NAEYC Voice of Practitioners Article published by Sarah Leonard & Jamie Gleason
An article has recently been published by two of our full-time teachers for Voices of Practitioners: Teacher Research in Early Childhood Education (VOP). VOP is NAEYC's peer-reviewed, professional online journal. Its main purpose is to provide a vehicle for publishing the research of early childhood teachers, who are often underrepresented as authors in the educational research arena. This publication includes informative articles, resources, and tools to promote the participation of early childhood teachers in teacher research.1
This article written by Sarah Jewell Leonard and Jamie Gleason presents teacher action research embarked upon by Preschool 1 teachers in during the 2012 school year. While teachers and children asked the question, “What does it mean to be an artist?” and looked for the answer as they explored the work of Dahlov Ipcar with their children, it also became apparent that there was an additional question regarding the place of young children in the adult-centered college campus. This action research challenges the community’s view of the capabilities of young children particularly when teachers document and revisit materials and experiences. Through documentation of children’s artistic expression with many different media teachers learned more about how children expressed their ideas and developed a sense of themselves as artists. Teachers challenged themselves through the Cycle of Inquiry and engaged in action research during a long term investigation of artistic process. Integral components of sustained investigations were a commitment to documentation of children’s work, making connections with community members, providing time, space, and authentic materials for art, and taking a stance of advocacy in embarking upon explorations.