Can vignettes capture the complexity of high quality early childhood teaching?
Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences
School of Education
This article discusses the results of a project charged with writing vignettes that exemplify high-quality early childhood teaching. It outlines the process used to write the vignettes and three approaches for validating whether they capture the complexity and sophistication of early childhood teachers' work, namely: ratings from external reviewers, comparisons with other types of vignettes, and comparisons with professional standards that tell rather than show what exemplary teaching looks like. The article concludes with three contentions. First, advocates of vignettes need to be cautious about promising more than vignettes can deliver. Second, writing ‘standards vignettes' is more difficult than writing ‘teaching vignettes’. Third, by themselves, vignettes are hard pressed to provide an adequate representation of high-quality early childhood teaching; they need to be supplemented by other approaches.