National Center on Quality Teaching and Learning in Head Start
Core Function: Technical Assistance and Outreach Training, Research and Evaluation
The National Center on Quality Teaching and Learning at UW will lead six other universities to ensure that every Early Head Start/Head Start agency and teacher has access to a strong and flexible professional development system that provides individualized support and guidance. This team of university collaborators includes early learning experts in the fields of early care and education, early childhood special education, and early intervention. The Center's mission is to ensure that Training and Technical Assistance (T/TA) providers, coaches, and teachers obtain the knowledge and skills needed to use educational practices with demonstrated effectiveness in promoting quality teaching that supports children's learning. The Center will ensure staff access to a professional development system that provides individualized support and development including the establishment of a "Head Start University" concept that will engage nationally recognized leaders in the field to develop comprehensive, research-based college courses that can be offered for credit on-line or in person.
The Center has identified the following critical objectives and activities to meet their goals:
- Develop and implement a strong management and communication system to ensure a consistent message.
- Gather, review, and catalog research-based practices in the areas of early childhood assessment, curriculum, parenting curriculum, instructional practices, and training materials.
- Develop and disseminate products that are research based, easy-to-understand, provided in multiple formats and languages, and accessible.
- Put research-based practices into daily practice to improve learning environments by using observations of the learning environment to inform professional development and action plans.
- Develop, implement, and evaluate a coaching and mentoring system that provides for a continuum of coaching approaches that can be matched to need and that leads to use of effective practices. • Develop and implement a strategy for coordinating with State T/TA system, State Collaborative offices, and other early childhood systems to ensure that effective educational practices are used across the early childhood sectors.
- Review, develop, disseminate and implement training strategies to engage families in their child's educational outcomes and promote successful home-school partnerships.
- Develop and implement a higher education strategy to help teachers, teacher assistants, home visitors, and family child care providers to acquire the training and education needed to meet qualifications in the Head Start Act.
- Develop and implement an approach to transition that ensures a smooth transition to elementary school and continuing administrative support for Head Start children and families.
- Evaluate the impact and effectiveness of the Center.