·        A note to college teachers and trainers


CHAPTER 1—What is a Profession?

·        Origins of professions

·        What do the terms mean?

·        Criteria for determining if an occupation is a profession

·        A continuum of professions

·        How should professionals behave?

·        Issues regarding professions


CHAPTER 2—Is Early Childhood Education a Profession?   

·        Historical influences on the field of ECE

·        How does early childhood education meet the criteria for a profession?

·                  Where do we stand?

·                  Do we want to be a profession?

·                  Which way should we go from here?


CHAPTER 3—Personal attributes

·        What should early childhood educators be like?

·        What you bring into the world

·        Who you are as a person

·        Who you are as an educator

·        Knowing yourself

·        Final thoughts


CHAPTER 4—Knowledge and Skills

·        Historical influences on knowledge and skills needed to teach young children

·        The current landscape

·        What should early childhood educators should know and be able to do?

·        How do these things come together in practice?

·        Final thoughts         


CHAPTER 5—Professional Behavior

·        Characteristics of professional conduct

·        Doing what is right—ethics and advocacy

·        Performing the job

·        Final thoughts


CHAPTER 6—Aspiring to do your Best

·        Looking backward

·        Early childhood education as a “calling”

·        A developmental perspective

·        Basics and beyond

·        Looking forward



A—Self Assessments

B—Professional development plan

C—Recommended reading


Product Details

Feeney, Stephanie
Pearson Education
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
8.9 x 6 x 0.4 in 204 gr

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