EDvance facilitates presentations at conference for early childhood professionals
The EDvance team, consisting of faculty, alumni, and current students, headed to Austin, Texas to participate in the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s Annual Professional Learning Institute (NAEYC PLI) June 10-13. The NAEYC PLI brings together early childhood professionals who engage in participating and facilitating high quality professional development opportunities to obtain new perspectives and fresh ideas on what is happening in the field of early childhood education.
The EDvance team was selected to facilitate three presentations over the course of the conference, including a featured presentation on “Embracing Authentic Assessment through Learning Stories.” The presenters touched on how institutions of higher education can help early childhood educators develop strong reflective teaching and documentation practices, while balancing the need for them to use their state-mandated assessment tool. A faculty member and a current mentor teacher for EDvance, Isauro Escamilla, walked the attendees through the elements of a Learning Story, before sharing his own work around the use of Learning Stories in his own practice. This presentation also highlighted the works and reflections of EDvance students, Kristen Stahmer and Albert Chu, around their use of Learning Stories in their practice in the past year, as well as how they continue to inspire other practitioners within their agencies in developing their own understanding of the power of Learning Stories.
The second EDvance presentation was “Peer Mentoring,” which included research on how leveraging the strengths and experiences of students who are new to the field and students from the existing workforce enables all participants to gain the support that they need to be successful in completing their teacher preparation program. EDvance Director Lygia Stebbing was joined by a team of alumni, program partners and current students of EDvance in this presentation, including Yohana Quiroz, Christine Nevarez, Angela Aquilizan, Stephanie Estrada and Kelly Wheatly. Together, they gave an overview of both the Lower and Upper Division Programs of EDvance, and how peer mentoring is practiced in both settings. The attendees engaged in rich discussions on how they view the use of peer mentoring in their own contexts and asked questions about how the EDvance program leverages their relationship with their community partners.
On the final day of the NAEYC PLI, the third group presented on “Honoring Teacher Voices,” which highlighted the students’ use of their own narratives, referred to as “My Stories” as a self-reflection tool in higher education. The team was headed by Annie White from the CSU-Channel Islands and Christine Nevarez from EDvance, who provided an overview of how “My Stories” was adapted from the original format of the Learning Stories. They also gave testimonies of the depth by which students in higher education can reflect on their self-identity, cultural and family background and beliefs through their My Stories as they develop and strengthen their professional development. EDvance students Stephanie Estrada and Kelley Wheatly, along with a CSU-Channel Islands student, shared their narratives and gave the participants the opportunity to witness how teacher self-reflection honors diverse learner identities.