Early Childhood Education
This program is designed for early childhood educators wishing to pursue graduate study which will extend their knowledge of the theory and practice of early childhood education. The program offerings enable professionals working in the field of early childhood to increase knowledge and skills related to the most effective research-based strategies in teaching, learning, and assessment. Students will have opportunities to analyze, extend, and increase the relevance and responsiveness of their current work with children, particularly as it relates to development and diversity issues.
The program consists of a number of courses in the introductory block, curriculum and instruction block, and specialization block. It also provides the opportunity to develop and implement research skills during the final two semesters of the capstone requirement, during which candidates are enrolled in courses that facilitate the planning and conducting of an action research project in the school or early childhood classroom and/or professional teaching setting in which s/he is employed. An undergraduate degree in, or related to, early childhood education is required for admission to the program.
Program Learning Outcomes: M.S., Early Childhood Education
Students are expected to:
- demonstrate how to implement curriculum that includes elements that are developmentally appropriate, multicultural, multimedia, integrated, and suitable for inclusive and diverse settings;
- demonstrate effective management and assessment strategies;
- demonstrate improvement in the quality of their teaching skills by self-reflecting and analyzing teaching practices through data collection and analysis;
- demonstrate best practice teaching as agents of change by designing and conducting action research that is grounded in professional literature and can have a positive impact on early childhood settings and communities;
- assess a variety of early childhood programs in light of their students' developmental stages and cultural and linguistic backgrounds;
- demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the course material in the introductory block courses that incorporate and highlight insights from the study of diversity in schools, socio-cultural and historical issues influencing schools, and research in education;
- demonstrate knowledge of and value for a variety of structures in which young children are reared while demonstrating the ability to build effective reciprocal relationships with parents; and
- identify models for effective school-community partnerships that assist and empower families.