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Supervision in Early Childhood Education
A Developmental Perspective
Second Edition


Joseph J. Caruso
M. Temple Fawcett





1. Myths About Supervision

2. Early Childhood Programs and Their Implications for Supervision

3. Supervisors and Staff: Roles and Responsibilities


4. Caring, Knowing, and Imagining

5. The Developmental Dynamic

6. Supervisor Development

7. Supervisee Development

8. The Developmental Dynamic at Work:A Case Study in Supervision


9. Clinical Supervision

10. The Supervisory Conference

11. Observation and Analysis

12. Evaluating Staff


13. Special Issues Affecting Early ChildhoodSupervision

14. A Framework for Staff Development and Training

15. Tools for Staff Development and Training

Appendix A:Responding to Linguistic and Cultural Diversity: Recommendations for Effective Early Childhood Education

Appendix B: Organizational Resources

Appendix C: CDA Competency Goals and Functional Areas



About the Authors



This book about supervising staff in early care and education addresses issues and methods pertinent to personnel working in a variety of public and private settings for young children, including programs for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers; school-age child care centers; kindergartens; and family child care homes. It is meant to fill a gap in the supervision and the early childhood literature, which is still only beginning to take into account the special needs of supervisors and staff in these programs.

Directors, educational coordinators, head teachers, consultants, or others currently working in programs for young children who recognize a need to expand and improve their supervisory skills should find this volume particularly relevant to their needs. College supervisors, administrators in public school systems, and those who may have limited experience with preschool programs and personnel will also find this book informative and useful. Instructors may wish to consider it as the principal text in courses preparing persons for early childhood supervisory, administrative, and leadership positions.

We believe that the personal and professional development of the adult is basic to formulating supervisory strategies. Through supervision, staff members can receive continuing support in their development as professionals and para-professionals, and thus become better providers of care and education for children. Although supervision may well encompass more than staff development, we have chosen to focus this book on that aspect of the role. We also stress the importance of the supervisor's ongoing development and learning.

The content of this volume is intended to be both descriptive and practical. We have administered surveys and conducted many interviews in order to incorporate the thoughts, feelings, dilemmas, and concerns of early childhood personnel into the text, and to clarify supervisor and supervisee roles and responsibilities. We provide the reader with specific suggestions for improving supervisory skills when working with individual staff members and with groups.

This volume has four major sections. In Part I, supervisory myths are challenged in order to ease the burden under which supervisors carry out their work. Then the various types of early childhood programs and the people who work in them are described from the perspective of the supervisor's role.

The development of supervisors and supervisees, their relationship to each other, and implications for planning supervisory approaches are explored in Part II. A new chapter, "Caring, Knowing, and Imagining," sets the context for this section in the second edition. Part III offers some basic information and suggestions for observing, holding conferences, and evaluating staff within the context of a clinical supervision approach. Several significant issues that affect staff morale and effectiveness are examined in Part IV, followed by suggestions for designing various types of staff development and training, and some specific tools for putting these plans into practice.

Throughout this book, we use the term supervisor to mean those persons who do supervision as part or all of their jobs. These may be administrators, supervisors, consultants, or teachers. The terms teacher, staff member, caregiver, and supervisee are generally used interchangeably.

Readers familiar with the first edition of Supervision in Early Childhood Education: A Developmental Perspective will notice that our new version reflects some of the notable changes that have taken place in the early childhood field since 1986, especially those significant efforts toward defining and improving quality and increasing professionalism initiated by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

The NAEYC process for accrediting early childhood programs, for example, has become firmly established and has been followed by similar processes for family child care and school-age child care. We have included relevant standards for the NAEYC accreditation criteria at the end of several chapters. The training and publications of the National Institute for Early Childhood Professional Development of the NAEYC have contributed to our greater emphasis on career ladders and lattices.

In the period since 1986, increasing numbers of children from a wide variety of cultural and linguistic backgrounds are also receiving care and education in early childhood classrooms. At the same time, more information has become available that can assist supervisors and teachers whose backgrounds differ from those of staff and children. Diversity issues, therefore, have received greater emphasis in this edition, especially in Chapters 10, 12, and 13.

Finally, throughout this book we have made changes based on new understandings about effective supervisory and staff development approaches, particularly the importance of collaboration among staff, and between supervisors and staff members. We have included a number of promising new staff development and evaluation practices.

We hope this book contributes to the attainment of the goals reflected above, and to the common mission that brings early childhood professionals together—that is, to support the growth and development of young children and their families.

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