Early Childhood Education 400

EDEC 400L Foundations, Programs, and Trends in Early Childhood Education

Prerequisites: Junior or Senior standing in IDEC or permission of instructor; 2.5 GPA

Credit Hours: (3)

The historical, philosophical, and social foundations of early childhood education and how these foundations influence current thought and practice will be examined. Students will explore philosophical schools influencing the development of the profession and perspectives on early childhood. Public policies and current trends in America that impact young children and their families will be addressed. Students will research and critically examine various educational programs and curricula for young children.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

I. Historical, philosophical, and social foundations of Early Childhood Education

            A. Historical perspectives

            B. Philosophical perspectives

            C. Social and political contexts

            D. Influential people

II. Early Childhood Curriculum

            A. Visible and invisible

            B. Models

                        1. Montessori

                        2. Anti-Bias Curriculum

                        3. High Scope

                        4. Bank Street

                        5. Reggio Emilio

                        6. Creative Curriculum

                        8. Responsive Classroom/Environment (Nimnicht, Wood)

                        9. Other (Distar, etc.)

III. Program Formats

            A. Child care and day care

                        1. center-based

                        2. home-based

                        3. caring for mildly ill children

            B. Nursery school

            C. Kindergarten

            D. Parent cooperatives

            E. Family resource centers

            F. Infant programs

            G. Programs and service delivery systems for at-risk children

                        1. Virginia Preschool Initiative

                        2. Title I Preschool

                        3. Early Intervention

4. Head Start & Early Head Start

5. Even Start

6. Early Childhood Special Education

            H. Other

IV. Professionalism

            A. Code of Ethics

            B. Career development

            C. Professional affiliations and organizations

V. Current Trends and Issues

            A. Parent partnerships

            B. Cultural, ethnic, and linguistic diversity

            C. Education for gifted children

            D. Inclusion

            E. Equity in quality and cost of programs for young children

            F. Quality programs for infants and toddlers

            G. Increased need for early childhood programs

H. Parental expectations for early childhood programs

I. Technology and early childhood education

VI. Program quality, standards, and regulations

            A. State Department of Social Services standards

            B. State Department of Education standards

            C. Federal standards

            D. Professional Organizations and Standards

            E. Accreditation of programs


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

A variety of instructional strategies will be used, including, but not limited to:  analysis of readings, videos, cooperative learning groups, writing-to-learn activities, student presentations, research projects, large and small group discussions, media analyses, program observations, and interviews with early childhood professionals.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

Goals, objectives, and assignments in the class address NCATE Standards 1c: Professional and Pedagogical Knowledge and Skills for Teacher Candidates and 1g: Professional Dispositions for all candidates.

Objectives below also include the following standards:

·         National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Standard

  • Standard #2: Building Family and Community Relationships
  • Standard #4: Teaching and Learning
  • Standard #5: Becoming a Professional 

·         Council for Exceptional Children (CEC/DEC) Common Core Standards

  • Standard #1: Foundations
  • Standard #3: Individual Learning Differences
  • Standard #5: Learning Environments and Social Interactions
  • Standard #6: Language
  • Standard #9: Professional and Ethical Practice
  • Standard #10: Collaboration


Interdisciplinary Studies Early Childhood Education/Early Childhood Special Education (IDEC) competencies identified in the course objectives were developed to organize standards from six national and state specialty professional areas for which a crosswalk is provided.

Upon successful completion of EDEC 400, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the models, theories, and philosophies that form the basis for early childhood education. (IDEC 6.2)
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of the models, theories, and philosophies that form the basis for early childhood special education practice. (IDEC 6.2)
  3. Exhibit knowledge of the rights and responsibilities of students, parents, teachers, other professionals, and schools. (IDEC 6.3)
  4. Exhibit knowledge of the major laws and policies that affect young children, families, and programs for young children. (IDEC 6.6)
  5. Exhibit knowledge of the state- and the federal standards for early childhood education. (IDEC 6.6)
  6. Indicate understanding of historical and contemporary issues and trends in early childhood education and early childhood special education. (IDEC 6.7)
  7. Be an informed advocate for children and families. (IDEC 6.3)
  8. Affiliate with the profession and professional organizations. (IDEC 6.3 & 6.7)
  9. Applies ethical considerations. (IDEC 6.5)
  10. Critically apply research and effective practices in working with young children and families. (IDEC 6.7)
  11. Demonstrate respect for the diversity of children and families. (IDEC 2.2)
  12. Recognize the impact of cultural and linguistic diversity and special needs including giftedness as well as disabilities. (IDEC 4.2)
  13. Engage in professional development and applies toward teaching. (IDEC 6.7)
  14. Demonstrate professional qualifications such as communication, conduct, interpersonal skills. (IDEC 6.4)
  15. Use verbal, nonverbal, and written language effectively. (IDEC 6.9)
  16. Use technology as a tool for learning early childhood education curriculum models. (IDEC 6.8)


Assessment Measures

  • Written tests
  • Class participation in discussion and small group activities
  • Class presentations
  • Written analyses of readings
  • Research project on early childhood curriculum models


Other Course Information


Approval and Subsequent Reviews

2003    Proposed by Barbara Foulks Boyd

Revised by Boyoung Park    4/29/09