Competency-Based ECE Teacher Education Programs
The faculty of our new B.Ed. in ECE, B-8 track and other existing ECE programs at the associate, bachelor, and master degree programs in the University of Hawaiʻi system and Chaminade University are reviewing and aligning course student and program learning outcomes with the NAEYC’s Professional Standards and Competencies for Early Childhood Educators. These national competencies are based on recommendations from the Transforming the Workforce for Children, Birth through 8 report and the Power to the Profession Unifying Framework’s early childhood educator distinctions I, II, III. These distinctions or levels acknowledge that there are foundational competencies that all ECE professionals need and include specialized competencies for each level that build on this foundation. The new NAEYC competencies incorporate the latest science and research and address areas of need of enhancement, including teaching subject matter-specific content, addressing stress and adversity, fostering socio-emotional development, promoting general learning competencies, working with dual language learners, and integrating technology into the curriculum.
Simultaneously, faculty are having discussions on how to best recognize and incorporate HCYC’s E Mālama i Nā Keiki, Hawai‘i’s Core Knowledge and Competencies for Early Childhood Care and Education Workforce (2019) which is a supplemental guide to ensure systematic and intentional planning or pre-service, in-service, and on-going professional development that considers Hawai‘i as a unique place of learning. It serves as a unifying foundation for what each practitioner, regardless of setting, must know, be able to do, and value in order to be an effective ECE professional in Hawai‘i. The competencies in E Mālama i Nā Keiki are organized in 11 domains and intended for early childhood professionals at three levels of practice: Level I – A Beginning Practitioner, Level II – An Intermediate Practitioner, and Level III – An Advanced Practitioner. Hawai‘i’s recent strategic implementation plan for Quality Workforce Development and Supports includes action steps to review the new NAEYC competencies, crosswalk them with the E Mālama i Nā Keiki, and discuss implications for personnel requirements and teacher preparation programs.