How Has Your Summer Gone?

I mean,

How – as in “how in the world is summer almost over?!” and

How – as in “how did it go, what did you do?”

Hello ACCESS – Happy August!
I’ve taken a bit of a blogging break, which I understand is a kind of faux pas in the blogging world – sorry about that! I, like many of you, have had a very busy summer. I can’t complain too much. It has been full of amazing professional development  and growth, as well as quality time with family and friends, and a few days of sheer laziness.

I want to share so many thing with my ACCESS friends that I’m not even sure where to begin.  So, I guess I will start where I left off, which is the NAEYC Professional Development Institute in Phoenix. I was incredibly pleased with the turn out of members as well as folks who were members in the past and re-joining us for the day because we had such a trememdous line-up of presentations and conversations. In the process, we had several folks re-join and several more join ACCESS for the first time, which is a wonderful outcome of the day.

We started with a keynote presentation by Barbara Henderson and Daniel Meier from San Francisco State University who are co-authors of the book, “Learning from Young Children in the Classroom: The Art and Science of Teacher Research”.

ACCESS book study choice 2009-2010

Participants were able to hear the authors’ stories about using teacher research in the classroom with young children, but also in teacher preparation. They both complimented ACCESS on the wonderful energy that folks brought to the room and they are interested to know how we use ideas in the book to create teacher research opportunities for our students.

In the second talk, I partnered with Debra Murphy from Cape Cod, ACCESS VP of Professional Development, and a graduate from my program at the City Colleges of Chicago to talk about the Teacher Research Initiative in Chicago where we are working to align teacher research practices in the Lab Centers with ideas about teacher inquiry in our associate degree program. We had fun sharing our story of collaboration and as you can imagine, I was especially proud to introduce my student Donika Gigger as she talked about doing a Teacher Research project in her Practicum course.

At our delicious lunch, which was sponsored by Pearson publishing, we had the chance to chat with Sue Bredekamp. Sue talked with us about the current state of Early Childhood Education and we also had the chance to talk with her about her new book “Effective Practices in Early Childhood Education”. This was a real treat and I think participants enjoyed the conversation. I was particularly struck by Sue’s reminder to us of the important role that ACCESS has played in the development of the NAEYC Professional Development Institute as well as the development of the Early Childhood Associate Degree Accreditation ECADA process.

After lunch, we had some wonderful Round table discussions:

Crystal Swank, ACCESS VP of Communications, demonstrated the many ways that ACCESS is available online including this blog, our Facebook page and website as well as a new Moodle site for teacher researchers (see below).

Debra Murphy, ACCESS VP of Professional Development, went into detail about her work using teacher research with students in Cape Cod. She showed participants many samples of her students’ work and shared her journey in introducing teacher research into her associate degree program.

Elisa Huss-Hage, ACCESS Treasurer, talked about how to support the development of emotional intelligence in our students – to model supportive practices for them so they are able to provide that kind of support to the young children and families they will serve.

Lisa Stein, ACCESS Past President, and Pam Winton from the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute demonstrated the free online resources from CONNECT: The Center to Mobilize Early Childhood Knowledge. This is a wonderful resource and I encourage all of you to check it out!

By the way, last month about 26 ACCESS members participated in a webinar with folks from CONNECT on how to utilize their free online resources. We will be offering another opportunity to participate in a webinar with CONNECT during the fall 2010 semester, so please stay tuned to our upcoming newsletter and e-mail announcements.

We ended our ACCESS day at PDI with a rich discussion with Stephanie Feeney about her journey in shaping the Code of Ethical Conduct and how we can move forward in teaching ethics in teacher preparation programs.

As you can see, it was a very full day! For those of you in attendance, perhaps this little summary will remind you of the electric feeling in the air that day as we all talked about teacher research and how to utilize it in our own settings. People were excited to take these ideas home and try them out.

To help us think through the process, Debra Murphy has set up a Moodle site for folks to use to post work and dialogue with each other about teacher research in our individual contexts. To visit the site, please

  1. Go to
  2. Scroll down to Social Science and click on Early Childhood Education
  3. Click on Teacher Research and enter as a guest

Debra Murphy has posted materials from Cape Cod Community College, Chicago City Colleges, and St. Louis Community College, including course outlines, power points, assignment guidelines, etc.  More resources will be added as they become available.

For those of you who were not at the conference, I hope this post gives you the information as well as the resources distributed during the conference and I welcome your feedback!

talk to you soon! Carrie


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