Good evening! When I discovered I was to take a policies and systems course, I was both excited and nervous. I was excited because I do not know much about policies and systems for Early Childhood and I am anxious to learn more; I was nervous because it is an area where I do not feel as comfortable.
I am excited about this assignment because as I develop goals to enhance my knowledge that will assist me as an early childhood educator, I will also be learning more about early childhood policies and systems and how I can better assist the children and families in my community.
Goal #1: One area I would like to learn more about is the superordinate goal. As Kagan states in our text, "the vision states a superordinate ideal with the implicit purpose to motivate and energize stakeholders at all levels and within multiple bureaucracies towards a new path of change and coherence" (Kagan, 2012). This means all stakeholders are to collaborate to create structure and initiatives for programs throughout their organizations. I am interested in this concept/area so that I can assist with the programs in the district I work for as well as assist others as we collaborate with other organizations in my community.
Goal #2: I am also interested in learning more about conjoint incrementalism. Conjoint incrementalism is the strategy to remedy disconnected policies. In addition, conjoint incrementalism ensures policies and their vision remain viable during political "swings,” as well as when policies are made separate and independent from one another (Kagan, 2012). I think it is very common for policies to be made apart from one another and I feel this is an important area to help our children and families because stringing different programs and policies together is often unsuccessful whereas conjoining programs and policies is successful. A great example of conjoint incrementalism is the My Brother's Keeper Community Challenge by President Obama. There are Six Milestones all stakeholders in a community are to work on by conjoining existing policies and programs instead of creating all new ones and/or stringing along various policies and programs. Communities who have conjoined policies and programs have had greater success (White House Secretary, 2014). The district I work in has just accepted this challenge and as we work with other community stakeholders and families, I am excited to know that learning about conjoint incrementalism can have a positive impact on our policies and programs, which can help our children and families.
Goal #3: A third area I am interested in learning more about is the developmental continuum. The developmental continuum is a model that provides family support from birth to age eight with developmental milestones for each age level. If implemented effectively, students have a higher success rate throughout school, they are less likely to drop-out, and they are more likely to attend college. This is also a strategy in the My Brother's Keeper Community Challenge: Cradle to Career. This means instead of focusing on one area, we look at all the areas of a child and help them to be successful. It is much more effective to help children from birth to age 8 be successful than it is to try and "fix" problems in middle and high school (White House Secretary, 2014).
As an early childhood educator, I am excited for the future of early childhood education and by how policies can transcend politics and economics to help all young children. I look forward to this semester in learning how I can help the children of my community. Thank you, Cissy
Kagan, S. L., & Kauerz, K. (Eds.). (2012). Early childhood systems: Transforming early learning. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.