Date of Award


Document Type

Non Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education




Early Childhood Education

Capstone Instructor

Dr. Kelly Sadlovsky

Second Reader

Elisabeth Amirahmadi


professionalism, transfer of learning, professional development, scaffolding, organization support, administration


Early childhood education (ECE) teachers, including pre-service and in-service workers, have reported the need for ongoing professional development support (Boyer, 2004; Buettner, Hye Hur, Jeon & Andrews, 2016; Brown, Cheddie, Horry, & Monk, 2017). Specific targeted support for professionalism was addressed as a retention strategy for the future of ECE (Boyer, 2004). The lack of consistent minimum qualifications for ECE teachers has contributed to a number of teachers in the field having little understanding regarding professionalism as a whole when teacher careers commence. The quality of learning and teaching in the classroom has been said to be largely determined by the level of professionalism of the teachers (Kilinc, 2014). For this reason, the lack of ongoing support for teacher growth is assumed to be possibly detrimental. This paper examined research in the area of professionalism and learning transfer to gain insight to specific supports that ECE teachers require to show progression in professionalism and to uncover strategies that could be implemented by program administration to support continued growth over time. Buettner et al. (2016) showed that giving ECE professionals the support requested helped increase commitment to the field and supported the maintenance and improvement of quality care and education. Through this study, multiple strategies have been identified that can be used to better support current ECE teachers in the field today. The study also showed that additional research is needed for the field to best understand how to support growth in professionalism among ECE teachers.