Publication Date: June 7, 2019
Series: Early Childhood Education Series
Ready or Not made its mark in 2007 by boldly calling for a field-wide response to the question: “What defines and bounds early care and education as a field of practice?” A dozen years later, this question remains pivotal to the field’s understanding of its present and its aspirations for the future. In this updated and expanded edition, Goffin and Washington reunite to examine the major issues that must still be addressed if children are to be given more and better opportunities. This second edition will help everyone whose work impacts the ECE workforce, including those working directly with children, to deepen their commitment to adaptive and systems work and to develop the leadership capacity needed to become change agents. Ready or not, early childhood education needs to tackle its adaptive challenges. Nothing less will enable it to shift the field’s developmental trajectory, fulfill its potential, and satisfy its obligations to children, families, and society.
New for the Second Edition:
With over 60 years of combined experience, Stacie G. Goffin and Valora Washington are recognized authorities in early care and education. Each has been involved in leading significant change initiatives. Stacie Goffin’s books include Early Childhood Education for a New Era. Valora Washington’s books include Guiding Principles for the New Early Childhood Professional and The New Early Childhood Professional.
“Reflecting on the original publication from 2007, the authors undertake a unique endeavor: They practice what they preach. They subject their own ideas to the adaptive leadership thinking that they suggest is necessary for the field of early care and education to live up to its great promise.”
—Teachers College Record
“The second edition of Ready or Not is a reflective self-examination of the field of early care and education. This must-read book once again “calls the question,” challenging us to confront the field’s adaptive challenges and engage in courageous debate and consensus building.”
—Marquita Furness Davis, deputy director of Early Learning, Pacific Northwest, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
“Ready or Not is an urgent call to action for early childhood educators to lead the change needed now to close the gap between the field’s promise to young children and families and its performance. Goffin and Washington boldly identify the barriers and opportunities we face. ECE practitioners will be inspired to undertake the work necessary to create new systems and change existing ones to meet the field’s responsibility to children, families, and the public.”
—Anne Douglass, University of Massachusetts Boston and founder and executive director of Institute for Early Education Leadership and Innovation
“Goffin and Washington have written a must-read for those that are invested in early care and education and recognize that ‘change is not optional.’ Early care and education is expected to produce results—and will—and this book is a great tool that will help guide us there.”
—Tracy Ehlert, early childhood educator and advocate and State Representative for Iowa House District 70, Cedar Rapids, IA
“Expanding on the questions they first posed 12 years ago, Goffin and Washington remind us of both our growth and our stagnation; they challenge the field to have the courage to determine our purpose and to take ownership of our future. This is a must-read for everyone who is committed to the field’s success.”
—Ariel Ford, director, Office of Early Learning, City of Chattanooga
"Goffin and Washington deliver a powerful, unapologetic position on the importance of elevating not only the early care and education framework but the actual practitioners who do the work every day though adaptive leadership and systematic change. With the current ECE climate and progression of the field, this book delivers collective years of wisdom and a blueprint for success."
—Jerletha McDonald, founder and CEO, Arlington DFW Childcare
“Goffin and Washington have written a must-read primer. Ready or Not, 2nd Edition is for anyone interested in changing the infrastructure of early childhood systems. Read this book and learn the importance of adaptive changes that must occur to close the performance and credibility gaps and nurture and develop the true leaders in the ECE field.”
—Michele Miller-Cox, SAS Montessori School in Cary, NC
“This is an essential book for those seeking to understand the competing forces, realities, and polarizing debates that have characterized the growth of the early care and education profession. Goffin and Washington succeed in reflecting on the significance of past struggles, a myriad of contemporary challenges, and the essential ingredients necessary to build an effective profession going forward. Their persuasive book is a 'must-read' for expert and novice alike.”
—Aisha Ray, professor emerita of Child Development, Erikson Institute
“This new edition is so timely given our current environment. Stacie and Valora continue to provoke our thinking and encourage our engagement by asking the big questions. This book has the power to provoke catalytic discussions and hopefully move us to action.”
—Sue Russell, executive director, T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® National Center
“This new edition of Ready or Not is a must-read. It is a call to action for everyone involved in early care and education as it provides a multidimensional road map for the field to address its own complex internal structure and assume its rightful and fundamental role in shaping the future impact on young children.”
—Sharon Scott-Chandler, executive vice president and COO, ABCD (Action for Boston Community Development)
“Goffin and Washington challenge us again—12 years later! This is an invaluable resource for all who are interested in moving early care and education forward. The time is now to consider their ideas and together we can make a difference!”
—Kathy R. Thornburg, professor emerita and director of the Institute for Professional Development, University of Missouri
Foreword by Marty Linsky and Ronald Heifetz
Prequel: How Far Have We Come 12 Years Later?
Defining Our Terms
Why We Came Together to Update Ready or Not
ECE's Adaptive Challenges Also Have Evolved
Bringing the ECE Field's Denizens to the Forefront
Distinguishing Between the Field's Adaptive and Technical Issues
Embracing A Developmental Journey
How the Book Is Organized
Early Care and Education's Leadership Choices
Chapter 1. Calling the Question
Building an Early Care and Education System
Our Point of View
The Leadership Work of the Early Care and Education Field
Previous Adaptive Work in Early Care and Education
Forming Our Future
Chapter 2. New Realities
A Unique Historical Moment
Facing New Realities
Concern for the Field's Future
Chapter 2 Postscript
Twelve Years Later, What Has Changed?
Twelve Years Later: What Hasn't Changed?
Twelve Years Later: Why Hasn't Change Occurred?
Twelve Years Later, Why Does It Matter?
Appendix A: Early Care and Education's Changing Landscape: From the 1980s to 2019 and Forward
Chapter 3. Necessary Choices
Calling the Question
Chapter 4. Leading by Changing
Preparing for Adaptive Work
Mobilizing the Early Care and Education Field for Adaptive Change
Sequel: What's Next? A Call to the Future
Engaging With Adaptive and Systemic Change
ECE's Choices Will Define Its Future
Appendix B: Characterizations of the Early Care and Education Field by Its Leaders
Appendix C: Making Choices
About the Authors