Preschool Teachers’ Lives and Work focuses on preschool teachers as people, what they do, and how they are affected by what they do. Highly politicized and hotly debated, preschool today is increasingly focused on comparatively narrow views of school readiness and academic outcomes which are generally in opposition to the broader view of readiness proposed by NAEYC. This powerful book, based around interviews and data drawn primarily from Head Start programs, illustrates the profound humanity of this profession and underscores the pressing and insistent need for greater investments in teachers’ well-being.
"Preschool Teachers’ Lives and Work raises the curtains on a decade of Head Start reforms for the educators charged with their daily implementation. Drawing on a rich trove of interlocking observations, interviews and surveys, Bullough and Hall-Kenyon illuminate preschool teachers’ assessment of current policies and the impact on their practice and well-being. The authors use multiple theoretical perspectives drawn from psychology, organizational development, and social theory to challenge readers to examine their assumptions about issues such as the motivations of Head Start teachers and the team nature of preschool teaching in the context of these reforms. This is a provocative and essential read for all committed to improving early childhood policy and practice."
—Marcy Whitebook, Director of the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment, University of California, Berkeley, USA
1. Setting the Stage: ECE, the Teacher Workforce, and Head Start 2. Life History, Life Course, and the Problem of Family/Work Balance 3. The Intensification of Teaching: What is good teaching? 4. Teaming and Teacher Identity 5. Chronic Homelessness and Teaching at Hawthorne House 6. Building Family-School Partnerships: Challenges and Opportunities 7. A Woman’s World: Gender and ECE Teaching 8. Contested Professionalism: The Ethics of Care 9. Conclusion, Now What?