Examining Teachers’ Social-Emotional Wellbeing in Early Care & Education Settings

DELETE WHEN DONE! Name spelling: Cynthia Buettner Opening Speaker: If you are here for your
first time, this is a monthly colloquia series that is sponsored by the Crane Center for Early Childhood Research
and Policy. Today we’re going to have Cynthia Buettner present to us. She is an Associate Professor
in Human Sciences Administration here at OSU in the College of Education and Human Ecology.
I got that right didn’t I? Okay. She earned her Ph.D here in HDFS. She’s also
the director for the Ohio Collaborative, which is a research center and policy center focused
on conducting and disseminating research for improving schools and lives of young children.
Her publications in the last two years have focused on teacher operations and teacher attitudes towards
teaching and teacher’s well being. Also on the effects of parental compression
on child’s school readiness and the quality rating improvement system on child cognitive development.
That’s just a small sample of her work. I also believe you have some work on school
writing at the college level that I thought was really interesting. College students and writing.
Buettner: Oh! Writing! Yes College drinking. Opening Speaker: I’ve read a few of those. Buettner: I just moved you over in terms of
risk behavior. Opening Speaker: We are very excited to hear
her presentation today. Normally we would have refreshments for you but Panera didn’t deliver
today so we are just going to have a presentation. Buettner: Thank you very much. Well good afternoon.
Thanks for a great introduction. Thank You to Laura and the Crane center staff for sponsoring these sessions.
Thanks to all of you who came out on a — I was gonna say snowy afternoon, it was
snowing when I was thinking about this but it it seems to be cleared up a
little bit now. I know it’s the end of the week and people are already
thinking about the weekend so I appreciate the fact that you came in to
hear me talk a little bit about research that I’m pretty passionate about.
Hopefully I’ll be able to give you some things that you can think about over the
weekend. I’m assuming that if you’re here that if you came to this session
that you have some interest in early childhood care and education. If you
are interested in early care and education, you probably know that there’s
a fairly robust body of literature that says high-quality early childhood
education has some positive benefits for poor children. What I think a lot of
people aren’t as aware of is that we don’t have that much high quality care
in the US. We know it’s important. We know it makes a difference for all
children particularly those from vulnerable backgrounds. But we
don’t actually as a country, now I’m getting to a political thing, invest I
think as much as as we should in early childhood education. That’s led to
a number of efforts by states — efforts at the national level and at the
local level– to try to improve the quality of care in the early childhood
system. I kind of use system loosely because we don’t really have a system. We
have centers that are for-profit. We have centers that are non-profit. We have
public entities that are providing childcare. We have private entities that
are doing so. We have different regulations in every state as to what’s
ok, what the standards are. We don’t have a system for early care and
education like we would for K through 12. These efforts have initially focused
on what is termed structural quality. Those are things that are easily measured
and they are things that are easy to set standards for. Think about: group size,
how many kids can we have a classroom, the ratio of students to teachers.
Structural quality has focused on things that are important not only to kids but
also to the people who work in the system. You don’t really want to have thirty-two
year olds in your classroom. They’re important things whether we can actually
tie to every one of them to better outcomes for kids. They’re good
for the situations that we put children into. When we look at the how, what really
makes a difference in kids outcomes, then we have to look at what happens between
the teacher and the child. We look at teacher-child interaction. That’s
typically in the literature referenced as process quality that process
between teacher and kids. We kind of talked about both of those things. I
think of structural quality is the things that sort of set up the
opportunity to have good internet interaction between teachers and
children. When we pull out the teacher… Thanks.
I came down with a cold yesterday so I’m struggling with a cough. When we think
about the teacher as the architect of the classroom and we think about things
that might impact that quality of interaction that the teacher has with
the child, there’s a fairly robust body of literature about where people
have looked at educational credentials. What do teachers bring to the classroom
to start with? How have they been trained? Traditional professional
development, sort of what we think of as going and taking a workshop or a
particular training. Then more recently there’s been a fair amount of
effort in interest in coaching. Actually delivering training to teachers
in the classroom mentoring them and modeling behavior. There’s a number
of people who pointed out that there are other things that teachers bring to the
classroom that might affect their interaction with children other than… I’m going to talk about a construct that we’ve
labeled Social-Emotional Capacity. I guess you try to work as a researcher to get to
the place where you can label some sort of construct. That’s what we’re operating on
– the folks I’ve been doing research with. That’s what we use to guide our work. There’s
just a brief model and we’ll come back to it later. Personally, for a long time, I’ve
collected stories on how couples met each other. I like the story that people can tell
me on how they got to where they are now. Once I got into the academic world I sort
of transferred that to asking people how they got on the path that took them to study what
their studying at any moment in time. What’s the path that led you to be interested in
this? I tried to organize this a little bit about the path that I’ve been on that has
took me to focusing on this particular area of interest in terms of quality in education
for kids. That started because I had a large data set that had come from a research evaluation
that I’ve done on Ohio’s quality improvement system. If you’re familiar with Ohio it’s
called Step Up to Quality. That’s an effort to set standards — it’s a voluntary system
or at least it was when I was looking at it — to try to get centers, child care centers,
to improve. I had this data set that included assessments of children, observations of the
teachers in their classrooms. We used the classroom assessment scoring system for the
class. A lot of people like it and others… We also had data, surveyed parents and surveyed
teachers and surveyed directors and we had the quality rating system. We had this really
nice data set. At the same time I was, I still am but I was at that time, PI on the Virtual
Laboratory School, which is funded by the Department of Defense. We are developing an
online professional development training system for the thirty-four thousand people who work
in Early Child Education on military bases. That work led me to spending a lot of time
in child care centers on military bases and talking to the folks who were working there.
We talked an awful lot about the stress that many of the kids in those classrooms were
under. They had the multiple deployments that their parents had, had in the last twelve
years. Teachers were working with kids who might have stressors that most children would
not have. It was sort of a double-whammy to think about in those classrooms because about
a third of the teachers in those classes are military spouses. They may also have been
facing having their spouse be gone and be deployed. They were trying to cover being
both parents to the child and still maintaining things at home and in being in the classroom
with kids who may have these stressors in their lives. That led us to think about teacher
stress quite a bit, more than I would have thought about before. We thought, “lets look
at our QRIS data,” because we thought we had some things that we could measure stress.
We also had this other data that we thought we could look at. We thought we could try
to look at quality and stress together. That led us to the first paper that I’m going to
talk about called Study 1. We used a person centered approach. In terms of the analysis,
we did a profile analysis in this study.We had three subgroups that came out. Here’s
the thing, I’m not a statistician so describing how to do this… I feel like you put everything
in there and see what globs together. Then you can actually form these groups. People
that have common characteristics: what goes together. We are going to talk about that,
it’s lots of fun. We had these three subgroups. The first one we labeled: High Competence
Low Distress. If you look right here, these three items here are the domains on the class.
This group up here, the gray group, they scored pretty high on the classroom quality measurements.They
were fairly satisfied. As you can see their stress level was under control and they were
pretty committed to their profession. That’s what we measured, how well or how much commitment
they had to that job — staying in early care and education. The second group that came
out of the analysis was the group that we labeled: Good competence High Distress. They
are not bad. They scored fairly well on the three domains of the class, a little low on
instruction support, which seems to be common. Instructional support is usually where people
are not really good. their satisfaction with their job is really low. their stress is really
high. Their commitment to what they are doing is very low. These would be people who you
are expecting to be thinking about the door. The third group that appeared was the group:
Low Competency Low Distress. They are the people who don’t work very good and aren’t
worried about it. Their satisfaction level with their job is pretty high. Their stress
level is pretty low. Their commitment, their happy enough that they aren’t thinking about
leaving. This is the group, as you can imagine because you are all laughing about it, that
we spend a lot of time talking about. What do we think about this group of teachers?
You can think about it. This is what we came up with. You can kind of think about it in
two ways. They either have a lack of awareness on the fact that they aren’t particularly
good in the classroom or it could also be… One thing that we found, we looked at health
seeking skills with all of these teachers. If you had high health seeking skills, you
were more likely to be in this Low Competence Low Distress group than you were in the group
right above it. We don’t know that maybe the fact that they are not particularly stressed
and they’re not particularly unsatisfied is because they’ve gotten really good at working
with others. They have relationships. They know how to seek health.They know how to survive.
This is clearly one of those places where its great to say that we’d like to do more
research on this and figure it out. (What kind of stress were you measuring? Was
their a difference between work stress, home stress, etc.)
We had a scale. We just measured their stress in general. We put it all together. How stressed
do you feel? That led us to Study 2 that was actually not
done with any data that I had. This was done with the Fragile Families Data Set, of the
large federal data sets. We looked at teacher’s depression and found that it was directly
and indirectly related to teacher’s who reported externalizing and internalizing behaviors
of children. We found that, in this case, that classroom quality was measured by the
effort and by the family-child environmental rating scale. It’s basically the same thing
only some of the kids were in center based care and some were in family based care in
this data set. Even when we controlled for family influences, mother’s depression and
everything, we found that children’s depression was linked to children’s behavior problems.
At this point now as a team, we are really focused on this link between whats happening
with the teachers in terms of their psychological well being and how that plays out with children.
We looked at the literature around early childhood education and teacher’s psychological characteristics.
I just have a couple things here to sort of highlight things that we found as we looked
at things that could explain what we were seeing. You can see in this one, where we
have prevalence of rates of depression, that in the general population that depression
level is about — at any given time — about 6%. Women tend to run higher. There are typically
higher rates of depression among women than men. In the general population the depression
level for women is about 10%. There was a study done about Head Start teachers — a
pretty large sample of over a thousand teachers in Pennsylvania done by Robert Whitaker on
Depression among Head Start teachers. The prevalence rate that he found among head start
teachers was 25%. So one in four teachers were in classrooms with kids and they were
starting to show forms of depression. We also know from other people’s research that the
prevalence rates of stress are pretty high. Half of all teachers reported stress and about
25% to 30% of all early childhood education teachers are reporting that they are very
or extremely stressed. We also know that turnover is very high in early childhood education.
The national registry average is about 35%. People who are in the first five years of
their work as a child care worker, the rate is about 36%. In addition to this issue of
high turnover, which means making sure that people are well trained, you also have a problem
of difficulties of continuity of care. Kids are having multiple care givers that are taking
care of them because of this high turnover. I think its pretty easy to hypothesize that
this might be related to stress. I have a few graphics that came from a report that
was put out by Whitker and Phillip’s accounts. They had originally conducted the national
child care staffing study. We kind of went back to the issue of what are the issues that
are facing early childhood teachers. You can see in this table that child care workers
who are making, in 2013, $10.20. In 1997 they are making $10.33. So they are really not
seeing much growth in terms of what they are earning. What I wanted to bring your attention
to is that they make less money than non-farm animal care takers in terms of an hourly wage.
The person who takes care of your dog, when you go on vacation, typically makes more money
than the person who is caring for our children on a daily basis. Preschool teachers do a
little better, but child care teachers — we all know from research that 0 to 3 is really
critical — they’re being paid pretty poorly. What I found interesting, this doesn’t quite
speak to my outreach level, is that basically under the same period of time the amount of
payments that families are making to child care has gone up tremendously. The teachers
in the classroom aren’t making any more money but the people who are paying for child care
are paying a lot more. This is a graphic that takes you — salary of teachers by student
grade level. This is 2013. Child care workers are down here at $21,000 you can see that
puts them $10,000 a year less than pre-school teachers. Preschool teachers make another
$20,000 less than folks who are teaching Kindergarten. Despite the fact that we know how important
0 – 5 is, our money — in terms of what we will pay people to care for those children
and educate those children– is far less than… when they suddenly turn five years old we
value them more. We value the people who teach them more. This is in a study of more than
600 early educators. They asked them what they are worried about in terms of economic
security. Sort of heart breaking-ly 48% of them said that they were worried about having
food for their family. Another 73%, almost three quarters of them were worried about
being able to pay their family’s monthly bills. We have folks who are worrying about their
basic human things who are also spending all day caring for children. These stresses impacted
them. Finally this is another one about what they were worried about in terms of employment
policies. They are worried about, a third of them, getting laid off from their job.
A good 53% are worried about being sent home which means a loss of pay for them, if the
census goes down to 50%. That’s a common practice at the center. We don’t have as many kids
today, somebody goes home. You can’t even count on your salary of $10 and something
an hour when you work in many child care centers. Other research has shown that people are stressed
or depressed because of their personal lives. There are other things that could factor in
here: work climate, a lack of supportive strategies, dealing with children’s challenging behaviors,
and folks who work with kids who come from vulnerable backgrounds. I can say that today
there is a greater chance of having children with challenging behavior in the classroom.
All of these things are contributing to what we see in the Whitaker study, that a lot of
teachers are pressed down and a little bit more stressed. That leads me to the next study that we did,
which was looking at work climate because that was one of the things that contributed
to teacher’s stress and depression. Data for this survey came from a paper and pencil survey
that we did where we had data from a little over eleven hundred preschool teachers. It
was a national sample. We didn’t have a great response rate but it was a random sample.
The difficulty was trying to do that with teachers, unless you have a huge federal grant
to cover this, is that there is no master list teachers that you can go to. You have
to identify centers. You have to send it to a director and hope the director passes it
on to the teachers. In this study what we found is that, it was a soft report from teachers.
We found that if they perceived support from parent, from families whose children they
were caring for, children’s challenging behaviors and the work climate were all related to stress
and their commitment to the job or the profession they were in. We found that teacher’s emotion,
emotion regulation and their coping skills, that was the process through which these things
were associated. We found that perceived support from families… When teachers perceived their
work climate and support from families as more positive they were less likely to be
stressed. When they reported that better work climate and support from parents they demonstrated
a higher degree of reappraisal and emotional regulation. This means in the emotional regulation
world is positive emotional regulation. They were better able to regulate their emotions
if they perceived that the families they had were more supportive and had a great work
climate. It impacted what they reported what they were doing for the kids. What we did
in this case was we gave them scenarios and gave them options on how they thought they
would respond to them. Its not the same as observing a teacher but at this point it was
the data that we collected to begin to understand what was happening here. In a bit of an aside
about this, we found that teachers who were working in non-profit centers were less likely
to be stressed than those teachers working in for-profit centers. There is quite a difference
between non profit and for profit in terms of what teachers were reporting. Then we looked at classroom chaos. We’re deep
into things that are affecting what happens in terms of a teacher’s psychological well
being. We adapted a measure that is frequently used in the parenting that measures what’s
going on in the household in terms of the amount of chaos and disregulation that’s happening.
Its a pretty simple scale. We adapted it so it would apply to what happens in the classroom.
In this case we found direct associations between child care chaos — the sort of chaos
in the classroom – and teachers non-supportive reaction to children’s negative emotions.
We have a kid who is acting out. Teachers who are in a chaotic classroom, had a chaotic
environment, were less likely to react to that in a positive way. That matches the parenting
literature. This is one of those studies where if I talk about it with my husband who is
a business man goes “like duh.” Why would it be different in a classroom that it would
be with a parent? This was the first that somebody had tried to look at this. This is
the relationship that we found. We do know that being exposed to continual chaos, chaotic
environments, sort of increases fatigue and tension. We think that, that might be the
mechanism that is happening in terms of teachers not being able to regulate their emotions
well in terms of their reactions to kids. The next study, the last study that’s complete
at this point that I’ll talk about, is where we looked at … We finally got to the place
where we were calling this SECAP, Teacher’s Social emotional capacity. We tried to look
at it in terms of Teacher’s responsiveness to children and their commitment to the profession.
We looked at indicators of early childhood teachers, social emotional capacity. We tried
to find a factor structure — kinda more academic than the rest of the words I’ve been using.
We came up with what we call Psychological Load — their depression, their stress, their
emotional exhaustion — and what coping abilities they had. We looked at the coping literature
and we added that into our equation. We found that they were associated with teacher’s negative
reactions to children and to their professional commitment. Yay, we found what we were looking
for in that. We also found that this reappraisal of emotional regulation and problem strategies
were related to positive reactions to children’s negative emotions. If you had good coping
abilities, you were able to regulate yourself well. You were able to have positive reactions
to when the child was expressing something in a negative way. That leads us to where we are now and the
project that I now have that I’m currently working on. The information that we got from
the paper-pencil survey was great but the problem with it, the limitation, was that
it was all being reported by teachers. We didn’t have any observational data or child
data to go along with it. Currently what we are doing is we are trying to look at teacher’s
social-emotional capacity and observe classroom quality. The research questions that we have
are here. They are all things that you might think, what you might be looking at. What
is the association between childcare directors professional support and teacher’s social-emotional
capacity. Do contextual factors and teachers’ social-emotional capacity influence teacher’s
turnover. We’re trying to kind of look at all the things that we have at least some
indication are important in the studies that we’ve done so far. The methods are, we have
a director’s survey. We’re working with ten centers in columbus, five are in Baltimore.
Baltimore is where Dr. [name] by graduate student is now at, she’s at John Hopkin’s
University. We are doing a two sit study. We have a teacher’s survey. We’ll have about
90 teachers in the study between the lead and assistant teachers. We’re doing class,
that’s my staff is all being trained today on class. That’s the reason they are not here
in support of me. Hopefully that’s the only reason that they’re not here in support of
me. We have parent surveys. Parents will be reporting on children social and emotional
development. We are focusing on social emotional development because that’s what I’m really
interested in. We also have an observation of the kids who are doing the social-emotional
evaluation and the teachers who are doing that also. We’re going to do a follow up survey
with the parents and we’re going to try to do a follow up survey with the teachers to
try to capture: “are you still in the field? Have you left the field?” We are trying to
get a handle on stress levels, the quality that we saw in whether they stay or whether
they go. Which kind of brings me to how can we support
teachers? We’ve talked a lot about all this stuff that we’re trying to learn about teachers.
Ultimately what I want to know is how can we translate that into doing something to
support teachers? We sort of landed, in terms of our thinking about this, the basic reasoning,
the basic psychological need theory. Everybody has to have a theory. They got their research
and basically this theory has three things that we all need as humans in order to have
optimal development. They are: relatedness, competence, and autonomy. When we think about
what can be done for teachers in each of these categories competence would be one of those
things you think about in terms of training, professional development, how do we help them
be competent in their job. We also know that its important for people to feel autonomy,
to not feel like things are being done to them. That they have some power to control
their environment. Empowering teachers to be able to make their own decisions. Let them
have a role in shaping where they work, it’s important. We also know its important that
as humans it’s important to feel related, to feel that we’re a part of a community.
In the virtual laboratory school that I talked a little bit about but not very much, we have
training for both direct care folks. We have training for trainers. We have training for
managers. We taught in that materials that we have for managers about how you can’t just
hope that those things happen in your center, that people feel supported, people feel like
they can make connections with each other. It’s your responsibility of a director of
a center for any kind of child care setting to promote that among your employees. I have,
if you are interested in Virtual lab school, some sheets that you can grab before you leave. What can help? There’s some literature, some
research in some settings. They’re using mental health consultations for teachers. That’s
been show to be effective also a more expensive way, as you can imagine, to help teachers
in the classroom. There’s also, in the nursing profession and elementary school teachers,
efforts to use My Fullness Training and that’s been shown to have an impact on a teacher’s
psychological well being. What we’re trying to do is take, those elements that we know
and apply them to a training intervention that will be self administered for teachers.
[name] is working on this, this summer. She’ll be using the CASTLE, are we all familiar with
CASTLE — this social-emotional learning? Were using that as the frame work, having
a couple modules. Then we plan on piloting it using a Virtual Laboratory School platform
where teachers are able to go into it and learn things that will help them with their
own social and emotional learning. Most social and emotional learning training, right now,
focuses on classroom management. How do I manage my classroom? How do I manage children’s
behavior? There is very little in it for teachers themselves. How can they manage their own
emotions? How can they support themselves? So our goal is to try to get that together.
We’ve already talked with the D.O.D. They are excited about us piloting it on a Virtual
Lab School website. I don’t think I mentioned earlier that the Virtual Laboratory School,
while it is being developed for folks who are in the military, anyone can access it.
If it works, we can get it built and pilot it. We’ll have to try to get a grant to try
to evaluate it. If it works it’ll be available to anybody. You don’t have to be in the military
to use it. That’s the long term goal of this path that I’ve been on, in terms of teacher’s
social-emotional capacity. I thought I would end with a quote. I think
I’m ending about when I said I would. The quote came from the National Child Care Staffing
Study in 1989. Because we know that really great teachers in early childhood education
setting can make a difference with kids, I think there’s probably increased emphasis
and pressure on them to be fabulous teachers. The emphasis can be an awful lot on how they’ve
been trained a particular way, having them do certain things, but not as much talk on:
how do we make that environment so that they can be healthy themselves. That’s what I’ve
become passionate about. I hope that if you have an opportunity to say, “these people
should be treated better than we treat them.” I hope you will say that. I think it’s pretty
clear. If we want them to be creating the best environment that they possibly can for
children, we have to make it a good environment for them as well. Thanks to this fabulous
team of people that I got to work with on a regular basis. My two former graduate students,
Rachel and Lieny who are at John Hopkins and Oregon State. Sarah Lang and Chryso Mouzourou
who are my currently working on the Virtual Lab School and working with me. My current
grad students Rachel and Jessica and many under graduates who come in and spend some
time with me. Particularly the patents and kids who are willing to participate and the
teachers. That brings me to the end. This is our website.
It’s probably not up to date because the person who used to do that for me hasn’t been around
lately. If you want to try and keep track of the papers that we are putting out and
the projects that we are doing, there’s the site for you. I’ll be happy to answer any
questions. Audience: Did anything that you looked at
address actual average work… Obviously there is hourly wage but sometimes teachers are
paid salary. Actual hours worked, I think that can contribute to stress levels as well.
With that balanced with their pay. I’m just curious. Buettner: We probably have that data but I
don’t know if we’ve looked at it. Most people who work in child care are paid hourly though,
as opposed to when you’re working in a public school where you get a salary. They’re typically
paid on an hourly basis. Audience: So child care as opposed to preschool
teachers? Buettner: Yes. Preschool teachers? We probably
don’t have that but that’s a good question. I think that preschool teachers… Let me
think about that. I’m imagining that preschool teachers don’t work as long hours as people
who are considered child care workers. I think that sometimes theres a little different definition
if you actually get to be labeled as a preschool teacher. I think that there are programs where
kids are in it for a relatively short amount of time as opposed to day care where they
may be in the care for many more hours. I was just in a meeting in DC, kind of made
me think about hours. The most recent thing that came down from the Secretary of Defense,
it’s an effort to try to keep women in the military, none of the child care centers in
the military will be allowed to be open for anything less than 14 hours a day. You will
have centers open 14 hours a day.The current rules are that you can only have them open
for 12 hours and children can’t be in them for more than 10 hours. I anticipate that
when they extend that, they will extend the hours that kids can be in care. We’ve been…
research is not very supportive for children who are in care for 12 hours a day but you
also have to think about what that does to staff. You will have to stagger staff differently.
You can’t have someone work 14 hours a day everyday. I think it has implications for
the amount of stress that those teachers in the classrooms are going to feel. They have
kids who have been there that long. Audience: First of all, this is amazing work.
I think its absolutely crucially important. One question I have, you may not have the
answer. Your profiles were so interesting. Do you recall what percentage of teachers
were in each of your three profiles? Buettner: That’s a good question. I don’t. Audience: It looks like [in audible] Buettner: I actually probably brought the
paper with me in my brief case. I probably brought the discussions so I probably don’t
have the percentages but I can send it to you. Audience: Piggy backing off. In that high
competence group, it was really interesting to see that those teachers had more experience
than the other teachers. Typically experience in early childhood is negatively associated
with instruction so I was wondering what you guys thought about that. Buettner: That’s a good question too. I’m
trying to remember what we said in the paper. It was actually the opposite of what the literature
typically says is that higher… That the higher… let me go back to it. Normally it’s
difficult to switch between education and experience. I’m sorry, I can’t off the top
of my head, remember what we thought about it. I have this terrible thing that I have
five papers in my head and I can’t remember details about any single one. I can send it
to you. Audience: It’s just interesting because you
can see the ranges for those different groups and also the training. That was just different
than the patterns that you typically see in the literature. Buettner: Yes? Audience: I’m now, probably, obsessed with
day care on military bases. Do you people write about this other than you? I mean this
is such an interesting population of providers, and kids. You’ve convinced me that this is
a really interesting and important group. Is there a literature on these children? Beuttner: Not an extensive literature. One
of the things you have… One of the issues in terms of doing research with military families
is that the military IRB makes anything that we deal with here look like child’s play.
It can take up to two years to get a study through their IRB. I think they’ve been trying
to work on it. I would imagine that, that probably limits the amount of research that’s
being done. We know that it is one of the highest quality systems in the country. They
care for almost a quarter-million children everyday. Every center is an NAEYC accredited
so they have pretty strong ties with NAEYC. They also… It’s a really interesting system.
I think it would be a interesting system for more people to understand. All you have to
do is have a high school diploma, be eighteen years old and have a high school diploma,
and you can be a teacher. Of course that’s not any different than in a lot of childcare
centers. You have eighteen months to complete these fifteen modules that we’ve turned into
courses at the Virtual Laboratory School. That’s what we’re doing. We’re making it all
align. You have eighteen months to complete that so that you are set up to complete your
CPA by the time you’ve been there a year and a half. So they have a very military “we’re
going to bring you in and we’re going to train you.” They have training specialists who over
see that training for folks. It’s a really interesting system. They also, some of the
services more than others, they have really extensive family care providers as well. When
you think about people who are in the military, they may have maneuvers or some training — it’s
not an eight to five sort of a job. You also have to think that military families don’t
have family around. They are here two years and then they are to the next place for two
to three years. They move constantly. The childcare is really critical to them because
there’s not other… It’s not like you are some place where you have a vastly extensive
network of friends, and family that you can leave your kids with. I was just in San Diego.
We were filming a family. Virtual Laboratory School will have a track to train family based
care providers. We were filming folks– filming family care providers for them, virtual laboratory
school, last week in San Diego. I don’t always go on filming trips but this was the first
one we were going to be doing family care providers. I wanted to be out there and see
how it was going. I’m really moved by these people who care very much about what they
do. They think they’re doing a service. I think many of them feel like they are doing
a service to their country by taking care of the children whose parents are in the military.
They may not have great educations. They even train the folks who stay in their homes and
take care of the kids. There is a system for those folks as well. Its been the best project
of my life, being involved with Virtual lab School. I really am impressed with what they
do but it would be a beautiful place to do a lot more research. Thanks. Audience: As more states and cities move towards
sort of a universal pre-K model, what implications do you think your research has towards policy
making? I think that there is a lot of talk about how we make pre-K high quality for many
people that’s on child’s cognitive outcome but not so much on the teachers and their
supporters. Beuttner: I think thats a very good question.
We end everyone of these papers with “what are the implications for the practice?” We
think that training for teachers has to be more integrative. It shouldn’t just be focused
on your instructional style: how do we make you the best at interacting with kids in terms
of teaching them something. It should be broader. It should be about their well being. It should
be about thinking about things that have a broader perspective than simply: how do I
make this child be able to do well? I’m not denying that those are really important, to
do well in reading and mathematics, but we also need them to be socially-emotionally
whole. We need the people who take care of them to be socially-emotionally whole as well.
I think that has implications for training as opposed to, “lets have this narrow subject
aread that we’re going to train you to the standards about X.” To think about it more
broadly and to think about it more holistically. That would be what I hope somebody would take
away. Thank you.

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