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Gain a deeper understanding of how to help prepare young minds through study and experience with a master’s in early childhood studies.
Deepen your understanding of the ways diversity affects development and learning in early childhood. Study specific special needs as well as the impact of living in poverty and the effects of stress, violence, and trauma. Learn practical strategies and tools required to work with and teach young children including ways to plan curriculum, create caring and respectful environments, and improve developmental and learning outcomes for every child.
This sequence represents the minimum time to completion. Time to completion will vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 855-646-5286.
The program’s courses are delivered online in a prescribed sequence.
|Course Code||EDUC 6005||Course||Foundations: Early Childhood Studies||Credits||(3 sem. cr.)|
|Course Code||EDUC 6160||Course||Early Childhood Development||Credits||(3 sem. cr.)|
|Course Code||EDUC 6161||Course||Effective Programs and Practices||Credits||(3 sem. cr.)|
|Course Code||EDUC 6162||Course||Issues and Trends in the Early Childhood Field||Credits||(3 sem. cr.)|
|Course Code||EDUC 6163||Course||Building Research Competencies||Credits||(3 sem. cr.)|
|Course Code||EDUC 6164||Course||Perspectives on Diversity and Equity||Credits||(3 sem. cr.)|
|Course Code||EDUC 6165||Course||Communicating and Collaborating in the Early Childhood Field||Credits||(3 sem. cr.)|
In this course, education professionals focus on leadership and professionalism in the early childhood field; analysis of current research; ethical considerations; and multiple theories of child development, teaching, and learning. Education professionals are introduced to the foundation of evidence-based research and decision making, which is interwoven throughout the program. Education professionals also build understanding of the philosophy, requirements, and community of Walden University, the Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership, and the MS in Early Childhood Studies program.
Education professionals in this course critically examine typical and atypical physical, cognitive/language, and social and emotional development. They examine the powerful and important influence of cultural and linguistic diversity on the development of children from the prenatal stage through age 8. They also examine new findings related to the factors that foster and impede healthy development and learning, and they explore how adults can support healthy development. Additionally, education professionals have the opportunity to observe children in a variety of settings to gain practical insight on the developing child in the real world.
Researchers indicate that long-term benefits from early childhood programs result only when the programs are of high quality. In this course, education professionals explore the components essential to program effectiveness, including planning for, improving, and evaluating program quality. They learn research-based, effective practices for promoting learning and development across developmental domains and subject matter areas in children from birth through age 8. Education professionals transfer new knowledge and skills to an authentic context through practical assignments, such as reflective blog posts and real-world observations of professionals in the field.
Leaders in the early childhood field must have in-depth understanding of the critical issues and trends affecting young children, their families, and the field. Education professionals in this course explore changing demographics; political and economic influence on programmatic funding streams; current debates related to school success, effective assessment and the achievement gap; and brain research influence on early development, care, and education from a historical and current perspective. Sharing perspectives and making connections with the professional world, educational professionals post blogs to establish contacts with early childhood professionals; reach out to international contacts in the field to gain an understanding of poverty issues in different regions, issues related to excellence at the forefront of professional discussions, and insights on further development opportunities; and share web resources, such as websites and e-newsletters.
Nearly all professionals benefit from the ability to understand, evaluate, and use research effectively. In this course, education professionals prepare to be knowledgeable consumers of research, understand the language of research, and apply research and inquiry skills to the early childhood field. They engage in a variety of conceptual and application-based assignments focused on building skills in analyzing trends, critically assessing emerging knowledge, and using a variety of tools to access and evaluate research. They also have the opportunity to practice and apply course concepts and theories through research on early childhood research topics of personal or professional interest.
Understanding and respecting the diversity and individuality of every child and family is central to effective practice and at the heart of the early childhood field. Education professionals in this course examine family cultures and their impact on children and programs, and they investigate issues related to access, equity, and social justice. Through assignments designed to provide practical application of content, they also work toward developing an in-depth understanding of the intricacies of diversity, scrutinizing their own biases to effectively work with and advocate for all children and families.
Professionals in the field of early childhood education must engage often with other colleagues, families, agencies, and government officials; therefore, communication and collaboration skills are essential to effective and productive work in the field. Education professionals in this course explore the use of tools and strategies to collaborate with others, such as building relationships, teaming, negotiating, problem-solving, resolving conflicts, and building consensus. They engage in coursework that emphasizes effective practices for working with diverse families, collaboration with colleagues to improve programs and services for children and families, and communication skills needed to advocate and work effectively with agencies and government officials. Through this course, education professionals learn and practice techniques essential to effective one-on-one interactions and group work while deepening their understanding of how cultural responsiveness influences successful communication and collaboration.
|Course Code||EDUC 6357||Course||Diversity, Development, and Learning||Credits||(3 sem. cr.)|
|Course Code||EDUC 6358||Course||Strategies for Working With Diverse Children||Credits||(3 sem. cr.)|
|Course Code||EDUC 6990||Course||Capstone: Practical Application in the Early Childhood Field||Credits||(3 sem. cr.)|
Diversity can have a profound influence on children’s development and learning. Education professionals in this course explore areas of diversity, including developmental and learning needs, such as English-language learners, children on the autism spectrum, and children with developmental delays. They also address the impact of living in poverty and experiencing stress/violence/trauma in the context of families, early childhood settings, and school classrooms. Applying course concepts, education professionals engage in practical exercises through which they reflect on their own perspectives and biases and learn the complex ways families influence their children. Moreover, they learn the importance of using current research and resources to improve developmental and learning outcomes for every child.
Working with children and families who have diverse developmental and learning needs requires not only a deep understanding of and respect for the individual child but also research-based knowledge of effective practices, strategies, and services. Through this course, education professionals develop and assess practical strategies and tools needed in educational settings to plan curriculum, teach, assess, and, if necessary, refer young children. They learn to use knowledge of children's unique characteristics to help create respectful, supportive, and challenging environments and experiences that foster healthy development and learning.
Through the master's capstone experience, education professionals are provided an opportunity to integrate and apply learning to real-world situations, issues, or problems. Education professionals choose a field project, issue, or problem related to their specialization that is of sufficient scope to enable them to apply theories, concepts, and practices from across their prior coursework. All other courses.)