Recent Illinois state policies call for mandatory preparation of early childhood educators to address the needs of the large and growing population of young English language learners. University-based early childhood teacher preparation programs across Illinois have responded by integrating content related to cultural and linguistic diversity into existing programs. The authors discuss research and professional literature in support of teacher preparation programs that emphasize field-based experience, particularly clinical experience in culturally and linguistically diverse schools and community organizations. They describe the comprehensive field-based teacher education program at Loyola University of Chicago that was redesigned to address current Illinois policies related to early childhood teacher education. The program, Teaching, Learning, and Leading with Schools and Communities (TLLSC), collaborates with school and community partners in the area to equip teachers to meet the needs of young culturally and linguistically diverse children and their families. Four video vignettes provide examples of and perspectives on participation in the TLLSC program. In these vignettes, childhood administrators, educators, undergraduate students, and teacher preparation faculty discuss their experiences with Loyola’s field-based teacher preparation. The authors address implications of early childhood teacher preparation for cultural and linguistic diversity in Illinois.
© Heineke et al., 2013.