Category Archives: European Early Childhood Education Research Association (EECERA)

A Quantitative Look at Preschool Teachers’ Retention: A Study on Head Start Teachers


Screen Shot 2013-09-02 at 10.39.13 AMI was just at the 23rd EECERA Conference: Values, Culture and Contexts hosted by the European Early Childhood Education Research Association (EECERA) in Tallinn, Estonia where I gave a presentation entitled A Quantitative Look at Preschool Teachers’ Retention: A Study on Head Start Teachers. Click here to see my presentation.

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I presented in an oral session under the heading Leadership and Quality, which felt quite fitting, as this research was completed in an effort to improve the quality of classroom instruction by motivating the leadership to make

Screen Shot 2013-09-02 at 10.53.59 AMneeded changes in order to keep preschool teachers teaching. My research was on head start teacher retention, and comparing those preschool teachers who stayed versus those who quit working for Head Start. I found that the reasons preschool teachers quit are due to five main factors: the center director (their boss), their stress levels, their amount of paperwork, their wanting to stay in Early Childhood Education as a career and their level of higher education.

There were two other presenters in this session: Elina Fonsen from the University of Screen Shot 2013-09-02 at 3.32.20 PMTampere (Finland) who gave a presentation called “Dimensions of pedagogical leadership in Early Childhood Education and Care” and Geraldine Davis from Anglia Ruskin University (UK) talked about “Graduate Leader Plus. Making a difference beyond education.”

Elina promoted her new book chapter, while Geraldine discussed teachers’ education levels and the benefits from those who participated in Leadership Plus.

Read about the overall aspects of the conference here.

To read more about Tallinn, Estonia (and the Old Town in Tallinn) click here.

23rd European Early Childhood Education Research Association (EECERA)

I recently attended the 23rd European Early Childhood Education Research Association (EECERA) Conference in Tallinn, Estonia.

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Click here to see the abstract book from the conference: EECERA abstract book

Click here to see all of the official pictures from the conference and here to see all of the Keynote speakers’ presentation slides.

There were several well-known early childhood keynote speakers at the EECERA conference. They had Marika Veisson representing the University of Tallinn, Gennadi Kravtsov, who spoke in Russian (with a translator), Nora Milotay who spoke about EU cooperation, and Nandita Chaudhary who gave a compelling talk on the state of India and family life. Nandita’s claim to fame was her concluding remarks, which are ever so poignant to researchers ears: “It is the story that matters and not the storyteller.”

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Even then Estonia Minister of Education and Research, Jaak Aaviksoo, was present.

Screen Shot 2013-09-02 at 1.04.20 PMHowever, Kathy Sylva from Oxford University gave the most impressive talk, in my opinion. She spoke about the quality of preschool programs within Britain and their effects over time. What made her talk particularly fun was her random fun sayings such as “the team that drinks together, thinks together.” However one critique to her talk was that it was entitled “Quality in early childhood education: Can it be international?” but she only briefly mentioned the international perspective in her concluding remarks, and choosing instead to focus on her research within a British context (“Effective Pre-school, Primary and Secondary Education” (EPPSE) project). Click here to read more about the EPPSE project.

The conference consisted of about 700 attendees from 49 countries spanning all of the continents (minus Antarctica).  The conference was on mostly qualitative research.

Screen Shot 2013-09-02 at 2.32.56 PMOne tidbit that I took out from the conference was when listening to Ingrid Engdahl from Stockholm University (Sweden) in the Department of Child and Youth Studies. She gave a talk entitled “Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in Swedish Preschools.” In her talk she discussed how children play with dolls and which gender different professions are: police officer, nurse, teacher, doctor, etc.

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The kids noted that they said “all nurses are women” and “all police officers are men” not because they think men or women, respectively, couldn’t be in those positions, but because they, as children, have never seen the opposite sex within that position.

Read about my specific involvement in the conference here.

To read more about Tallinn, Estonia (and the Old Town of Tallinn) click here.