Early Child Teachers Gain by Peer Advice
A study by New York University has found that early childhood teachers who sought advice and learning from peers at their schools were found to have higher levels of job satisfaction, greater confidence in their teaching and a stronger belief that colleagues can effectively work together to support children and their families. While formal and informal professional development (PD)were found to have positively influenced teacher well-being, informal advice-seeking from peers emerged as an overlooked resource. Informal advice-seeking and sharing also extend to formal PD and spreading the knowledge it imparts. Teachers benefited more from formal PD sessions when they had a personal connection to the lesson and when it was relevant to their needs, settings, and experiences. Early childhood staff reported that they would pass along formal PD learning to colleagues in both formal and informal settings. This spread professional expertise and specific content knowledge, largely due to trust, friendship, and the perceived value of building peer support.