Early Childhood Education (ECED)

ECED 1000 Introduction to Early Childhood Education — 4 credits

In this course students will study the historical roots and contemporary manifestations of early childhood education theories and practices. Theories regarding the learning modes and stages of development in the young child will be presented, including exceptionalities. Students will characterize the components of curriculum development inherent in developmentally appropriate practice. Students will begin to explore their own personal biases and how they may shape their understanding of children and education.

ECED 2040W Historical, Cultural and Social Foundations of Early Childhood Education — 4 credits

In this course students will study the relationships between early childhood education and the cultural, historical and social realities of the United States. Students will study the history of early childhood education and critically examine ways in which power and privilege have influenced the evolution of the education system at large and specifically early childhood education. The existence of implicit, and explicit, teacher bias will be explored in-depth using current research, self-reflective practices, and an understanding of systemic "isms" present in today's educational institutions. Students will gain the knowledge, resources, and tools to be culturally responsive and practice anti-bias and anti-racist teaching strategies.
Prerequisite: ECED 1000.

ECED 2200 The Art of Classroom Management and Assessment — 4 credits

In this course students will examine classroom management and assessment from relationship-driven, anti-bias, and anti-racist points of view. Students will consider the connection for children between past trauma and current behavior in the classroom. The current structure at work in mainstream educational classroom management will be critically examined and students will construct their own vision of transformational classroom management and assessment. Students will choose strategies that are respectful, cooperative, and empowering to children. The intersection of classroom management and assessment will be examined. Students will understand and develop authentic assessment tools and practices based on observation and developmentally appropriate practice, including motivation and relationship-driven techniques that consider individual needs. Students will adapt classroom management and assessment strategies to diverse cultural norms and examine the influences of their own implicit bias in discipline and assessment choices. This course requires 10 hours of observation in an Early Childhood classroom.
Prerequisite: ECED 1000.

ECED 2300 Early Childhood Education Accreditation and Standards — 1 credit

This course provides an overview of the legal and professional mandates related to early childhood teaching. Competency–based modules include the Department of Human Services regulations, Department of Education standards for the Standards of Effective Practice for Teachers, and the Standards for Early Childhood Teachers (or others as specified by state of residence). Professional development sites such as Develop are included, as well as Parent Aware standards (Minnesota’s Quality Rating and Improvement System) and the opportunity to explore other state early childhood education policies and requirements.
Prerequisite: Admission to Early Childhood Education program.

ECED 2400 Effective Practice in Early Childhood Education — 4 credits

In this course students will be introduced to early childhood educational theory and methods. They will learn about developmental theory, needs of young children, teaching practices and materials, characteristics of a functioning early childhood classroom, and the role of the early childhood teacher. Intentional practices such as creating an inclusive classroom by honoring diverse learners, fostering a strong classroom community, and anti bias and anti racist teaching will be explored and applied to course assignments. Students will demonstrate their understanding of these concepts through written essays, class discussions, creating lesson plans, and engaging in critical reflection. This class will be taught primarily online but includes a three-day session on campus.
Prerequisite: Admission to Early Childhood Education with Licensure program.

ECED 2500 Technology in Teaching and Learning in Early Childhood Education — 1 credit

Students examine current issues related to integrating digital technology in the early childhood P-3 classroom settings. We explore effective forms of technology integration for varied settings, needs and populations. For instance, students will identify and use digital tools that can enhance outcomes for learners; and/or improve efficiency in teaching, providing feedback to learners, communicating with parents, or assessment. Students will learn to use technology to provide authentic and empowered learning.
Prerequisite: Admission to Early Childhood program.

ECED 2600 Health, Wellness and Nutrition in Early Childhood Education — 1 credit

In this course students will gain a deeper understanding of the three foundational building blocks for healthy growth, development and wellness: nutrition, health and safety. Students will explore the many facets of each component including feeding strategies, food safety, health assessments, mental health, establishing safe environments, addressing child abuse and neglect, and more. Student understanding will be assessed through collaborative online discussion, 3 quizzes which include multiple choice and short answer questions, and a final exam. Upon completion of the course, students will feel confident in their ability to develop and carry out a wellness curriculum in their teaching practices and classroom environment.
Prerequisite: Admission to Early Childhood Education program.

ECED 3280 Infant and Toddler Methods and Materials — 4 credits

The foundation of early childhood development begins with understanding the intricate cognitive process that evolves from conception through the toddler years. It is through this understanding of development, learning to design, prepare, and interact appropriately with infants and toddlers that a healthy stage can be set for further early childhood development. In this course emphasis will be placed on the role of the adult in guiding healthy adult-child relationships in both home and group care environments. This course includes 10 hours of required fieldwork.
Prerequisite: Admission to the Early Childhood Education program.

ECED 3350 Understanding of Diverse Family Experiences and Student Exceptionalities in Early Childhood — 4 credits

This course is designed for early childhood professionals to increase their awareness of diverse family experiences and early childhood exceptionalities. Students will learn about working with families through the lens of context. Students will also learn techniques and strategies to engage families of diverse backgrounds and acquire knowledge about the early identification of children with special needs.
Prerequisite: Admission to the Early Childhood Education program.

ECED 3560 Emergent Literacy in the Content Areas — 2 credits

This course is designed for pre-service early childhood educators to investigate the role of literacy (reading, writing, listening and speaking) across the primary curriculum. The course assumes that effective teachers of language arts are knowledgeable, literate and curious people who develop and maintain a classroom community in which they and their students learn together. It also recognizes a need for equitable literacy practices that support the development of all students regardless of their race, gender identity, social class, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, ability-level, or family background. Specifically, the interdisciplinary nature of literacy and the ways it moves from concrete to abstract will be explored and scaffolded in order to prepare pre-service early childhood educators to applying emergent content literacy knowledge to real world experiences. Through engagement in readings, media, online discussions and inquiry projects students in this course will learn about the discipline-specific demands of literacy in the content areas. The course will also explore academic, personal, and social considerations that are particular to students in the primary grades, including the roles of motivation, comprehension, critical thinking and assessment in teaching and learning. Pre-service early childhood educators will identify and utilize literacy strategies, text forms and key principles of literacy across the content areas to foster equity minded literacy experiences in early childhood education. This course requires 10 hours of fieldwork experience.
Prerequisite: Admission to the Early Childhood Education program.

ECED 3600 Teaching and Learning in the Lower Elementary Classroom — 3 credits

In this course students will be introduced to early elementary educational theory and methods. They will learn about developmental theory, needs of elementary children, teaching practices and materials, characteristics of a functioning early elementary classroom, and the role of the early elementary teacher. Intentional practices such as creating an inclusive classroom by honoring diverse learners, fostering a strong classroom community, and anti bias and anti racist teaching will be explored and applied to course assignments. Students will demonstrate their understanding of these concepts through written essays, classroom observations, creating lesson plans, and engaging in critical reflection. This class will be taught online but includes ten hours of fieldwork.
Prerequisite: Admission to Early Childhood Education with Licensure program.

ECED 4155 Early Childhood Sensorial — 2 credits

In this course students will create a rationale and develop the techniques necessary to ensure the development of sensory growth in young children. Introduction of sensorial materials in a sequential order with an emphasis on the refinement of sensory perception, repetition, control of error and language (three period lesson) will be presented and practiced. Distinct education in presentation techniques as applicable to the materials and the young child will be addressed.
Prerequisite: Admission to the Early Childhood Education with Licensure program, ECED 2400.

ECED 4265 Creative Expression in Early Childhood — 2 credits

Early childhood art, music, and movement is a developmental process of absorption, exploration, and self-expression. Students analyze the cultural manifestations of the creative forms and how they can be integrated in the early childhood environment. Physical Education is presented as Movement, which may include the development of the body through exploration, cooperative play, games, rhythms, and dance. Art is presented as an exploration of media and the modes of creation, and as a means to self-expression with a focus on variety. Emphasis is on the process of an art activity, rather than the product. Music is presented to foster an appreciation of music in general, and to aid in creative expression through singing and playing. Exploration of individual and collective music applications are explored, as is the intersection of music and culture. This course requires 10 hours of field work experience.
Prerequisite: Admission to Early Childhood Education with Licensure program, ECED 2400.

ECED 4275 Early Childhood Science — 2 credits

Students in Early Childhood Science will learn to involve the child and utilize the child’s intrinsic interest and curiosity in the observation of scientific phenomena through simple experiments. Because young children love the natural and physical world, care of the earth is introduced along with the importance of protecting our environment for the future. The mathematical brain and logical thinking of young children is developed through computational thinking activities, including classifying, experimenting and drawing conclusions. The study of Earth Science, Life Science, Physical Science/Physics and Chemistry, Technology and Engineering for the young child is introduced. Equity, inclusion, and diversity as they pertain to science are addressed in the context of social justice, and anti-bias, anti-racist teaching.
Prerequisite: Admission to the Early Childhood Education with Licensure program, ECED 2400.

ECED 4385 Early Childhood Social and Cultural Studies — 2 credits

Early Childhood Social and Cultural Studies exposes students to the teaching of geography and history. The course takes a holistic approach to the study of history and culture, using interdisciplinary knowledge to construct the body of knowledge. In this course students will learn to explain the content, presentation and rationale for the study of history, geography, and culture within early childhood.
Prerequisite: Admission to the Early Childhood Education with Licensure program, ECED 2400.

ECED 4812 Early Childhood Student Teaching — 12 credits

This course will support the capstone experience of student teaching. Every MN Standard of Effective Practice is addressed during student teaching.
Prerequisite: Admission to the Early Childhood Education with Licensure program.

ECED 4840 Bachelor Completer Capstone Project: A Critical Exploration of Early Childhood Education — 2 credits

In this course, students will explore an early childhood topic of their choice deeply and critically, using an anti-bias and anti-racist lens. Resources compiled over their time in the Early Childhood Education program through the Ed Portfolio will be used to guide and shape chosen topics. Students will be supported in selecting relevant and impactful literature to expand knowledge on their topic of choice and take up different perspectives on issues in early childhood. Emphasis will be placed on looking critically, holistically and with an equity oriented mindset during research, discussions, editing and writing.
Prerequisite: All previous ECED courses.