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Living Stories

Nontraditional College Students in Early Childhood Education


Susan Bernheimer

In Living Stories: Nontraditional College Students in Early Childhood Education, Susan Bernheimer takes the reader into her journey with a group of nontraditional college students. Bernheimer’s struggle to find a meaningful approach to teaching the students about early childhood development and care is infused with the insights and wisdom that come from listening to, and valuing, the remarkable stories of her students’ lives. This book offers a powerful new road map for early childhood teacher preparation through a relational pedagogy that honors students’ life experiences and that leads to deep reflection and learning. The approach is embedded in students’ strengths and knowledge and is successfully inclusive of an increasingly diverse student demographic. Bernheimer provides an inclusive model of education that builds upon the strengths of all students. 

Susan Bernheimer is an educator, researcher, and trainer on contemporary issues in early childhood education and formerly a member of the human development faculty at Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena, California, from 2001–2015. She taught early childhood teacher preparation to impoverished college students for over ten years. Bernheimer received her doctorate from Claremont Graduate University. She is the author of New Possibilities for Early Childhood Education: Stories from Our Nontraditional Students (Peter Lang, 2003) and Voices of Early Childhood Educators (Peter Lang, 2016).