The authors of this book bring a long history of work with Learning Stories and collaborative inquiry, documentation, and reflection. We have worked for many years with young children, their families, and early childhood educators working with young children on authentic assessment and critical pedagogy. We have also collaborated for the last three years in an online group of early childhood educators working with educators on integrating Learning Stories in inquiry groups. This group, whose members work in varied early childhood settings in California, has met monthly to present Learning Stories and to provide feedback for group members to expand the use of Learning Stories as integrated with ongoing face-to-face and online inquiry groups. Two of our coauthors, Isauro M. Escamilla and Annie White, are founding members of Supporting the Advancement of Learning Stories in America (SALSA) www.salsa-global.org, a nonprofit professional organization dedicated to the advancement of Learning Stories in early childhood education. This organization features a newsletter and local, state, and national conferences.
Isauro M. Escamilla, MA, born and raised in Veracruz, Mexico, is a Spanish/English dual language preschool teacher at Las Americas Early Education School in the San Francisco Unified School District, and is also currently a candidate in the Educational Leadership program at San Francisco State University. He has worked for many years on cultivating inquiry, documentation, and reflection as the heart of his teaching, and has traveled to New Zealand on three study trips to learn more about Learning Stories. He is a founding member and current co-facilitator of the Las Americas inquiry group. Isauro has a Masters of Arts in Education, with a concentration in early childhood.
Linda R. Kroll, PhD, is professor emerita of education at the School of Education at Mills College, Oakland, CA. She was a preschool teacher and then an elementary school teacher of K–3 for 10 years. At Mills College, she was the director of the early childhood education master’s program and taught courses in development and learning, research in early childhood and elementary school classrooms, documentation as inquiry and research, and literacy learning. Her research and work with teachers has focused on constructivism in education, self-study research practices in teacher education, and teacher education at the early childhood and elementary level. Linda is currently working with an independent preschool on the creation of Learning Stories and sharing this work in an inquiry group.
Daniel R. Meier, PhD, is professor of elementary education at San Francisco State University and teaches courses in reading/language arts, multilingual development, narrative inquiry and memoir, qualitative research, and international education. His research focuses on children’s language and literacy learning, and teacher inquiry and reflection in US and international contexts. Daniel has recently worked as a literacy teacher in a public preschool classroom in the San Francisco Bay area, and has worked with Isauro M. Escamilla for many years as the co-facilitator of the Las Americas inquiry group, San Francisco Unified School District.
Annie White, EdD, is assistant professor in the Early Childhood Studies program at California State University Channel Islands. She teaches undergraduate early childhood courses on curriculum and assessments where Learning Stories are used as the primary assessment for student early childhood teachers. Annie has worked with Early Head Start, Head Start, and State Preschool in various roles, and has provided trainings and coaching for teachers and family child care home providers. She has participated on national and international study tours and traveled to New Zealand and participated on several study trips, including two Learning Stories intensive studies. Annie conducts research on Learning Stories and how it is used as a tool for family engagement and is currently leading two Learning Stories inquiry group in Ventura County, CA.