Early Childhood Education
The major objective of the area of Early Childhood Education is to provide a continuum of preparation for students originating in liberal studies (General Studies) who are subsequently admitted to professional education in a diverse program of study leading to a Bachelor of Science Degree and qualifications for State Teacher Certification.
Prospective teachers complete coursework emphasizing a scientific knowledge base and the application of developmental principles and social contextual assumptions leading toward each prospective teacher’s quality educational practice.
Studies include emphasis on development and learning including the influential role of parents, appreciation of fine arts, the necessity of expanded language skills and advocacy for families and children. Teacher candidate programs emphasize quality in academic preparation and proficiency in demonstrating teacher’s knowledge, skills and dispositions.
Each prospective teacher has early field experiences in an array of early childhood education programs that include private nursery schools (corporate Day Care Centers), Montessori schools, child development centers (ASU, AUM), public elementary schools through Grade 3 and public and private local schools. Student candidates are challenged to value and demonstrate knowledge in Humanities, including Literature, Art, Music, Government, Physical and Biosciences, and Mathematics.
The quality cultural resources in communities are explored including museums, zoos, local and regional theatre and a range of musical and performing arts (Alabama Symphony, local jazz and folk concerts, church-sponsored spiritual singing groups); an introduction to local and state history and architecture, and preservation of historical districts become resources for beginning teachers on all levels of preparation. Social forces that impact education of young children are consistently integrated into curriculum with exploration of candidates’ role as a child/youth advocate.
The curriculum provides theory and practice in working with children between ages 3 1/2 and 8 with courses leading to the Alabama Professional Certificate, pre-school through grade three.
The College of Education operates an open space nongraded Early Childhood Center
for children. It is available to early childhood education and elementary education majors for observation and participation. Additional opportunities for education majors to work with young children are provided in local, private and public kindergartens, Head Start Centers, public schools, day-care centers and other programs for young children.
Undergraduate Program (Baccalaureate Degree):
Master of Education Degree
Online Master of Education Degree
Educational Specialist Degree