Frank Porter Graham Institute offers free online courses for early childhood teachers

For the first time, faculty and professional development providers can send learners to free, self-guided, self-paced, online Frank Porter Graham Institute (FPG) courses designed to provide continuing education credit for early childhood teachers. Through a new partnership between FPG’s Center to Mobilize Early Childhood Knowledge (CONNECT) and Quality Assist, Inc. (QA), these courses integrate Project CONNECT’s subject matter with QA’s interactive online learning, and the first CONNECT course, “Foundations of Inclusion,” is available now.

The QA CONNECT course topics mirror FPG’s CONNECT modules, which have been popular across the country and around the world since FPG scientists developed them in 2010 for university faculty and professional development providers. The modules use an innovative 5-Step Learning Cycle to focus on research-based practices for teaching and intervening with children with high needs, especially children with disabilities, and have made CONNECT a resource for over 90,000 online users in the last two years alone.

“We received lots of inquiries about offering CEU for CONNECT material,” says Pam Winton, FPG Senior Scientist and Principal Investigator of Project CONNECT. “The Quality Assist CONNECT courses make this possible at a time when many administrators are looking at professional development in the areas we cover.”

The new QA CONNECT course topics include:

  • learning environments that promote high quality inclusion
  • transition practices that support children and families
  • communication that promotes collaboration between professionals and families
  • building trusting partnerships between professionals and families
  • purpose and benefits of assistive technologies
  • tiered instruction
  • dialogic reading

FPG’s Project CONNECT will continue to update its modules to support and complement QA’s new courses.

By emphasizing problem solving and the importance of multiple perspectives and sources of evidence, these courses focus on building early childhood teachers’ capacities to make evidence-based decisions. Like FPG’s CONNECT modules, QA’s CONNECT courses are easily applicable to the needs of multiple audiences and contexts. Each course will include a Knowledge Assessment, an Individualized Action Plan, Parent Notes, and Follow-up Conversation Starters for Directors.

For more information, see Project CONNECT.

For more information, contact:
Dr. Pamela J. Winton, FPG Senior Scientist and Director of Outreach
Principal Investigator of CONNECT: The Center to Mobilize Early Childhood Knowledge
pam_winton@unc.edu
919-966-7180

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