An overview of the field of early childhood education. Historical and philosophical influences on past and current approaches to teaching young children are traced and analyzed. The developmental needs and characteristics of the young child, with emphasis on the pre-primary level, are related to current curriculum programs and practices. Emphasis is placed on the necessity of using developmentally appropriate learning materials and teaching strategies. Topical study includes concepts, definitions, child developmental theories and skills needed by today's classroom professionals. In lieu of field experiences, appropriate teaching behavior is modeled by the instructor, and actual classroom occurrences are examined through Teacher Work Sample (TWS).
Investigation of contemporary goals of early childhood education. Provides analysis of organizational plans, classroom environment, teaching strategies and resources, and noteworthy trends and innovations. Application to individual situations is stressed. Focus will vary. Offered periodically.
Investigation of contemporary practices and research pertaining to the affective and psychomotor development of children, birth to age 8. Primarily covers emotional growth, socialization, self-concept, aesthetic awareness, physical growth and perception. Offered annually.
Examination of current programs and recommended procedures for developing communication between home and school. Acquaints students with community resources and services available to families and teachers. Opportunities to develop a practical parent-teacher communication program for an individual teaching situation. Offered annually.
Extension of basic curriculum theory and practice as it applies to programs for young children. Sources of influence on early childhood curriculum—such as professional organizations, learning theorists and historical practice—will be examined. Students analyze and revise or refine curriculum content and practices in their individual learning situations. Offered annually.
The role of the early childhood program administrator as an educational leader. Topics include educational decision making; program development; effective staff supervisory skills; facility management; funding sources and procedures; advocacy; and health, safety and nutrition issues. Offered periodically.
This course is the student teaching experience for our Early Childhood Post Baccalaureate teacher candidates. The successful completion of this student teaching experience is required for all teacher candidates in order to be certified in the state of Pennsylvania.
Each student writes and orally defends an individual thesis of some significance in the field of early childhood education. Prereq: 24 graduate s.h.