History of Early Childhood Teacher Education
Early childhood teacher education (ECTE) in the United States (U.S.) is ﬁ rst a story of people and later of philosophies, theories, organizations, and institutions. We will examine the history of U.S. ECTE in preparing professionals for kindergarten, nursery, child care, and primary education groups and classrooms, highlighting the rich variety of ECTE from the 1800s to today. The diversity of ECTE probably matches that of its “clients”—preservice and inservice teachers (female/male; African-American, Hispanic-American, American Indian, Asian-American, and European-American; professing a variety of religious and cultural beliefs and practices)—and the children and families with whom they work. We will synthesize previously published research focused predominantly on European-American teacher preparation and add relevant recent information. The earliest literature about U.S. ECTE focused on a population that was ﬁ rst male and White, then female and White. In reality, there was an active parallel group of African-American early childhood teacher educators whose important contributions will be discussed. We also include highlights of the available research about other under-represented ECTE populations.