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Explore our EdD Early Childhood Education specialization

The early childhood field brings together families, professionals, programs, and agencies that influence every aspect of children’s lives, from prenatal development through age 8. Our Doctor of Education (EdD) with a specialization in Early Childhood Education can prepare you to foster positive outcomes for young children and their families in roles such as early childhood teacher, teacher educator, researcher, policy maker, and other positions working with young children, families, and communities.

Throughout the program, you will explore the complex familial, cultural, societal, and developmental influences that affect child development and learning. You will critically review current research in the field on topics such as child development, family partnerships, content knowledge, assessment, effective practices, leadership, and advocacy. Using real-world case studies and innovative technology, you will examine the quality of early childhood programs and policies, implement strategies to promote positive outcomes for young children, and evaluate the leadership characteristics necessary to implement effective change. The individual doctoral study process allows you to pursue original research in an effort to effect positive social change for children, families, and the early childhood field.

PROGRAM SAVINGS

Receive your first course at no cost if you reside in the U.S. and start this program on November 30, 2020. Contact one of our enrollment specialists to learn more.

Get Started Now

Curriculum

Minimum Degree Requirements

  • 79 quarter credits*
  • 1 face-to-face residency
  • Doctoral Writing Assessment (0 cr.)

Walden students have up to 8 years to complete their doctoral program unless they petition for an extension.

In general, students are continuously registered in the dissertation/doctoral study course until they complete their capstone project and it is approved. This usually takes longer than the minimum required terms in the dissertation/doctoral study course shell.

To complete a doctoral dissertation/doctoral study, students must obtain the academic approval of several independent evaluators including their committee, the University Research Reviewer, and the Institutional Review Board; pass the Form and Style Review; gain approval at the oral defense stage; and gain final approval by the Chief Academic Officer. Students must also publish their dissertation on ProQuest before their degree is conferred. Learn more about the dissertation/doctoral study process in the Dissertation Guidebook.

This sequence represents the minimum time to completion. For a personalized estimate of the number of your transfer credits that Walden would accept, call an Enrollment Specialist at 855-646-5286.

To satisfy these completion requirements, you must have access to a school or learning environment that has early childhood education programming.

Courses

Course Code Title Credits

FOUNDATION COURSE

Choose one course from the following two courses:

EDDD 8002

Leading the Future of Education

As an advanced graduate student, you are about to embark on one of the most exciting journeys of your life. This practical course provides meaningful skills you will need to select your path, complete your degree, and become a successful leader of educational change in the 21st century. Networking and research skills, scholarly writing, critical thinking, use of Walden resources, and the three advanced graduate paths (e.g., PhD, EdD, EdS)—this course addresses all of these in a manner that provides a solid foundation of skill sets upon which to base your journey. You will find a balance of assignments (e.g., case studies, discussions, application assignments) that will ignite your passion for learning, allow you to collaborate with others, and guide your current and future work. This course is designed to reflect Walden's social change mission and provide you with meaningful tools for success as an advanced graduate student.

(5 cr.)
EDDD 8006

Leading the Future of Education

As an advanced graduate student, you are about to embark on one of the most exciting journeys of your life. This practical course provides meaningful skills you will need to select your path, complete your degree, and become a successful leader of educational change in the 21st century. Networking and research skills, scholarly writing, critical thinking, use of Walden resources, and the three advanced graduate paths (e.g., PhD, EdD, EdS)—this course addresses all of these in a manner that provides a solid foundation of skill sets upon which to base your journey. You will find a balance of assignments (e.g., case studies, discussions, application assignments) that will ignite your passion for learning, allow you to collaborate with others, and guide your current and future work. This course is designed to reflect Walden's social change mission and provide you with meaningful tools for success as an advanced graduate student.

(5 cr.)

CORE COURSES

EDDD 8080

Child Development in the Critical Early Years

Effective early childhood professionals know that respectful relationships with families provide the foundation for supporting young children's healthy development. Candidates examine key developmental stages, from prenatal experiences to the early school years. Education professionals explore child development theory, current research in neuroscience, and social-emotional development across the early childhood years, with a special emphasis on the significant role families play in fostering healthy development. Current thinking from the fields of psychology, science, and education are integrated with global perspectives on child development. Educators apply their knowledge to promote positive developmental outcomes for young children and their families. 

(5 cr.)
EDDD 8081

The Language/Literacy Continuum From Birth Through Age 8

How does language affect the young child's ability to think, communicate, and learn? In this course, educators explore the language and linguistic development of young children. Education professionals focus on theories of language acquisition; the nature and function of language; the relationship between language and cognition; the developmental stages of language and literacy; and the critical role of families, communities, and educators in fostering language and literacy development from birth through age 8. Education professionals examine current research and ways early childhood professionals can support language and literacy learning for all children across the early childhood spectrum. 

(5 cr.)
RSCH 8110

Research Theory, Design, and Methods

In this research course, students are provided with core knowledge and skills for understanding, analyzing, and designing research at the graduate level. Students explore the philosophy of science, the role of theory, and research processes. Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods research designs and data collection methods are introduced. The alignment of research components is emphasized. Students also explore ethical and social change implications of designing and conducting research. Students demonstrate their knowledge and skills by developing an annotated bibliography. (Prerequisite(s): RESI 8401.)

(5 cr.)
EDDD 8113

Tools for Doctoral Research Success

Education professionals seeking the Doctor of Education (EdD) degree are required to make an original contribution to the field of education. The purpose of this course is to help educators begin that process by introducing them to the steps for developing the components of the dissertation—its timeline and available resources. Education professionals examine and analyze selected research to identify questions addressing a specific gap in the existing research literature, the framework and methodology, and other key components necessary to create scholarly research. They also explore resources such as the Writing Center and library, as well as specific tools they can use to complete the dissertation.

(3 cr.)
EDDD 8082

Meaningful Learning Experiences in Supportive Environments

What does excellence look like in early childhood settings? What are varying perspectives on excellence in early childhood education throughout the world? What are the common elements of learning experiences and environments that provide meaning, inspire curiosity, offer safety, and encourage children to thrive? By examining the research, candidates explore current issues and trends in early childhood education such as the inclusion of national standards, project-based learning, looping, technology, and the role of play in fostering healthy development and learning. Education professionals also explore the role of families in supporting children's learning at home and in early childhood settings as well as how to build effective partnerships with families.

(5 cr.)
RSCH 8210

Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis

In this research course, students are provided with the opportunity to develop core knowledge and skills for designing and carrying out quantitative research at the doctoral level, including the application of statistical concepts and techniques. Students explore classical common statistical tests, the importance of the logic of inference, and social change implications of conducting quantitative research and producing knowledge. Students approach statistics from a problem-solving perspective with emphasis on selecting appropriate statistical tests for a research design. Students use statistical software to derive statistics from quantitative data and interpret and present results. (Prerequisite(s): RSCH 8110 or RSCH 7110 or RSCH 6110, and RESI 8401.)

(5 cr.)
EDDD 8083

Assessment Practices to Promote Healthy Development and Learning

How can early childhood professionals ensure that assessment not only evaluates development and learning but also promotes children's growth? What kinds of assessments are appropriate and effective for very young children as well as those throughout the primary grades? Educators explore formative, summative, formal, and informal assessment as well as the use of these assessments to promote development and guide teaching and learning. Education professionals reflect on the many ways they use assessment on a daily basis, and discuss strategies for communicating assessment processes and results. Educators review current research regarding culturally responsive assessments, assistive technology, and international perspectives. 

(5 cr.)
EDDD 8084

Evaluating and Supporting Early Childhood Programs

Researchers indicate that high-quality early childhood programs result in long-term positive outcomes for children. Early childhood professionals have a deep understanding of the developmental domains and content areas of early childhood. Based on this understanding, educators use professional accreditation standards to evaluate the effectiveness of early childhood programs. Professionals learn how to evaluate programs for research-based, effective practices that promote healthy development and learning from birth through age 8. Specific focus is placed on effective practice related to management policies and procedures, teacher qualifications, family engagement, and community involvement.

(5 cr.)
RSCH 8310

Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis

Students in this research course are provided with the opportunity to develop basic knowledge and skills for conducting qualitative research at the doctoral level. Students explore the nature of qualitative inquiry, how theory and theoretical and conceptual frameworks uniquely apply to qualitative research, data collection procedures and analysis strategy, and how the role of the researcher is expressed in the ethical and rigorous conduct of qualitative research. Students practice collecting, organizing, analyzing, and presenting data, and they develop a detailed research topic for conducting a qualitative study. (Prerequisite(s): RSCH 8110 or RSCH 7110 or RSCH 6110, and RESI 8401.)

(5 cr.)
EDDD 8114

Demystifying Doctoral Writing for Research

Education professionals expand their knowledge of the dissertation process by reviewing tools, resources, and sample dissertations as they focus on the alignment among the identified problem, purpose, framework, research question(s), and study design. Education professionals use tools, including the appropriate rubrics and checklists, to narrow the focus of their research topic, plan a comprehensive literature review, and begin to develop their prospectus.

(3 cr.)
EDDD 8085

Inspired Leadership, Informed Advocacy, and Improved Policy

What are the dispositions and responsibilities needed to be an effective professional in the early childhood field? Early childhood leaders exemplify the values and ethics of the field, act as advocates for children and families, and lead initiatives to improve policy and effect positive social change. In this course, education professionals study leadership theory, advocacy strategies, and early childhood policy systems. Educators explore multiple leadership roles in the early childhood field, analyze leadership qualities and traits, reflect on professional growth, and continue to refine research interests. Educators are challenged to be innovative and transformative future thinkers who are deeply committed to the well-being of young children and families.

(5 cr.)
EDDD 8910

Completing the Prospectus

Nearly all doctoral-level programs require capstone projects that necessitate knowledge of conducting research, including how to develop an appropriate research plan. In this course, educators utilize knowledge from previous courses to develop their prospectus—a brief document that provides preliminary information about their capstone research to serve as a plan for developing the research proposal. They engage in a logical progression from topic conception to prospectus completion. They learn how to take their individualized topic and identify the research problem, purpose of their study, conceptual framework, and appropriate research design, while also examining the concepts of feasibility and overall alignment of study components. Educators will practice evaluating their work using the same guides and rubrics used by faculty.

(3 cr.)
EDDD 8990

Completing the Doctoral Capstone

Nearly all doctoral-level programs require capstone projects that necessitate independent application of requisite knowledge on conducting research based on close interaction with, guidance from, and supervision by an institution-approved committee. Students in each EdD program specialization are supported in the completion of their doctoral capstone in this course. The EdD doctoral study process is composed of several stages and requires levels of approval—prospectus, proposal, IRB, final study, form and style, and chief academic officer (CAO). Students develop and support a doctoral-level research problem and review related literature to develop a framework for the study. They learn how to move from a research problem to the purpose of the study, the framework, and then an appropriate design while examining the concepts of feasibility and overall alignment of study components. Students consider ethical feasibility issues as related to their capstone development and proceed to data collection and analysis. They finalize the capstone with an oral defense, appropriately presenting results and outcomes of the research, as well as implications for positive social change.Students take this course for a minimum of four quarters and are continuously enrolled until completion of their dissertation with final chief academic officer (CAO) approval.To complete a dissertation, students must obtain the academic approval of several independent evaluators including their committee, the University Research Reviewer, and the Institutional Review Board; pass the Form and Style Review; gain approval at the oral defense stage; and gain final approval by the chief academic officer. Students must also publish their dissertation on ProQuest before their degree is conferred. Learn more about the dissertation process in the Dissertation Guidebook.

(5 cr. per term for a minimum of 4 quarters until completion)
EDDD 8990

Completing the Doctoral Capstone

Nearly all doctoral-level programs require capstone projects that necessitate independent application of requisite knowledge on conducting research based on close interaction with, guidance from, and supervision by an institution-approved committee. Students in each EdD program specialization are supported in the completion of their doctoral capstone in this course. The EdD doctoral study process is composed of several stages and requires levels of approval—prospectus, proposal, IRB, final study, form and style, and chief academic officer (CAO). Students develop and support a doctoral-level research problem and review related literature to develop a framework for the study. They learn how to move from a research problem to the purpose of the study, the framework, and then an appropriate design while examining the concepts of feasibility and overall alignment of study components. Students consider ethical feasibility issues as related to their capstone development and proceed to data collection and analysis. They finalize the capstone with an oral defense, appropriately presenting results and outcomes of the research, as well as implications for positive social change.Students take this course for a minimum of four quarters and are continuously enrolled until completion of their dissertation with final chief academic officer (CAO) approval.To complete a dissertation, students must obtain the academic approval of several independent evaluators including their committee, the University Research Reviewer, and the Institutional Review Board; pass the Form and Style Review; gain approval at the oral defense stage; and gain final approval by the chief academic officer. Students must also publish their dissertation on ProQuest before their degree is conferred. Learn more about the dissertation process in the Dissertation Guidebook.

(5 cr. per term for a minimum of 4 quarters until completion)
EDDD 8990

Completing the Doctoral Capstone

Nearly all doctoral-level programs require capstone projects that necessitate independent application of requisite knowledge on conducting research based on close interaction with, guidance from, and supervision by an institution-approved committee. Students in each EdD program specialization are supported in the completion of their doctoral capstone in this course. The EdD doctoral study process is composed of several stages and requires levels of approval—prospectus, proposal, IRB, final study, form and style, and chief academic officer (CAO). Students develop and support a doctoral-level research problem and review related literature to develop a framework for the study. They learn how to move from a research problem to the purpose of the study, the framework, and then an appropriate design while examining the concepts of feasibility and overall alignment of study components. Students consider ethical feasibility issues as related to their capstone development and proceed to data collection and analysis. They finalize the capstone with an oral defense, appropriately presenting results and outcomes of the research, as well as implications for positive social change.Students take this course for a minimum of four quarters and are continuously enrolled until completion of their dissertation with final chief academic officer (CAO) approval.To complete a dissertation, students must obtain the academic approval of several independent evaluators including their committee, the University Research Reviewer, and the Institutional Review Board; pass the Form and Style Review; gain approval at the oral defense stage; and gain final approval by the chief academic officer. Students must also publish their dissertation on ProQuest before their degree is conferred. Learn more about the dissertation process in the Dissertation Guidebook.

(5 cr. per term for a minimum of 4 quarters until completion)
EDDD 8990

Completing the Doctoral Capstone

Nearly all doctoral-level programs require capstone projects that necessitate independent application of requisite knowledge on conducting research based on close interaction with, guidance from, and supervision by an institution-approved committee. Students in each EdD program specialization are supported in the completion of their doctoral capstone in this course. The EdD doctoral study process is composed of several stages and requires levels of approval—prospectus, proposal, IRB, final study, form and style, and chief academic officer (CAO). Students develop and support a doctoral-level research problem and review related literature to develop a framework for the study. They learn how to move from a research problem to the purpose of the study, the framework, and then an appropriate design while examining the concepts of feasibility and overall alignment of study components. Students consider ethical feasibility issues as related to their capstone development and proceed to data collection and analysis. They finalize the capstone with an oral defense, appropriately presenting results and outcomes of the research, as well as implications for positive social change.Students take this course for a minimum of four quarters and are continuously enrolled until completion of their dissertation with final chief academic officer (CAO) approval.To complete a dissertation, students must obtain the academic approval of several independent evaluators including their committee, the University Research Reviewer, and the Institutional Review Board; pass the Form and Style Review; gain approval at the oral defense stage; and gain final approval by the chief academic officer. Students must also publish their dissertation on ProQuest before their degree is conferred. Learn more about the dissertation process in the Dissertation Guidebook.

(5 cr. per term for a minimum of 4 quarters until completion)

DOCTORAL WRITING ASSESSMENT

DRWA 8880

Doctoral Writing Assessment

This course is part of Walden's commitment to help prepare students to meet the university's expectations for writing in courses at the doctoral level. In this course, students write a short academic essay that will be scored by a team of writing assessors. Based on the essay score, students will complete or be exempted from additional required writing support needed to meet writing proficiency standards. This required assessment course is free. Students will be enrolled automatically in it at the beginning of their doctoral program.

(0 cr.)
VIEW ALL COURSES Less Courses
Note: Time to completion and cost are not estimates of individual experience and will vary based on individual factors applicable to the student. Factors may be programmatic or academic, such as tuition and fee increases; transfer credits accepted by Walden; program or specialization changes; unsuccessful course completion; credit load per term; part-time vs. full-time enrollment; writing, research, and editing skills; use of external data for the doctoral study/dissertation; and individual progress in the program. Other factors may include personal issues such as the student’s employment obligations, caregiving responsibilities, or health issues; leaves of absence; or other personal circumstances.

Tuition and Fees

CurriculuM Requirements Cost Total *
Tuition-Coursework - Flat Rate Courses:  3 courses $1,210 each $3,630^
Tuition-Course Work - Per Credit Courses:  50 quarter credits $605 per credit coursework and dissertation/doctoral study credits $30,250^
Tuition - Dissertation/Doctoral Study:  20–125 quarter credits  $605 per quarter hour for dissertation/doctoral study credits $12,100–$75,625*
Technology Fee $160 per quarter $1,750–$5,120*
Residency Fee One Residency $1,175 each (virtual)
$1,275 each (in-person: travel, lodging and other expenses are additional)
$1,175–$1,275
Estimated Range:     2.75-Year 8-Year
 
$48,905
$115,900*+
(assuming completion in a 2.75-year time frame) (assuming completion in an 8-year time frame)

These are ranges of what a student can expect in terms of time and tuition cost to complete a degree. It does not include other fees, nor is it adjusted for tuition increases over time. Walden faculty has concluded that generally students who do not complete their program in eight years are unlikely to complete and only allow students to exceed that time frame when a student petitions for an extension and provides good reason for the delay and assurances that obstacles to completion can be overcome. Time is calculated using the time allowed for each semester or unit that the student completes. Students are encouraged to work continuously during the program so as not to extend the time needed to complete the degree as work can become stale and students lose focus. Students who earn two grades of “Unsatisfactory,” who repeatedly drop a course before a semester or unit has been completed, or are unable to complete in the eight year time frame, should expect that they may be dismissed from the program. Walden believes that it is in the best interest of a student who is unable to complete the degree in the stated ranges to strongly consider withdrawal or obtaining a lesser degree.

Time to completion and cost are not estimates of individual experience and will vary based on individual factors applicable to the student. Factors may be programmatic or academic such as tuition and fee increases and/or the student’s transfer credits accepted by Walden; program or specialization changes; unsuccessful course completion; credit load per term; writing, research and editing skills; use of external data for their doctoral study/dissertation; and/or individual progress in the program. Other factors may include personal issues such as the student’s employment obligations; care giving responsibilities or health issues; part-time vs. full-time enrollment; leaves of absence; and/or other personal circumstances.

Tuition and fees are subject to change. Books and materials are not included. Students may incur additional costs for remedial writing assistance, if necessary.

† Based on a 2.75-year minimum completion requirement and an 8-year maximum timeframe as outlined in Walden academic policy.

^This assumes students successfully complete their coursework on the first attempt.

*Tuition and fees will be higher if students petition to extend the 8-year maximum timeframe or choose to take more expensive elective courses.

+Tuition and time to complete may be reduced if transfer credits are accepted, or if you receive grants, scholarships or other tuition discounts. For a personalized estimate of the number of your transfer credits that Walden would accept, call an Enrollment Specialist at 855-979-6580.

FINANCIAL AID

Many Walden degree-seeking students—67%—receive some form of financial aid.* Create a customized plan that makes sense for you.

*Source: Walden University’s Office of Financial Aid. Data reports as of 2018.

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PROGRAM SAVINGS

Receive your first course at no cost if you reside in the U.S. and start this program on November 30, 2020. Contact one of our enrollment specialists to learn more.

Get Started Now

Admission Requirements

To be considered for this doctoral program, you must have a master’s degree from an accredited college or university and meet the general admissions requirements. All applicants must submit a completed online application and transcripts. Depending on program specialization, additional requirements may apply. More information for international applicants.

Learning Outcomes

As a graduate of this program, you will be prepared to:

  • Evaluate practices, programs, and policies in the areas of child development and learning.
  • Engage in effective leadership practices, including collaboration and advocacy, to promote positive outcomes for young children and families.
  • Evaluate responsible assessment practices to support healthy development and positive learning outcomes for young children.
  • Demonstrate cultural responsiveness in interactions with children, families, community members, and early childhood professionals.
  • Create effective solutions to authentic problems in the early childhood field by integrating professional resources including technology.
  • Synthesize a variety of perspectives that are knowledgeable, reflective, and critical to promote professional growth and positive social change in the early childhood field.
  • Design research to address educational problems and contribute to the profession.

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