Issue

Training/TA, professional development, and other support

Rationale:

Significant resources and support are needed to promote effective use of ELGs. States should not underestimate the amount of training and professional development needed, the usefulness of companion documents to support teacher/providers in using the document, or the need to incorporate the document into multiple systems and policy setting entities in order for it to be used in the field.

Recommendation(s):

States should invest significant resources to support teachers/caregivers and programs as they use the ELG document. Support for use of the ELGs should be part of the state's overall Training and Technical Assistant Plan and should be incorporated into all efforts to promote high-quality practices. There should be an agency/committee responsible for funding and implementing training and support specifically related to the ELGs, and the ELGs should also be incorporated into training and technical assistance that are not solely designed to promote the use of ELGs so teachers/caregivers understand the implications of the ELGs for all areas of their practices. Planning for the training and support should receive considerable attention during the ELG development process.

Considerations:

It may be helpful to think of the training/support on different levels in order to meet the needs of a target audience. The first level of training/support is often called "awareness" and is directed at teachers/caregivers who simply need to become more familiar with the document (to learn that it exists, what is included, and how they might use it). The second level provides more in-depth training/support on how to use the document in planning daily activities, communicating with parents, etc. Finally, states should offer training and support for persons who provide professional development to teachers/caregivers. This includes Resource and Referral staff and others who provide training and technical assistance, as well as higher education faculty. It is important that these persons are knowledgeable of the document and how to help teachers/caregivers learn to use it. States may find it helpful to provide both training/professional development and technical assistance, coaching, and mentoring in the classroom/home setting. The training and support should specifically address how to use the ELGs with children from different cultural and language backgrounds and with children with diverse ability levels.

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