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Conceptual Budgeting

Linking expenditures with practice - Ana Christina DaSilva Iddings

 

As part of the Design-based approach to our project, our research team is continuously engaged in theorizing and refining the activities that we implement each semester. As such, we are mindful that we have in our hands a unique opportunity to prepare early childhood teachers who are knowledgeable and experienced in community-based education. This preparation takes place through the various project activities that are guided by our four principles. Thus, thoughtful allocation of funds, or a conceptual budgeting, in close alignment with the overarching goals of the proposal, has taken a lot of consideration and discussion among members of our team.

To accomplish our goals so far, we have re-conceptualized the curriculum of our program in order to provide our students with continuity and coherence of content and field experiences across semesters and within each semester. In this way, potentially, as our students progress through the four semesters in the program, their knowledge will deepen and their field experiences will accrue to match their new understandings. Onto this newly re-conceptualized curriculum, we have mapped specific activities for each of the courses to provide opportunities for the introduction, development, application and extension of our guiding principles.

In tandem with course activities, we have been working closely with families and communities as well as with our teacher collaborators to create activities and opportunities for conversations to occur in order to forge common grounds among all constituents. Ultimately, all of these project activities are sampled and researched in terms of the project impact on the preparation of our pre-service teachers’ practices as well as the impact on the actual communities and families (including the children) we work with.

Through a process of deliberations about funding allocations to match the activities for concept development, the PI’s learned that keeping sight prospectively and reflectively of the ‘big picture’ is essential. We also learned that this process is challenging as we aim to keep funds proportional to each cycle of activities and research. In these ways, however laborious, layered, and detailed; this kind of conceptual budgeting serves to ensure that the activities of the project remain inextricably connected with our goals.

Jan 04, 2012 05:20 PM | Comments (0)
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