Teacher education programs use research, theory, and practice to provide individuals with knowledge, skills, and attitudes to educate young children. Early childhood teacher education programs include five components: (1) recruitment and selection, (2) general education, (3) professional foundations, (4) instructional knowledge (Saracho & Spodek, 2003), and (5) field experiences and clinical practice (Saracho, 2013). Most teacher education programs have these components with some variation in their content except for the field experiences and clinical practice. The following sections describe these components.

Recruitment and Selection

The value of early childhood programs depends on the quality and attributes of the teachers. Teacher education programs establish an explicit set of criteria to recruit and select teacher candidates. Their selection process ranges from open admissions to employing a set of standards ...

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