02. Teachers’ Perceptions of Professional Development in Chilean State-Funded Early Childhood Education
This article presents the results of a study on professional development in Chilean state- funded early childhood education. Based on a multiple-case study design and drawing on qualitative methods we explored teachers’ perspectives on professional development at two early childhood educational centers. Two centers’ directors and four early childhood teachers employed at the two major institutions offering initial education in Chile described and discussed their experiences in a variety of professional development activities. Findings reveal that, although participants value professional development and have access to a wide range of activities, their experience of professional development could be improved in several ways. Conditions identified as critical to maximize the benefits derived from professional development include (a) access to ongoing training activities for a greater number of teachers, (b) greater duration and depth in professional development sessions, (c) more opportunities to receive training guided by experts, (d) more training focused in topics related to language and socioemotional development, (e) improvement of teacher’s preservice education, and (f) improvement of working conditions. The article concludes with suggestions for teacher education programs, professional development designers, and policymakers, offered in the light of the results.