The Four Roles of a Master Toddler Teacher
Early Education and Development
Research Findings: This case study of an experienced toddler teacher resulted in the identification of 4 roles that the teacher played in mediating a culture of respect and participation in the classroom. These 4 roles contrast the roles discussed in Leavitt’s (1994) ethnographic study Power and Emotion in Infant-Toddler Day Care. I used a series of data collection methods, including field observations, reflective collaboration with the teacher, and interviews with an assistant teacher, to discover the themes that emerged: (a) Liberator, (b) Curriculum Organizer, (c) Chief Historian, and (d) Learner. The role of Liberator was by far the most substantial of the themes that emerged from the data. The other 3 roles overlapped with the Liberator role, although each demonstrated some distinct characteristics. Practice or Policy: The findings of this study cannot be applied directly to other classrooms because of the limitations of the specific culture, history, and lived experiences of the participants. However, examining the lived experiences of the toddlers and their interactions with this teacher may provide reflective, effective, and productive content for the professional development activities of other caregivers. In addition, research cited expresses a need for multiple ways of knowing how very young children grow, develop, learn, communicate, and participate.
Original Publication Date
DOI of published version
UNI ScholarWorks, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa
Uhlenberg, Jill, "The Four Roles of a Master Toddler Teacher" (2016). Faculty Publications. 1117.