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December 23 , 2009

Defining Early Childhood Education for a New Era

Leading for Our Profession


In her provocative new book, Stacie Goffin presents a leadership manifesto to the field of early childhood education: It should step forward as an agent for change by assuming responsibility for the competent practice of its practitioners and for facilitating positive results for children and their learning. As a field of practice, ECE should formally organize as a profession to realize consistency in practice across sites and program types. Goffin challenges the field to develop fieldwide leadership and diminish its reliance on public policy for defining its purpose and structure. Offering a fresh viewpoint on national efforts to improve program quality and children’s learning and development, the book concludes with “Next Steps Commentaries” written by education luminaires Rolf Grafwallner, Jacqueline Jones, and Pamela J. Winton outlining concrete action steps to jump-start the essential discussion about moving forward.

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“Stacie Goffin, long-time leader in early childhood education, brings her expertise and wisdom to a call for action, urging early childhood educators to rethink the present trajectory of the field and create a professional field of practice. A ‘must-read’ for people who care about the future of our young children.” 

Aletha Huston, Pricilla Pond Flawn Regents Professor Emerita of Child Development, The University of Texas at Austin

“Like the historic town crier, Goffin calls us to create a public space for reflection, dialogue, and action regarding the future of our field. She challenges our loose federation of early childhood educators to formally organize as a professional field of practice. Once again, Goffin is serving as a much-needed provocateur, protagonist, and catalytic agent.” 
Maurice Sykes, executive director, Early Childhood Leadership Institute, University of the District of Columbia

“With her usual clarity, Stacie Goffin drives her stake in the ground and then gathers us around it, urging us along an intellectual journey, not so much toward the answers for our professionbut toward exacting questions needed to get us to the place that will define us as one.” 
Jana Martella, co-director, Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes, Washington, DC

“By shifting focus from program performance to individual/collective competence, the field of early childhood education will emerge stronger. ECE for a New Era provides a blueprint for the field’s transformation. It’s time we move beyond the field’s current narrative and create a new future scenario. Stacie is right; change starts with us—with me!” 
Margot Chappel,director, Nevada Head Start Collaboration and Early Childhood Systems Office

“Stacie presents a powerful challenge: all of us must step up to organize early childhood education as a professional field of practice. While parts of her analysis are sure to be debated, I hope her message gains traction among us. This issue matters enormously for children and for ourselves.” 
Valora Washington, president and CEO, Council for Professional Recognition, Washington, DC

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