The Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care Should Create Free E-Textbooks For Early Childhood Education Courses
College courses and degrees in early childhood education are a way for early educators to learn more about child development, curriculum, how sociological /psychological factors influence children, early education policy, and more. In addition, college courses and degrees in early education offer an opportunity for early educators to networks and learn from each other which strengthens the field.
However, many in early education only take the minimum amount of college courses due to financial reasons. It is not only the cost of courses that drives people away, but the cost of books. Many college course text books cost between $100-$200 dollars. Even renting them costs a pretty penny.
Here is where the Massachusetts Department of Early Childhood Education and Care (EEC) could come in. For courses like child development and preschool curriculum that many in the field will take, they can create free electronic textbooks. Not only would these textbooks be available to public universities with ECE programs like UMass Boston and Bunker Hill but also private colleges like Lesley University and Fisher College.
This is inline with part of the EEC’s mission which is to support professional development. The free electronic textbooks could support professional development in two ways. The textbook themselves could be written by experienced early educators with a Masters Degree or higher in the state of Massachusetts. EEC would pay them to write these books but with the stipulation the books be in the public domain. This would be an opportunity for experienced early educators to continue their growth in a new way while creating electric textbooks that could make it easier for other early educators to take college courses. It is a win win for everyone. The only people who might not agree are the makers of textbooks but they are not exactly sympathetic figures (see below).