The Catholic University of America

Early Childhood - Undergraduate

General Program Information

Candidates who wish to teach young children in prekindergarten, kindergarten, and Grades 1st - 3rd should major in early childhood education.  This area of specialization combines the required general and professional coursework with exposure to a variety of educational settings, different professionals in the field, and a wide range of children at the early childhood school level.  Candidates engage in field experiences that include observational site-visits, tutoring opportunities, two practicum placements, and a full-time student teaching experience.  These field experiences are structured so that candidates have opportunities to apply what they learn in class to real teaching situations.  (For more information on this see Field Experience tab).

Using CUA's conceptual framework, this concentration emphasizes the development of a reflective stance towards teaching in early childhood settings.  The ability to reflect independently on teaching practice and educational contexts is essential at this level.  Early childhood school teachers typically spend the workday in one room with the same group of students.  They are constantly engaged in student interactions, problem solving, and decision making with limited support available from other professionals or resources.  These circumstances could result in isolated, routine, and haphazard behavior.  CUA's goal is to prepare dynamic, creative, and stimulating individuals who can overcome the institutional and occupational constraints that early childhood school teachers face and who are willing and able to collaborate with other professionals in order to satisfy the educational needs of every student under their care.

Concentration in early childhood education offers a combination of a strong liberal arts education, research and field-based professional preparation, an emphasis on computer literacy and technological awareness, and a commitment to serving children with special needs in multi-cultural classrooms.  Additionally, early childhood education majors take two additional courses to prepare them for an early childhood education license in DC.  In EDUC 341, Curriculum and Instruction in Early Childhood Education, candidates learn ab out content areas and instructional strategies in early childhood education including language arts, science, mathematics, social studies, art, and music.  In EDUC 342, Models of Early Childhood Education, candidates learn about the history of and current issues in early childhood education with emphasis on different curricular approaches and on understanding young children's characteristics and needs in additiob to multiple interacting influences on development and learning.

Early childhood education candidates' program of studies includes CUA's general education requirements, professional education courses required by the certifying authorities in most states, and a teaching specialization.  General education requirements fall under three cognate areas: social sciences, math/natural sciences, and humanities/literature.  CUA has additional general education requirements in philosophy, religion, and foreign languages.  This program generally takes candidates eight semesters to complete.  Recommended courses for early childhood education candidates' distribution requirement are included under the tab entitled Program of Studies.

For additional information, contact Dr. Kathryn Bojczyk: bojczyk@cua.edu

 

Recommended Program of Studies - Undergraduate Early Childhood Education Program

FALL SPRING SUMMER
FIRST YEAR
LANG 103 LANG 104  
PHIL 201 PHIL 202  
U.S. HISTORY PHYS 240 (spring only)  
TRS 201 or ENG 101 or 105 TRS 201 or ENG 101 or 105  
LIT or MATH 168 or 187 LIT or MATH 168 or 187  
EDUC 101 (1CR.) - optional  EDUC 101 (1CR.) - optional  
SECOND YEAR
TRS 357A (fall only) MATH 187/168
     (remaining course not taken before)
HIST (non-U.S.)
PHIL (area I/II)*
     (choose one)
PHIL (area II/I)*
     (remaining area not taken before)
 
EDUC 251/261/271
     (1,2 or 3 courses)
EDUC 251/261/271
     (remaining courses not taken in fall)
 
CHEM 125/126/202
     (choose one)
ANTH 101/SOC 101
     (choose one)
 
MUS 460 (fall only)  ENG 326  
THIRD YEAR
EDUC 341 or 342 (alternate falls) TRS  
EDUC 381 (fall or spring) EDUC 320 (spring only)  
EDUC 311 (fall only) EDUC 321 (spring only)  
EDUC 312 (fall only) EDUC 323 (spring only)  
EDUC 313 (fall only) EDUC 324 (spring only)  
EDUC 301 (fall only)
     (1-credit practicum)
EDUC 302 (spring only)
     (1-credit practicum)
 
FOURTH YEAR
EDUC 401,402,403
     (12-cr Student Teaching)
     (register for all courses)
TRS  

EDUC 400
     (1-cr Reflective Teaching Tutorial)

BIO 102/103/104
     (choose one)
 
 EDUC 341 or 342 (alternate falls) LIT  
  HIST (non-U.S.)  
  ART or DRAMA
     (choose one)
 
     
   
*One course in Area I and one course in Area II for Philosophy are required.
  1.  Candidates are required to meet with their advisor every semester to ensure they register for the appropriate courses to fulfill all program requirements on time.
  2. Candidates have the option to over-elect (take a 6th course if their GPA is at least 3.0) or take a summer course to complete all courses on time.
  3. The junior- and senior-level education courses need to be taken in the given sequence; however there is more flexibility in terms of scheduling the other distribution requirements (general education courses).  Please note that the sophomore classes (EDUC 251, 261 and 271) can be taken in any order.
  4. This sequence presumes the candidate will begin studying language at the intermediate level.
  5. Early childhood candidates usually student teach in the fall.  However, the senior spring semester is an option for those who have a conflict (e.g., with competitive sport seasons).
  6. Candidates are strongly discouraged from taking any additional courses while student teaching.
  7. Check early when courses are offered.  Make a four-year plan through the senior year with the program advisor, especially for Fall only, Spring only, and Fall cycled courses.
  8. Volunteer work in schools is encouraged in the first two years.

Minors

Candidates can obtain the form to declare their minor from the Dean's office (107 McMahon).  Once the form is completed, candidates must meet with their minor and major advisor to plan their program of studies for a timely graduation.

Early Childhood Education Majors - can minor in many disciplines, such as religion, philosophy, language, music, art, biology, chemistry, drama, history and others.  See the undergraduate list of minors for a complete list of minors and their requirements.

Arts & Sciences Majors - can minor in Early Childhood Education.  In order to get a minor in Early Childhood Education, students must declare the minor in Early Childhood Education in the dean's office (107 McMahon) and take the following courses:

Required Courses
EDUC 251 Foundations of Education
EDUC 261 Human Growth and Development
EDUC 271 (formerly 361) Psychology of Education
EDUC 342 (formerly 583) Models in Early Childhood Education
Recommended courses (choose two)
EDUC 422 (formerly 522)
     (offered only in fall)
Race, Class, Gender, and Disability in Education
EDUC 311 (formerly 576)
     (offered only in fall)
Children's Literature in Curriculum
EDUC 381 (formerly 581)
     (offered only in fall)
Educating Diverse Learners
EDUC 313 (formerly 555)

Classroom Management for Regular and Special Needs Children

*Requires Education department approval and
concurrent enrollment in 1-credit practicum EDUC 301 (formerly 561)
(Practicum Early Childhood/Elementary Education)
with opportunity to observe and work with children.

 Policies on Arts & Sciences minors can be found here.

Advising

Candidates are required to meet with their advisor every semester to ensure they register for the appropriate courses to fulfill all program requirements on time.  Candidates should never take a class that does not fulfill a distribution requirement on the tracking sheet without advisor permission.  Candidates should use the "click to view" function on the tracking sheet to select from courses.  If a course, a candidate is interested in, is not listed, the candidates should contact his/her advisor.

The following courses have been specifically designed for elementary education majors:

ANTHROPOLOGY

ANTH 101 Introduction: Cultures in Global Society
ANTH 110 Speech & Experience: The Anthropology of Language
ANTH 270 The Information Society
ANTH 335 Latinos and Latinas in the US
ANTH 354 Landscapes & Settlements (for geography requirement)

  BIOLOGY

BIOL 102 Teaching Science at the Elementary Level
BIOL 103 General Biology I
BIOL 104 General Biology II

CHEMISTRY

CHEM 125 Chemistry in Our Lives
CHEM 126 Chemistry in Modern Times
CHEM 202 Science Under Oath

  ENGLISH

ENG 205 The Literature of Fantasy

MATHEMATICS

MATH 168 Mathematics in the Modern World
MATH 187 Introduction to Mathematical Thought

 MUSIC

MUS 460 Music in the Early Childhood and Elementary Instruction

PHYSICS

PHYS 240 Sun and Earth: Concepts & Connections

 THEOLOGY

TRS 357A Jesus the Teacher: Parables, Proverbs and Metaphors

 

Field Experience

Candidates are expected to start visiting schools at the beginning of their program.  During the freshman year, all undergraduate candidates are encouraged to take EDUC 101: Introduction to Teaching.  In this course, candidates work in small groups to examine as much of a particular school functioning as possible.  Observing students, interviewing faculty, and touring facilities all provide data to allow reflection and comparison among schools.

Site visits are also an important part of EDUC 251: Foundations of Education.  Candidates visit different schools selected to provide exposure to an array of school settings.  The purpose of these visits is to give candidates the opportunity to learn how different types of schools are organized and to observe teachers working with students in a variety of teaching situations.  Candidates record their observations while touring school facilities and interacting with school professionals and students.  They prepare written reflections after each site visit focusing on the identification of specific instances related to the elements of the learning environment.  They use the conceptual framework (three modes of deliberation and dilemma language) to discuss schooling dilemmas they observe and the implications of teachers' decisions for practice.

In EDUC 261: Human Growth and Development, candidates continue to observe students of various ages in various settings.  Based on observational data, candidates relate theory to understanding of human development in real-life settings.

Tutorial Program

Early childhood edcation candidates participate in a tutoring program when they take EDUC 271: Psychology of Education.  Candidates travel to neighborhood schools to provide remedial help for students primarily in mathematics and reading.  Tutors work with small groups or individual students on skills specified by the classroom teacher.  Candidates complete journal entries on the basis of tutoring interactions and reflect on their ability to integrate theory learned in class into instructional practice.

Practicum

Early childhood education majors must demonstrate their ability to work effectively in supervised field experiences in different settings.  They part in regular practicum experiences both in the fall and spring semesters of their junior year.  The goal of all these more advanced interactions is to have the candidates practice newly learned methods in a comfortable setting, use problem solving and reflective analysis of classroom situations, and actively participate in the teaching/learning process.  The practicum experiences are designed to work hand-in-hand with the assignments in the associated methods courses and are scaffolded to help candidates prepare for the student teaching capstone experience.

For practicum experiences early childhood education majors are placed in preschool, kindergarten and lower elementary (1st-3rd) grades and attend a weekly practicum seminar.  In the first professional semester, in EDUC 301, candidates intern for two mornings a week in the same classroom.  Candidates are exposed to the daily routines of classroom life and have opportunities to develop their own classroom presence.  During the second professional semester, in EDUC 302, candidates intern for one full-day and one-half day a week with their cooperating teacher.  Concurrent class work in major methods courses requires that candidates plan and implement an interdisciplinary unit.  Candidates must demonstrate their ability to work effectively for a total of at least 300 clock hours in supervised field experiences in at least two different settings, serving children of two different age groups and with varying abilities.