Courses in Early Childhood Education - PreK to Grade 4

ECE 110. Child Development I. This course will provide an overview of early childhood educators' beliefs that inquiry learning through curriculum integration is the most effective way to teach young children. The emergence of constructivism and the age-related patterns of intellectual growth will be examined. This knowledge will be essential for pre-service teachers learning to make competent decisions about curriculum and teaching methodology. The delivery approach will follow a theory-to-practice format so students can "see" how an understanding of theories of development and relationships enhances practice and planning. This course requires updated federal background clearances for field component.  Course restricted to ECE majors only. Non-majors may register with permission of the Education department chair 3 credits.

ECE 115. Child Development II. This course will provide an understanding of the overall patterns of child development and learning. The student will gain insight into the relationships between child development, learning and teaching and the variation from these typical patterns. The emphasis will be placed on reviewing the characteristics of children at different ages and stages of development. Specific developmental appropriate practices for school-aged children will be examined. Delivery approach will include, but not be limited to, authentic classroom videos, analyzing and responding to real student and teacher artifacts, case studies and simulations.  Prerequisite: ECE 110. 3 credits.

ECE 210. Family Partnerships. This course will focus on the developmental tasks and perspectives of the adults in children's lives. Students will spend time understanding the roles of parents, teachers, and other caregivers in the lives of young children as they work to form caring relationships with those around them. The delivery approach will follow a theory-to-practice format so students can "see" how an understanding of theories of development and relationships enhances practice. The professor will promote experiential learning, critical thinking, synthesis, planning, evaluation and action.  Prerequisite: ECE 110 or 115, limited to early childhood education majors or permission of the instructor. 3 credits.

ECE 220. Theory and Practices. This course will involve an in-depth examination of child development and learning, family and community relationships, effective assessment strategies developmentally-effective approaches to teaching and learning and ethical guidelines related to early childhood practice. Students will have opportunities to view and design challenging learning environments. They will practice using observation, documentation and other appropriate assessment tools and approaches in field experiences. Delivery approach will include, but not be limited to, analyzing and responding to authentic classroom artifacts, case study analysis, simulations, journal critiques and field experiences.  Prerequisite: ECE 110 or 115, limited to early childhood education majors or permission of the instructor. 3 credits.

ECE 230. Creative Arts. This course will begin with a definition of creativity as it applies to young children in the early childhood classroom. Specific attention will be given to clarifying the importance of art, music and drama in child development and learning. Delivery approach will include, but not be limited to, authentic classroom video viewing, field observations, group presentations, and research articles.  Prerequisite: ECE 110 or 115, limited to early childhood education majors or permission of the instructor. 3 credits.

ECE 240. Literacy and Literature I. A course that will focus on the growth and development of the young, emergent reader. The course foundation will be supported by both a balanced literacy approach and the Pennsylvania Academic Standards for Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening. Stressing the importance of early intervention, students will explore a variety of strategies, methods and assessments to teach reading supported by research. These include, but are not limited to phonological awareness, letter recognition, sound symbol relationships, vocabulary development, kid writing and inventive spelling.  Prerequisite: ECE 110 or 115, limited to early childhood education majors or permission of the instructor. 3 credits.

ECE 310. Math Methods. This course will begin with a historical overview of mathematics teaching and learning for young children. Current ideas on teaching mathematics will be introduced, as well as the many ways to incorporate mathematics learning into everyday classroom life. Assessments that encompass both understanding and procedural skills will be introduced. Curricular expectations related to number and operations, geometry, measurement, algebra, and data analysis and probability will be explored. Delivery approach will include but not be limited to inquiry-based instruction, journal critiques and children's literature with mathematical themes, subplots and references.  Prerequisite: ECE 110 or 115; EDU 140; limited to early childhood education majors or permission of the instructor. 3 credits.

ECE 320. Program Design and Curriculum Development. This course provides a comprehensive, balanced overview of early childhood education. Understanding child development, play, guidance, working with families and communities, and diversity are the five essential elements of early education that are addressed in this course. The delivery approach will include, but not be limited to, classroom video reflections, research articles, technology experiences and case study analyses and simulations.  Prerequisite: ECE 110 or 115, EDU 140, limited to early childhood education majors or permission of the instructor. 3 credits.

ECE 330. Literacy and Literature II. A course that will focus on the growth and development of the beginning reader. The course foundation will be supported by both a balanced literacy approach and the PDE standards for reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Stressing the importance of a strong foundation in phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension, students will explore a variety of strategies, methods and assessments to teach reading supported by research. Students will explore types of writing, the writing process, and conventional spelling instruction. As the writing process is taught, students will demonstrate the process by writing a 3000-word paper on a topic related to the course. The professor will conference with each student during the revision and editing stages of the process.  Prerequisite: ECE 110 or 115, 240, EDU 140, limited to early childhood education majors or permission of the instructor. 3 credits.

ECE 335. Literacy and Literature III. A course that will focus on the growth and continued development of the beginning reader as independent reading within the curriculum becomes necessary. The course foundation will be supported by both a balanced literacy approach and the PDE standards for reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Stressing the importance of comprehension, students will explore a variety of strategies, methods, and assessments to teach reading and writing across the content areas as supported by research. This includes but is not limited to writing short stories and informal pieces with an understanding of the stylistic aspects and conventions of composition.  Fulfills general education requirement: Writing Process. Prerequisite: ECE 110, 240, 330; EDU 140; limited to early childhood education majors or permission of the instructor. 3 credits.

ECE 340. Teacher Researcher. This course will begin with an overview of national, state and local interests that continue to inspire educators, businesses, and government to become more involved in discussions and to offer solutions, including legislative solutions, to assure children's success across the nation. Students will be prepared to make informed, research-based professional decisions about each of their students on a daily basis, using ongoing observation and diagnosis to support their decisions. Delivery approach will include, but not be limited to, critiques of prototypical examples of effective practices according to research, modeling evidence-based strategies for the culturally and linguistically diverse learners, informational reading and writing.  Fulfills general education requirement: Writing Process. Prerequisite: ECE 110 or 115, EDU 140, limited to early childhood education majors or permission of the instructor. 3 credits.

ECE 350. Child Wellness. This course will outline common safety issues and guidelines that all adults can employ to help prevent serious injuries (and lawsuits) to children and simultaneously help orient children to safe play practices. This course will also address modern societal pressures that have resulted in fewer opportunities to develop the motor and cognitive skills needed for safe play. Delivery approach will include, but not be limited to, authentic indoor and outdoor classroom video viewing, field observations, group presentations, and research articles.  Prerequisite: ECE 110 or 115, EDU 140, limited to early childhood education majors or permission of the instructor. 3 credits.

ECE 360. Social Studies Methods. This course is designed to introduce the complexity of social studies and draws on years of related research that demonstrates the importance of inquiry learning to deepen children's understanding of the integrated curriculum. The areas of child development related to the social studies, the current national standards and practical ideas for teaching will also be examined. Delivery approach will include, but not be limited to, inquiry-oriented instruction, class discussions, demonstrations of early concrete learning experiences and hands-on experience with various social studies programs.  Prerequisite: ECE 110 or 115; EDU 140; limited to early childhood education majors or permission of the instructor. 3 credits.

ECE 370. Play and Projects. This course is about children's play and development beginning with a history of ideas, beliefs, and activities of play, the early and contemporary theories of play and how scholars' explain its meaning, functions, and developmental benefits. Students will gain an understanding of the developmental advantages of children's free play and the disadvantages of not playing. Delivery approach will include, but not be limited to, lecture, individual and group presentations, fieldwork observations and journaling.  Prerequisite: ECE 110; EDU 140; limited to early childhood education majors or permission of the instructor. 3 credits.

ECE 380. Science Methods. This course is designed to introduce the major areas of science instruction and define the relative importance of science content, processes, skills and attitudes needed for young children to successfully understand science. National Science Education Standards will be examined to identify what children at different ages and stages should know and be able to do in the area of science. Delivery approach will include, but not be limited to: inquiry-oriented instruction, class discussions, integrated unit plans and hands-on experience with various science programs.  Prerequisite: ECE 110, EDU 140, limited to early childhood education majors or permission of the instructor. 3 credits.

ECE 385. Advocacy, Leadership, and Collaboration. This course will begin with an examination of the professional and ethical standards expected of an early childhood educator. Collaboration with families, the community, and public agencies will be practiced and further developed through co-teaching opportunities. Delivery approach will include, but not be limited to, field experiences, class discussions, simulations and reflective writings.  Prerequisite: ECE 110, 115; EDU 140; limited to early childhood education majors or permission of the instructor. 3 credits.

ECE 410. Senior Capstone. Special topics related to current concerns in education are researched and presented by the students in the course. Issues related to teaching and to further professional growth are explored. Teams of students are required to do extensive research in an approved topic and to make a computer-based multimedia presentation of that research to the class.   Prerequisite: Limited to spring semester senior early childhood education majors or permission of instructor. 3 credits.

ECE 440. ECE Student Teaching. Each student spends an entire semester in an area school under the supervision of a carefully selected cooperating teacher. Open to seniors or students who are seeing certification only.  Prerequisites: Cumulative, calculated grade point average of 3.000; completion of major, Act 354, and Act 49-2 course requirements. 12 credits.

ECE 441. ECE Dual Major Student Teaching. Each ECE/SPE dual major will spend eight weeks in an early childhood education environment in an area school under the supervision of a carefully selected cooperating teacher. Open to seniors or students who are seeking certification only.  Prerequisites: Completion of all courses in the ECE/Special Education Dual Major, cumulative GPA at or above the minimum GPA specified by PDE for the PreK - 4 Early Childhood Education certificate, successful completion of the PDE mandated Pre-service Academic Performance Assessment exams (replacement for the PPST exams for ECE and ECE/SPE majors only), completion of all Act 354 course requirements. 6 credits.