An early care educator (ECE) and university collaborative model of teacher learning offers a distinct departure from common top-down models of professional development. Implementing a Social Design-Based Experiment, ECE and university partners collaborate to explore translingual picturebooks to address curricular inequities in their school settings. Featuring the experience of one white, middle-class ECE (Tamara) in a Midwest rural suburban school, we identify three critical components of this ECE and university researcher collaborative inquiry model: role of ECE as mentors and supporters, picturebooks as tools, and role of university partners as facilitators. Tamara’s experience highlights the critical components of the model, and its location within ECE professional development and the ongoing socio-political issues shaping early care education today. We conclude by discussing why relationships and well-being among ECE are central to how they experience professional development that centers equity in racially, linguistically, and ethnically complex early care education classrooms.

Author Biography

Dr. Angie Zapata

Dr. Angie Zapata, associate professor of Language and Literacies Education at the University of Missouri, is a longtime teacher, teacher educator and researcher. Through collaborative inquiry partnerships with practicing and inservice PK-12 teachers. Her research publications highlight classroom experiences featuring picture books with diverse racial, linguistic, and ethnic representation, and how/what translingual and transmodal literacies are produced in these moments. Dr. Zapata’s research is guided by her experiences growing up bilingual in Texas as a daughter of immigrant parents from Perú, and deep commitments to center anti-oppressive and justice-oriented language and literacies experiences in the classroom that nurture more inclusive schooling experiences for racialized bi/multilingual/multidialectal children and youth. .

Dr. Mary Adu Gyamfi

Dr. Mary Adu Gyamfi is a teaching professor in Learning, Teaching and Curriculum and her research focuses on racial literacies in early elementary classrooms.

Adrianna Ybarra González

Adrianna Ybarra González is a doctoral candidate in Learning, Teaching, and Curriculum and her research center Women of Color feminisms among pre-service teacher educators.

All three authors are currently working at the University of Missouri.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.