The Perf-ECT Certificate System
Performances for Early Childhood Teachers — Level D
Connecting to Children
Imagine all adults worldwide — parents as well as pedagogues — altering their inherited habits of relating to children by working over time, in concert with others, co-constructing a more enhanced way of being for their own children’s benefit. Participants apply their own values and practice how they decide they want to be with children. The structure is kind of like merit badges in scouting where one show survival skills by making a shelter out of what is at hand. All the knowledge and skills one has learned are applied in a new context, and everyone can see if it works or not.
As an educator of both children and adults — child care providers, nannies, parents, and educators — I worked at finding those essential experiences that seem to offer transformation. I like that word transformation; it signifies an experience that changes people forever.
Once I found a series of challenges that really made a difference for people, I wished everyone could take my class. I know that is impossible, but I keep wishing. What if everyone who is a parent or a teacher of young children could have these educational experiences and prove their own understanding by making a positive change in a child’s life?
So I created a guide — not a program — available to everyone to implement independently from any institution. Anyone working with children or raising children who was willing to commit to the work would have the guide and the necessary set of sequenced challenges for free. It is essential, however, to work together with others in order to have the discussions and sharing of experience necessary to construct new understandings. Here it is. The possibility opens below to open a space for adults to grow and change children’s lives for the better.
- Here is a community-based educational program that runs locally without tuition or school attendance.
- It does not tell anyone what to do.
- It offers an opportunity for participants to create their own understanding rather than accept something given as truth.
- It does not rely upon external standards; it evolves its own standards as participants co-construct together ways of being for themselves in the context of their own care for the little ones they know and love.
- It does not impose a dominant culture; it allows people of all cultures to flourish in their own way, so life is richer for all.
- It allows participants to document their own understanding and to prove competence to the audiences that really care: the child, the family, and each other.
Connecting to Children is the first step out of four in learning to be a professional early childhood educator. Since it is the basis for the others, I called it the D step. The C step is about creating learning environments. The B step is about action research to show that one’s intentions match what happens to the children over time. The A step is about leadership of a learning community. These more advanced steps exist, too, but remain on my computer. I do not see demand for them right now. Connecting to Children is the D level, because this is the place to start.
That’s the story behind Connecting to Children. The journey begins next on the Overview page, followed by information about each module, D1, D2, D3, and D4. If you poke around, you can see examples of what others have done and the depth of the transformation this experience has provided.