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Learning from the Bumps in the Road


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About the Author

Holly Elissa Bruno, MA, JD, is an author, attorney, professor, acclaimed keynote speaker, and host of an online radio program. Janet Gonzalez-Mena/strong>, MA, is a highly respected early childhood consultant, trainer, infant specialist, diversity specialist, and writer. She taught in the California community college system for more than thirty years and is currently part of the faculty for WestEd's Program for Infant Toddler Care (PITC) and Beginning Together, a training program for adults working with children with special needs. Luis A. Hernandez, MA, T/TAS Early Childhood Education Specialist, is an active member of many professional organizations that support children and family interests. Debra R. Sullivan, EdD, is the cofounder and president of Praxis Institute for Early Childhood Education.


"Reading this book is like a great dinner party with good friends. While the main course may nourish the body, it's the lively exchange of ideas, personal stories, and heartfelt reflections that nourish the mind and soul. And just as conversations around the dinner table cover the landscape of hot topics, the chapters in this book cover the terrain of important leadership issues--equity and social justice, power and privilege, diversity and pluralism, technology and change, and adversity and self-doubt, to name a few. Savor the wisdom from these early childhood leaders as they share their deeply held beliefs and lessons learned from bumps in the road."
--Paula Jorde Bloom, PhD, Michael W. Louis Endowed Chair, McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership at National Louis University

"Learning from the Bumps in the Road is a unique and great read: at once stimulating and great fun. Having four authors discuss their often quite different perspectives on central topics in today's early childhood education discourse encourages readers to also find their own voices on these same topics. It is a very thought-provoking experience to come across ideas with which you agree, with which you disagree, and which provoke you. I especially and highly recommend Learning from the Bumps in the Road to leaders in early childhood education who like to push the boundaries of their thinking on pressing, important issues in our field."
--Louise Derman-Sparks, international speaker, coauthor of Anti-Bias Education for Young Children and Ourselves and What If All the Kids Are White? Anti-Bias Multicultural Education with Young Children and Families, and former member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) governing board "Often we speak only of our triumphs, put our best selves forward, and focus on our strengths. Inside, most of us have the tendency to be very hard on ourselves; we dwell on our mistakes, weaknesses, and perceived deficiencies. Strength and growth come from flipping these behaviors. We need to think well enough of ourselves and make self-talk positive. And with each other, we need to fearlessly share the challenges and struggles as well as celebrate the successes. We talk about being authentic with children, and we know how to do this. These authors become our mentors as their stories and strategies help us become more authentic with one another and within ourselves. This ability to be real will change our behavior and our practice. We could have no better mentors than Holly Elissa, Janet, Luis, and Debra."
--Bonnie Neugebauer, founder and executive editor of Exchange magazine and founder and director of program development at the World Forum Foundation "Learning from the Bumps in the Road is a well-conceived and personally engaged depiction of some of the most salient and critical issues pertinent to the field of early childhood education. The book's introduction states that 'learning is a lifelong adventure' and that 'learning should be joyful.' The authors invite us along with them on their learning journey, and in their unique, personal, and playful style, they share with us the details of their joyful adventure. This book is itself a joy and an adventure--I invite you to enjoy it as much as I have. You will learn much during your journey and be better prepared for and informed about helping young children and families meet the challenges of early childhood and beyond."
--Mark Ginsberg, PhD, dean and professor of the College of Education and Human Development at George Mason University "This book is an invitation to be on a journey of self-discovery with four of the field's visionary leaders. Along the way, you'll get to know yourself as an educator, leader, mentor, advocate, and world citizen. It's all here. The authors skillfully weave a rich tapestry of theory, practice, research, and wisdom with life experience, practical tools, and perspectives grounded in the lives of the children, families, and communities that call our programs home. They have saved each of us a place at the table--join them!"
--Claire Chang, associate vice president of grants and program at Minnesota Philanthropy Partners "The title of this book tells it all! Yes, the four authors describe the typical bumps in the road that workers in the field of early care and education encounter daily, throughout their careers. Reference to the term 'insights' in the title refers to increasingly deep understandings of inevitably complex events and relationships in the field, and they are offered on every single page of this book, exquisitely presented for adults who must accomplish complex tasks, plans, and interactions and provide leadership for the benefit of our young children on a day-to-day basis. And, yes, the authors provide the richest store of insights I have ever encountered in a single book during my fifty years of reading and studying in this field. Every page addresses the kinds of 'bumps' everyone whose work involves young children and their families must address throughout their careers, and all four authors share their insights in diverse, enlightening, helpful, provocative, and enlightening ways."
--Lilian G. Katz, PhD, Professor Emerita, University of Illinois and internationally known early childhood education expert

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