Early Childhood Education Program Requirements featured image background

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The Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education has been paused and is not currently accepting new students.

Program Requirements

Students completing the requirements for a major in early childhood education will be prepared as competent, respectful, and reflective professionals who are dedicated to serving diverse learning communities. This major leads to teacher licensure and students must also complete the 18-semester hour endorsement in English as a Second Language (ESL). Learn more about the ESL endorsement.

To be admitted to this major, students must be accepted to North Park University and also meet the teacher education program admission requirements.

Major Requirements

41 hours of education courses
18 hour ESL endorsement
120 total hours for graduation

Academic Catalog  Core Curriculum

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Course Descriptions

The following descriptions are a sample of courses you may take as an education major. For a complete list of required courses, please review the academic catalog.

This course is an introduction to the teaching profession. Topics covered include historical, philosophical, contemporary, and ethical perspectives on education as well as social and cultural expectations in teaching. In this introductory course, students are informed on the appropriate role of technology; state and national standards; policies governing education at the national, state, and local level; and careers and organizations related to teaching and education. This course also introduces students to state licensure requirements.

Intensive study of developmental theory and research related to physical, cognitive, psychosocial, and faith development in infants and children. An experiential learning component is included.

Study of the psychological aspects of human behavior and development applied to teaching and learning processes, including learning theories, motivation, and classroom management.

Basic principles of curriculum including, planning, organizing and developing lesson plans in relation to the individual learner, the school, and the society are discussed. Historical developments and recent innovations in school curriculum, lesson planning and preparation, and instructional delivery will be analyzed. Emphasis is on planning and preparation of lesson plans according to the School of Education lesson plan template aligned with the Danielson Domains, edTPA, Illinois Learning Standards and Common Core Standards. Needs of multi-cultural and special needs students are addressed. Electronic professional portfolios will be developed.

This course introduces students to research-based instructional strategies along with basic principles and practices of classroom assessment. Special attention will be given to differentiated instruction, maximizing student engagement and learning, formative and summative assessment practices, and the use of data in classroom decision-making.

As the first literacy method course in the elementary education program, this course prepares pre-service teachers to demonstrate the knowledge of balanced literacy in relation to reading, writing, speaking, and listening in primary grades. This course emphasizes emergent literacy, theoretical models, approaches to teaching, selecting children's literature, state and national standards, and designing instruction. Field experience with the children of the age group will be required for the course.

Emphasis on theory, methodology, strategies, and principles of instruction related to reading, language arts, and social science in grades Kindergarten through grade four.

This course provides the pre-service teacher candidate opportunities to develop understanding of how elementary children think about and learn mathematics. Teacher candidates will engage in mathematical tasks and study research on how elementary children best learn mathematics. Course content includes focused analysis on the NCTM Principles and Standards and the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics. Candidates will learn how to engage elementary students in authentic and meaningful mathematical experiences that align to national and state standards, incorporate effective instructional strategies supportive of student mathematical reasoning and problem solving, and develop student's ability to communicate to others mathematically. This course includes a required field experience.

Survey of the psychology of the identification of, and the methods of instruction for the exceptional child, including the learning disabled, with special emphasis on characteristics and methods of instruction for cross-categorical special education students.

As the first clinical experience course in the Teacher Education Program, this course requires teacher candidates to observe and teacher aide in a classroom in order to demonstrate an understanding of the classroom environment along with instructional and assessment practices. Teacher Aiding experiences include focused reflection on Danielson's Framework for Teaching and edTPA. Candidates take this clinical twice.

Methods of dealing with the development of language in young children. The emphasis is on speaking and listening skills, and preparation for reading and writing skills.

Introduction to language and literacy development of young children related to reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. Emphasis will be on the knowledge of alphabetic code, phonics, vocabulary, reading comprehension, fluency, organization of print, writing, and use of both narrative and informative text. The students will create instructional units that apply goals, learning standards, instructional strategies, and assessments to facilitate literacy and language development.

Methods and techniques of teaching socialization, art, music, and physical education to the young child along with the materials available and appropriate for the infant and young child.

This first instruction course explores developmentally appropriate approaches, methods, instructional strategies, and assessment for teaching fine arts, health, U.S. history, and geography appropriate to early childhood. The course will also emphasize SEL management skills and communication in classrooms. Creating units based on the understanding of the interrelationships in social sciences will be included.

Methods and techniques of teaching mathematical, social, and scientific concepts to young children. The relation of learning theories to the selection process. Diagnostic and evaluation techniques and procedures.

This second instruction course prepares pre-service teachers to gain knowledge on mathematics and science content, instructional methods, and resources to teach early childhood. In mathematics, the emphasis is on emergent knowledge of numbers and operation, algebriac thinking, measurement of data and basic geometry. In science, the focus is on scientific inquiry on principles and knowledge of interrelationships among science. The pre-service teachers are expected to create, design, implement, and assess units that reflect the content.

Mini-teachers meet regularly with School of Education faculty to share and reflect on the experience and prepare for the edTPA. There will be a minimum of 35 hours of mini-teaching in a local school in connection with methods courses. The student must meet the required grade point average and have a receipt by the School of Education of meeting the Illinois basic skills requirement.

Exploration of the role families and community services play in the education of young children. Teacher candidates will identify social, economic, and cultural trends that impact families of young children and will develop strategies to communicate with families to disseminate information regarding school and community services.

Exploration of the role families, schools, and community services play in the education of young children. The course will examine the social, economic, medical, financial and cultural trends that impact the partnership with families of all young children. The students will be required to design family workshops and find resources to involve family, school and community in the development and assessment of young children.

This course examines diversity in the classroom with attention to the linguistic, cultural, academic and cognitive dimensions of student development and learning. This course will also examine the instructional planning, instructional strategies and culturally responsive practices for diverse learners. Consideration will be given to the ways racial-ethnic segregation, ESL, bilingual, bicultural, and special education programs have impacted schools and their communities.

Supervised observation and teaching in an appropriate educational facility. Early Childhood teacher candidates must complete five weeks each in 4100 and 4110. The candidate must meet the required grade and GPA requirement, pass the state content-area test, and be fully admitted into the Teacher Education program prior to beginning student teaching.

Supervised observation and teaching in the elementary school. Early Childhood teacher candidates must also complete five weeks in grades 1-3 (4sh). Elementary Education teacher candidates must complete ten weeks in grades 2-4 (8 sh). K-12 majors must complete eight weeks in grades 1-8 (6sh) and eight weeks in EDUC 4120, grades 6-12 (6sh). The candidate must meet the required grade and GPA requirement, pass the state content-area test, and be fully admitted into the Teacher Education program prior to beginning student teaching.

As the capstone course in the teacher education program, this course enables students to create personal syntheses of their educational experiences as university students and as future educators. Students will develop their own philosophy of teaching. Students will assemble professional portfolios and prepare for teacher certification. Part of Professional Term D. Co-requisite: EDUC 4100, 4110, or 4120.

The purpose of this course is to observe and assist a teacher in an ESL school setting for a minimum total of 100 clock hours. The requirements for this course may also be met through certification of three months of teaching experience with ESL students. Only those who have verification by a principal or other administrators of three months of teaching ESL students prior to entering the program may take this for no credit. To be taken at the end of the five-course ESL course sequence.

Introduction to the basic principles of linguistics, the study of human language. Origins of language; what it means to know a language; comparisons of the difficulty levels of different languages; how children acquire language and common threads that may connect languages will be explored.

Exploration of various aspects of the relationship between language and society. Culture, sex differences, communities, dialects, and speech will be examined.

Philosophical and theoretical considerations for teaching a second language. An explanation of theories as well as comparisons among the different theories of teaching a second language will be explored. The student will build a personal framework for teaching a second language. Kindergarten through high school student populations will be the focus of attention including design and sequencing of ESL courses.

Assessment techniques of ESL students. Different types of assessment instruments, the theoretical viewpoints of these instruments, and testing procedures in general will be discussed. Assessment of all levels of proficiency and grade levels will be considered.

Introduction to the various methods of teaching a second language in K-12 based on the philosophies and theories that were presented in 3603. Strategies used when working with ESL or second language students and exposure to the issues of multicultural diversity and socioeconomic diversity.

This course provides the current research and theories forming the foundation of bilingual education. It examines and reviews the historical, legal, philosophical, theoretical, pedagogical, and political issues concerning bilingual education programs in the United States. It also analyzes the linguistic, psychological, social, and cultural underpinnings of current practices in the field and cultivates multicultural perspectives.

This course introduces various models, philosophies, and theoretical underpinnings of bilingual education for language minority students. It provides and prepares the participants with the theoretical basis, methods, and techniques needed for effective teaching in bilingual/bicultural classrooms.