Professional Learning Collective

Our Approach

The playLab’s approach to professional development training is aligned with our overall mission; we apply a critical lens to identify and promote social justice. The following principles shape the Professional Learning Collective:

Collaborative: All of our trainings are approached as a collaboration between NYU and the community we work with. We value local knowledge and strive to tailor trainings to meet the needs of local communities. We see all trainings as an opportunity to develop and refine our content and/or curricula.

Process-Oriented: Taking a process-oriented approach allows the voices of participants to be integrated into our delivery of the training. We value the expertise of practitioners and educators we work with, which enables us to inform our professional development content and delivery.

Play is Important: We believe that play is a critical context for learning. We present compelling science-based evidence that supports the belief that intentional play-based opportunities are the most appropriate vehicle for learning and development for children under five.

Selected Professional Development Partnerships

Brookhaven Elementary School: During the 2018-2019, playLab will provide comprehensive professional development and coaching for the kindergarten Dual Language classrooms. We offer targeted support to develop teachers’ strengths in supporting Dual Language Learners (DLL) in their DL classrooms through project-based learning.

Child Care Council of Nassau, Inc.: Collaborated with Lisa Hilliard, Sr. Early Childhood Specialist, to revamp and facilitate three of the five workshops offered in the OCFS funded quality initiative for Family Child Care Providers – The Four Corners: Designing a Developmentally Appropriate Early Childhood Setting. These workshops focus on creating and maintaining an early childhood setting through an understanding of developmentally appropriate practice (DAP). The workshop series is built upon the NAEYC’s DAP position statement and examines the NYS Core Body of Knowledge’s environment and curriculum competency area.

Community Programs Center of Long Island, Inc.: Provided a six-week professional development module on supporting emergent bilingual children in early childhood classrooms during the summer of 2017. Teachers and staff had opportunities to learn more about using the child’s home language in their everyday experiences in their classrooms. Topics were explored through the introduction of basic conversational Spanish skills, role-play interactions, and the development of a parent survey to learn more about the home language supports.

CUNY Professional Development: More recently, as part of the Pre-K for All New York City expansion, our team is worked with PDI to train leaders and educators on using authentic data to inform their classroom instruction. The trainings were tailored to meet the diverse needs of NYC leaders.

Little Missionary’s Day Nursery: Provided professional development during the spring of 2017.  Topics that were explored included children’s development of mathematical thinking, literacy and language development, and exploring the science behind play and brain development.

Nassau BOCES Pre-K Initiative: As part of Long Island’s Pre-K Initiative, the Child & Family Policy Center is working with Nassau BOCES to develop and implement a year-long professional learning series for the 2017-2018 school year focused on supporting child-centered learning and authentic assessment. Educators across Long Island from both preschool and kindergarten community-based organizations and school districts will have the opportunity to share ways for supporting the bridge from preschool to public school systems.

Parent-Child Home Program National Center: Provided support to national center to develop their program logic model, evaluation, validation of internal measures, and professional development training with staff members.

QUALITYstars NY: Participated in the initial field test in 2010-2011 to conduct ECERS, SELA, and SSEGA assessments of classrooms that were participating in QUALITYstars field-test initiative. Our team has received training to be reliable assessors for classroom quality.

SCO Family of Services: Partnered with SCO to evaluate their early childhood home visitation programs across three sites. The evaluation measured program fidelity to their model and school readiness outcomes as it related to participation in program services at the organization.

Sunset Park Early Learning Network: Provided professional development and coaching supports during the 2015-2016 school year. This work built on the strengths of the network and provided both onsite classroom environmental supports as well as professional development workshops aimed to support language and concept development for young children.

University Plaza Nursery School: Conducted an annual review of the leadership at a local private nursery school. This work involved classroom observations, meetings with leaders, teachers, and administrators to provide feedback to help improve the flow of the organization and their practices. Our approach to this work was collaborative and allowed for the director and teachers to discuss their needs.

WestCop Head Start: Provides professional development and support to early childhood providers across Westchester and Putnam counties. The focus of the work this year will be to support Head Start teachers in meeting the needs of dual language learners. Workshop topics include research-based best practices and teaching strategies to support the developmental needs of Dual Language Learners.