Early Childhood Education

National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators (NAECTE)


The Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators was founded in 1977 at a meeting led by Michael Davis at the annual National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) conference in Chicago. The fifteen original founders were: Helen Canady, Beth Casey, Michael Davis, Stephanie Feeney, Doris Fromberg, Verna Hildebrand, Marlis Mann, Marjorie Ramsey, Clare Rodney, Judith Schickedanz, Robert Smith, Bernard Spodek, Jean Sword, Phil Wishon, and Mary Elizabeth York. In 1980, “National” was added to the name. Members are primarily domestic and international early childhood teacher educators at four- and five-year colleges and universities and those who subscribe to the purposes of the organization. In 1986, student memberships were recognized.

NAECTE was formed to promote the professional growth of its membership, advocate for improvements in early Childhood teacher education, facilitate the interchange of information and ideas about research and practice among its members and other persons concerned with the education of young children, and provide a communication network on early childhood teacher education issues. Through its journal, conference program, resolutions, position papers, and other publications, NAECTE helps generate an ongoing knowledge base of the field of early childhood teacher education. In addition, NAECTE collaborates with other professional associations, such as NAEYC, American Associate Degree Early Childhood Educators (ACCESS), and ATE on issues of early childhood teacher preparation, training, credentialing, and the establishment of standards for basic and advanced teacher education programs. NAECTE has developed position statements and cosponsored position papers on issues of early childhood teacher preparation, certification standards, and ethics.

A sixteen-member governing board composed of elected officers and representatives of ten regions of the United States conduct the business of the association. In 1983, the first state affiliate was formed in Alabama, followed since then by twenty-two other state affiliates. Regional and affiliate meetings are held annually and semiannually. NAECTE national conferences are held twice a year, usually near the date and location of the annual fall NAEYC conference and the summer professional development institute. The first stand-alone conference was held in June 2004, in Baltimore, Maryland. NAECTE cosponsors with publishers three annual awards: Outstanding Early Childhood Teacher Educator, Outstanding Early Childhood Practitioner, and Outstanding Dissertation.

The association’s newsletter, the Bulletin, evolved into a full-fledged internationally recognized, quarterly, refereed journal in 1989. The Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education (JECTE) publishes original manuscripts, book reviews, research reports, position papers, letters to the editor, information on association activities, and essays on current issues and practices in early childhood teacher education. In 1996, the NAECTE Web site was established (naecte.org) and offers membership information and news about the activities of the organization. In 1998, the NAECTE Foundation (NAECTEF) became incorporated as a tax exempt 501 (c) (3) organization with three primary goals: advocate for improving early childhood teacher education; support research on early childhood teacher education; and provide scholarships to potential early childhood teacher educators. The NAECTE archive materials are located in the Rare Books Department at Indiana State University, Terre Haute, Indiana. See also Race and Ethnicity in Early Childhood Education; Teacher Certification/Licensure.

Kathryn Castle