There is a growing understanding that a sole focus on teachers and improving classrooms in early childhood education is insufficient and unlikely to succeed—we need instructional leadership and collaborative job-embedded professional learning (JEPL) to help drive continuous improvement.
This paradigm shift begins with the understanding that, second only to teaching, leadership influences children’s learning and leaders must drive improved outcomes for all children, especially those born into poverty. We’re working to broaden how the early learning field defines quality and understands instructional improvement; that is, leaders must cultivate collective responsibility among staff for excellence and provide teachers with sustained supports that enable them to successfully improve their teaching and children’s learning. Leaders are responsible for creating an organizational climate supportive of teachers and for facilitating collaborative job-embedded professional learning routines in which leaders and teachers work together to develop and improve ambitious curriculum and instruction.
We set out to drive better child outcomes by conceptualizing and designing a Professional Development Intervention that cultivated instructional leadership and instilled cultures of collaboration that successfully impacted teaching and children’s learning.
Early Education Essentials is a breakthrough new measurement system focusing on organizational conditions in early childhood education settings. Early Education Essentials offers early education leaders the following supports to measure the health of their program: teacher/staff and parent surveys, interactive survey reports, and data-use and improvement tools. This system helps leaders and staff work together to identify both short- and longer-term solutions for improving practices and increasing children’s early achievement.
Lead Learn Excel is an innovative approach to on-the-job learning that empowers early childhood leaders to create systems and routines that lead to high-quality instruction. Through Lead Learn Excel, leaders can transform their organizations into effective, high-performing programs that prepare children for kindergarten and beyond. Early childhood education leaders will learn how to use data for shared decision-making, and how to facilitate ongoing professional development with teachers through team lesson planning and peer learning communities.