ECED - Early Childhood Education


Course Descriptions

ECED 5010 Foundations of Early Childhood Education (3)

This course focuses on the historical, psychological, philosophical, and social foundations of early childhood education. Theories and research in child development and education are integrated with practical knowledge. Students examine forces that shape the future of early childhood education and the role teachers play in that future.

.ECED 5040 Program Models in Early Childhood/Early Childhood Special Education (3)

This course is focused on programs developed for the early childhood and special education populations. Students examine philosophy, theoretical framework, curriculum, methodology, role of the teacher, role of the child, service delivery systems, and parent involvement. Students replicate portions of specific models as well as develop teaching strategies that would be characteristic of particular models. Special attention is given to models for mainstreaming the special needs child. Prerequisites: ECED 5010 or permission of the early childhood program coordinator.

ECED 5096 Apprentice Teaching Seminar (1)

This seminar will help students in their apprentice teaching focus on multiple factors affecting their classroom experiences, student interactions and curriculum (including planning, classroom organization and structure, unit and lesson planning, and student assessment) through the creation of an electronic Portfolio or Teacher Work Sample. The course is designed to better prepare each student to meet the MoSTEP Standards within the context of the content being addressed. The seminar is a concurrent registration with the appropriate Apprentice Teaching course. Prerequisites: ECED 5431; ECED 5461; ECED 5462 with B or better and All required courses must be completed.

ECED 5200 Independent Study (1-3)

Students with special interests or needs that are not met by existing courses may request that a member of the faculty supervise an independent study. Together, the student and faculty member decide on the content of the independent study and the criteria for evaluation. This course may be repeated for credit if content differs.

ECED 5410 In-Service Topics (1-3)

In-service courses are designed to provide degree-seeking students with practical applications of contemporary research and methodology to improve classroom effectiveness. These courses have been approved for the degree with prior approval of the student's advisor. May be repeated for credit if content differs.

ECED 5430 Language and Motor Development in Infant Toddler Programs (3)

Young children use language, gestures and the people around them to gain access into social groups including school. This course examines the current state of theories about language acquisition and important conclusions about language learning that have significant implications for teaching infants and toddlers. The course also considers ways teachers observe the perceptual motor development of infants and toddlers and use these specific observations of each child to promote a comprehensive plan to support children's physical health, enhance motor skills, and support children with developmental lags. Students will examine developmental standards by which early childhood centers can be evaluated and improved. Students seeking post-baccalaureate initial certification must take ECED 5431 either concurrently or after completion of this course.

ECED 5431 Infant Toddler Practicum (1)

Concurrent registration in ECED 5430 Language and Motor Development in Infant Toddler Centers is preferred.

The focus of this practicum is observation and participation in classrooms servicing children in Infant-Toddler Centers and supports an understanding of developmentally appropriate practice. Prerequisites: ECED 5010, ECED 5430.

ECED 5460 Curriculum Design (3)

Concurrent registration in ECED 5461 Preprimary Practicum and ECED 5462 Primary Practicum is preferred.

This course combines a theoretical and experiential investigation of curriculum for children ages birth through eight years, with primary emphasis on pre-kindergarten through the elementary grades. It emphasizes the roles of the teacher as observer, collaborator, facilitator, and organizer. Students will learn how to develop curriculum projections that are based on 1) ongoing documentation and study of children's current understanding and interests; 2) child development theory and research; 3) values and goals established with parents and community; and 4) consideration of contextual variables related to the school environment, family, and peer relationships. Emphasis is placed on continuity of learning experiences for children, integration of subject matter knowledge through project studies and daily life experiences, and a negotiated learning process, which allows children and teachers to adjust and readjust their expectations through ongoing questioning and reorganization of experiences. Prerequisites: ECED 5010 Foundations in Early Childhood Education.

ECED 5461 PrePrimary Practicum (1)

Concurrent registration in ECED 5460 Curriculum Design is preferred.

The focus of this practicum is observation and participation in classrooms servicing children in preprimary grades. Prerequisites: EDUC 4740, ECED 5431, ECED 5460.

ECED 5462 Early Primary Practicum (1)

Concurrent registration in ECED 5460 Curriculum Design is preferred.

The focus of this practicum is observation and participation in classrooms servicing children in primary grades. Prerequisites: EDUC 4740, ECED 5431, ECED 5460.

ECED 5466 Preprimary Practicum Early Childhood Special Education (1)

Concurrent registration in ECED 5830 Topics in Early Learning: Early Childhood and Special Education Curriculum and ECED 5830 Topics in Early Learning: Assessment and Intervention of Infants and Young Children is required.

The focus of this 1-credit-hour practicum is observation and participation in inclusive classrooms in the preprimary grades. It centers on implementation of intervention strategies for children with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs). Prerequisites: EDUC 4740, ECED 5431 and ECED 5460.

ECED 5470 Observation, Documentation and Analysis of Learning in Early Childhood Education (3)

In this class, students will develop an understanding of how documentation based on close observation of children's learning processes helps to make learning visible and shape the learning that takes place in young children. They will learn why assessment of young children's strengths, progress and significant concerns that require focused intervention call for assessment strategies that are developmentally appropriate, culturally and linguistically responsive, connected to relevant children's daily activities and inclusive of families. Following an inquiry-based structure and cycle of learning and teaching, students will evaluate the impact of the children's activities and teacher strategies and create change in early childhood programs. The importance of continued professional development and continued accountability will also be emphasized. Students must have access to children, preferably in a classroom setting. Prerequisites: ECED 5010.

ECED 5480 Math Methods for the Young Child (3)

Students explore ways to support the young child's construction of knowledge in regard to numeracy. The educational implications of current cognitive theory and related research are examined. The Content and Process Standards developed by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) provide a framework for teaching strategies. The course courses on children's mathematical learning in pre-kindergarten through third grade. Prerequisite: ECED 5460.

ECED 5510 Understanding and Supporting Children's Thinking (3)

Students examine theory and research on cognitive development while considering the integral relationship with the development of children's social intelligence. Emphasis is placed on the study of children's memory, perception, language and literacy, logical-mathematical thinking, and problem solving. Students use action research methods involving observation and documentation to study children's thinking and learning processes. Curriculum implications with connections to state and national standards will explored with an emphasis on project-based and inquiry based learning. Students will learn how to develop strategies to scaffold children as individual and group learners. Prerequisite: ECED 5670 Social Intelligence and Relationships: The Foundation for Learning.

ECED 5670 Social Intelligence and Relationships: The Foundations for Learning (3)

Students examine theories and research in regard to social intelligence and the development of relationships. The integral linkage of social and moral development with children's intellectual development is explored. Curriculum implications for diverse learners are examined. Emphasis is placed on interactions that foster mutual respect and trust with adults and children; the development of self-regulation and social responsibility; self-esteem, social knowledge and competence; cooperation and collaboration, and positive dispositions toward learning and life. A focus will be placed on children as individual and group learners. Connections will be made to state and national standards. Students use action research methods involving observation and documentation to study children's behavior and learning processes. Ecological systems perspectives of the child, within the family, and within the community will be integrated throughout the course.

ECED 5740 Inquiry Learning in Early Childhood (3)

This course is designed to give student an in-depth, practical look at the first through third grade elementary child while focusing on a theoretical and experiential investigation of programming, curriculum, and assessment. Methods and techniques of teaching science and social studies with an emphasis on organization of inquiry learning will be a focus. The class stresses the various roles of the teacher as observer, collaborator, facilitator, and organizer. Students will learn to evaluate learning models, organize curriculum projections that are based on 1) ongoing documentation and study of children's current understanding and interests; 2) child development theory and research; 3) values and goals established with parents and community; and 4) consideration of contextual variables related to the school environment, family, and peer relationships. Students will also learn how to interpret this information to access outcomes and support children's continued development and learning. Developmentally appropriate integration of technology into the primary classrooms will be discussed.

ECED 5750 Negotiated Learning: The Reggio Emilia Approach to Early Education (3)

This course focuses on the central role of documentation in the social constructivist approach to early learning that has emanated from the early childhood programs of Reggio Emilia, Italy. Students explore multiple ways to observe and document the learning experiences and learning processes of young children and then study that documentation to determine how to support children's thinking and negotiate learning. Documentation is used to improve discourse by serving as a database for reflective teaching. Documentation and discourse enable teachers to generate designs for future learning experiences that have continuity with children's thinking and prior experience. Together, these three components of documentation, discourse and design define a negotiated learning process that involves continuous action research of teaching and learning.

ECED 5760 Fundamentals of the Reggio Approach Study Tour (3)

This study tour examines the process of observation, questioning, experience and reflection as integral components of meaningful learning in the renowned early childhood programs in Reggio Emilia, Italy, named as one of the best educational systems in the world. Principles fundamental to the Reggio Apprach include an image of the child as competent and full of potential; working collaboratively with children, parents and the larger community; carefully designing the environment to facilitate the social constructs of understanding and to document the learning taking place with the space; and listening closely to children and devising means to provoke inquiry-based learning. Participants in the study tour will be introduced to the history of the Reggio Approach, tour the atelier and classrooms, engage in dialogue with teachers, view project presentations, explore materials, and reflect upon their experiences.

ECED 5800 Applied Research (3)

This course enables students, through action research projects, to develop strategies for problem solving within their classrooms and procedures for conducting self-study as it relates to, but is not limited to, teacher behaviors, learning outcomes, curriculum, policy development, and behavior management. Prerequisite: advancement to candidacy.

ECED 5810 Pedagogical Internship I (3)

This supervised internship is required for candidates pursuing the graduate certification in pedagogical coordination of Reggio Inspired Schools. It is the first of a two-semester sequence of internships required for completion of the graduate certificate program. Students work as apprentices in a Reggio Inspired School to learn the role of pedagogista. This role involves strong understanding of the skills and concepts of observation and documentation of learning processes, collaborative action research strategies, mentoring and coaching to support professional development of teachers, and ability to support and develop systems of communication and participation with families and community in early childhood settings.

ECED 5811 Pedagogical Internship II (3)

This supervised internship is required for candidates pursuing the graduate certification in pedagogical coordination of Reggio Inspired Schools. It is the second of a two -semester sequence of internships required for completion of the graduate certificate program. Students work as apprentices in a Reggio Inspired School to learn the role of pedagogista. This role involves strong understanding of the skills and concepts of observation and documentation of learning processes, collaborative action research strategies, mentoring and coaching to support professional development of teachers, and ability to support and develop systems of communication and participation with families and community in early childhood settings.

ECED 5820 Creating Learning Environments (3)

This course is designed for early childhood, elementary and special education teachers who are interested in examining the human and physical elements that shape the learning environment and exploring ways to intentionally organize and use these elements to enhance the living and learning experiences of young children. The learning environment will be viewed from multiple perspectives: As a reflection of beliefs and values; as a strategy for teaching and learning; as a forum to empower the community of learners; as a tool for teacher research and student assessment; and as an arena for ongoing professional inquiry.

ECED 5830 Topics in Early Learning

These courses are designed for educators who work with children from birth through age eight and/or their parents. Additional topics will be added as developments occur in the field of early learning and as teachers who are working in this area indicate their interests and concerns. This course number may be repeated for credit with different topic designations. Examples of offerings in this area are:

  • Administration of Early Childhood Programs (3)

    This course introduces students to crucial issues in administering early childhood programs. These include public policy and regulation, management theory and leadership styles, new program development, protection of children in and out of home care, quality and affordability, staff development and supervision, and legal issues.
  • Art and the Young Child (3)

    This course emphasizes art as a natural form of communication for the young child. Current research on art for the young child will be studied and discussed. We will review the effectiveness of the teacher as facilitator in art activities for children, and explore ways to incorporate art into the basic curriculum. As a class we will discover resources for supplies and ideas, and reflect on our present art activities.
  • Assessment for Intervention of Infants and Young Children (3)
    This is an introductory course for students interested in working with infants, young children, and their families to adapt curriculum to meet their special challenges and develop to the fullest potential. The interrelationships between curriculum and assessment provide a framework of study.  Authentic assessment strategies are emphasized, as well as, using strategies to recognize special needs and monitor progress; engaging in collaborative goal setting through team approaches; using assessment information to plan adaptations in all developmental domains; and developing individualized intervention plans and programs. Curricular topics include forming partnerships with families; preparing the way for successful inclusion; arranging the environment to maximize learning; embedding teaching and learning opportunities within inclusive settings; encouraging developmental play behavior; and providing a variety of activities to accomplish outcomes.
  • Early Childhood Issues (3)

    Students will thoughtfully and critically examine major issues, trends, controversies, and challenges in early childhood education, surrounding practices policies, and professional development. They will gain in-depth knowledge of the key dimensions of a chosen topic by conducting an individual analysis grounded in theoretical principles, professional literature, and personal experiences.
  • Early Childhood Special Education Curriculum (3)
    This is an introductory course for students interested in working with infants, young children, and their families to adapt curriculum to meet their special challenges and develop to the fullest potential. The interrelationships between curriculum and assessment provide a framework of study. Curricular topics include forming partnerships with families; preparing the way for successful inclusion; arranging the environment to maximize learning; embedding teaching and learning opportunities within inclusive settings; encouraging developmental play behavior; and providing a variety of activities to accomplish outcomes. Prerequisite: ECED 5460.
  • Infant-Toddler Programming and Development (3)

    This course focuses on development beginning with the fetus and progressing through toddlerhood. Students examine research and developmental theories, with emphasis on the implications in the curriculum for caregiving, play and learning, attachment, partnership with parents, health, safety, and nutrition. This course examines normal infants and toddlers, as well as those with special needs.
  • Program Models in Early Childhood Education (3)

    This course focuses on programs developed for the early childhood and special education population. Students examine philosophy, theoretical framework, curriculum, methodology, role of the teacher, role of the child, service delivery systems, and parent involvement. Students replicate portions of specific models as well as develop teaching strategies that would be characteristic of particular models. Special attention is given to models for mainstreaming the child with special needs.
  • The Young Child as Naturalist (3)

    Through activities and discussions, this course will introduce techniques and experiences that encourage a conservation ethic and nurture environmental awareness in young children. While a survey of environmental themes will be key, emphasis will be placed on the importance of nature education at the early childhood level.

ECED 5840 Issues in Parenting (3)

This course is designed to expose students to the development and use of a variety of effective techniques for interacting with parents of young children. Students explore situations such as parent-teacher conferences, parent meetings, the use of parents as volunteers, and parents as policymakers. Attention also focuses on needs of the single parent, the student parent, parents working outside the home, foster or adoptive parents, and the older parent.

ECED 5850 Practicum in Early Childhood Education (1-4)

This practicum offers a variety of options for placement and foci for learning. Students may participate in programs for infants and toddlers, preschool-age children, kindergarten, early elementary, early childhood special education, or parent education. The learning focus may be on child development, curriculum, applied research, administration, and/or parent education. Prerequisite: permission of the early childhood coordinator. This course may be repeated for credit.

ECED 5860 Cross-Cultural Perspectives in Early Childhood (3)

This course addresses the contributions of diverse cultures within the society of the United States. Students will examine and analyze racism, sexism, ageism, and ability levels with the schools and community. This course will also focus on diversity among groups of people and individuals based on ethnicity, socioeconomic status, family structure, exceptionalities, language, religion, sexual orientation, and geographical area. Early childhood education in different countries and cultures will be discussed and ideas generated about implication for teaching young children.

ECED 5870 Valuing the Expressive Languages in Education (3)

Communicating through varied languages such as drawing, paint, clay, sculpture, dance and music in addition to the spoken and written word can provide new possibilities for expressing learning among children of all ages and abilities. Students in this course will experience and experiment with a myriad of representational and symbolic materials in the ateliers/studios of the Maplewood Richmond Heights Early Childhood Center. The rights of children as unique learners, curriculum design and reflective assessment will be examined. Students will explore, facilitate the use of and document at least one creative language with depth. The work of educators from Reggio Emilia will serve as inspiration.

ECED 5880 Integrating Resources: Community, Schools, and Family (3)

This course is designed to help students identify changing family and community structures, patterns, and relationships. Students determine how these influence children and their educational needs. They study methods of assessing family needs and interests, identifying and utilizing community resources, and responding to family needs through education and partnerships. They review models of consultation and case management in regard to children and families with special needs. They explore and simulate techniques for interacting with parents and examine collaboration strategies for interdisciplinary team efforts.

ECED 5940 Apprentice Teaching: Pre-Primary (6)

Teacher certification candidates only. This course is meant for candidates seeking certification in early childhood education at the pre-primary level. Prerequisites: ECED 5431, 5461, 5462 (practica must be passed with B or better grades); passing score on PRAXIX Exam #20021; and all courses completed. Concurrent registration in ECED 5945 Apprentice Teaching Seminar is required. Apprentice teaching placements will be made in the St. Louis City, St. Louis County, Fox, and Francis Howell School Districts.

ECED 5950 Apprentice Teaching: Primary (Grades 1-3) (6)

Teacher certification candidates only. This course is meant for candidates seeking certification in early childhood education at the primary level. Prerequisites: ECED 5431, 5461, 5462 (practica must be passed with B or better grades); passing score on PRAXIX Exam#20021; and all courses completed. Concurrent registration in ECED 5945 Apprentice Teaching Seminar is required. Apprentice teaching placements will be made in the St. Louis City, St. Louis County, Fox, and Francis Howell School Districts.

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