Early Childhood Education 430

EDEC 430: Practicum in Early Childhood Education 

Prerequisites: IDEC major; successful completion of EDSP 360, EDEC 322, and EDEC 323, and 2.5 GPA

Corequisites: EDUC 425; or permission of instructor

Credit Hours: (6) 2 hours lecture, 4 hours practicum


A clinical practicum providing experience and opportunity for application of skills working with young children in inclusive settings under direct supervision for a minimum of 15 hours a week throughout the semester. Students are expected to abide by their cooperating professional’s schedule. Students begin the experience in observation and helping roles, and work toward assuming full teaching responsibilities. Weekly seminars focus on development of children’s conflict-resolution skills; facilitate self-reflection and professionalism.

Note(s): This course is graded A-F.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

This is a clinical experience that provides pedagogical experience for preservice teachers working with young children under the direct supervision of an appropriately licensed educator. Students are expected to abide by their cooperating professional’s required schedule. Students begin the experience in each placement by engaging in observations and helping roles, and gradually work toward assuming full teaching responsibilities. Students develop knowledge and skills in guiding children’s behavior and developing children’s conflict-resolution skills. Weekly seminars are designed to facilitate the development of knowledgeable, skillful, thoughtful, and committed professionals.


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Students will work closely with their cooperating professionals each week. Students will gain experience and skills needed to be effective classroom teachers.

Seminars are designed to facilitate the development of knowledgeable, skillful, thoughtful, and committed professionals. Seminars are usually discussions. Students will be expected to analyze the issues and develop applications for preK-3rd grade classrooms. Students should demonstrate the commitment of a professional in the actual world of early education. Students are expected to demonstrate commitment to professional codes of ethical conduct, and significant growth towards professionalism. IDEC Internships Handbook provides more detailed information regarding practicum experiences.

Seminars are focused on:

  • Experiences in the field
  • Guiding children’s positive behaviors
  • Effective teaching practices
  • Ethical considerations and developing professionalism, and
  • Current issues and concerns of educators of young children 


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, 1d: Student Learning for Teacher Candidates, and 1g: Professional Dispositions for all candidates.


Objectives below also include the following standards:

·         Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) Licensure Standards Professional Studies requirements Competency #6: Supervised classroom experience 

·         Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) Licensure Standards Early/primary education preK-3 competency #1: Methods and #2: Knowledge and skills 

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

  • Standard #1: Promoting Child Development and Learning
  • Standard #2: Building Family and Community Relationships
  • Standard #3: Observing, Documenting, and Assessing to Support Yong Children and Families
  • Standard #4: Teaching and Learning
  • Standard #5: Becoming a Professional 

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

  • Standard #1: Foundations
  • Standard #2: Development and Characteristics of Learners
  • Standard #3: Individual Learning Differences
  • Standard #4: Instructional Strategies
  • Standard #5: Learning Environments and Social Interactions
  • Standard #6: Language
  • Standard #7: Instructional Planning
  • Standard #8: Assessment
  • 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. The following objectives address IDEC competencies 5: Clinical Experiences and 6: Professionalism in addition to the specific competencies listed for each objective. 

This practicum provides opportunities for students to integrate theory and practice in early childhood education.  Students will practice and demonstrate skills in the following IDEC program competencies: 

1.    Pre-service teachers will describe typical and atypical child growth and development. (IDEC 1.1)

2.    Pre-service teachers will participate as a team member to establish and maintain collaborative relationships with families and other professionals in diverse settings, utilizing technologies for communication and information exchange. (IDEC 2.1)

3.    Pre-service teachers will demonstrate respect for the diversity of families, children, and settings, and maximize child potential within the context of diversity of culture, language, and ability in home, community, and society. (IDEC 2.2)

4.    Pre-service teachers will select and use a variety of culturally unbiased formal and informal assessments, data collection, and evaluation measures, including specific sensory and motor measures, for the identification of child strengths and needs, and to monitor child progress, and report results to families and others. (IDEC 3.2)

5.    Pre-service teachers will plan and implement curriculum and instruction that affirms and respects child and family cultural and linguistic diversity. (IDEC 4.2)

6.    Pre-service teachers will plan and implement meaningful developmentally appropriate learning experiences in all developmental domains, using functionally appropriate instructional practices and following national, state, and local curricular standards/guidelines. (IDEC 4.3)

7.    Pre-service teachers will promote positive relationships with and among children and the development of self-regulation and responsibility through the application of principles of positive behavior support and classroom management for individuals and groups. (IDEC 4.4)

8.    Pre-service teachers will plan and implement health, nutrition, and safety practices addressing the development of good mental health and resilience to counter stress and trauma in young children. (IDEC 4.5)

9.    Pre-service teachers will plan and implement instruction incorporating strategies from multiple disciplines including strategies to address specific disabilities and integrate content into meaningful contexts for children. (IDEC 4.6)

10.  Pre-service teachers will plan and implement instruction in language/communication and developmentally appropriate literacy skills. (IDEC 4.7)

11.  Pre-service teachers will plan and appropriately incorporate the use of technology, including assistive/adaptive technology to maximize outcomes for diverse learners. (IDEC 4.8)

12.  Pre-service teachers will teach under supervision of qualified professionals in providing services to diverse children (ages and abilities) and families in a variety of settings, and will analyze their experiences. (IDEC 5.1)

13.  Pre-service teachers will serve as advocates for young children and their families and for the Early Childhood and Early Childhood Special Education profession. (IDEC 6.3)

14.  Pre-service teachers will establish and maintain positive collaborative relationships with other professionals and agencies. (IDEC 6.4)

15.  Pre-service teachers will adhere to professional codes of ethical conduct. (IDEC 6.5)

16.  Pre-service teachers will employ sound and legal instructional and disciplinary practices. (IDEC 6.6)

17.  Pre-service teachers will actively seek opportunities to grow professionally including analyzing, evaluating, and applying research. (IDEC 6.7)

18.  Pre-service teachers will use technology as a tool for teaching, learning, research, and communication. (IDEC 6.8)

19.  Pre-service teachers will demonstrate appropriate professional writing skills including organization, clarity, spelling, and grammar. (IDEC 6.9)


Assessment Measures

  • Attendance in placement and weekly seminar
  • Log of student teaching placement activities
  • Written assignments applying best practices to instruction with children and families
  • Assigned field experience activities as described in IDEC Internship Handbook
  • Written reflections on instruction
  • Student self-analyses
  • Feedback from cooperating professionals in field sites and university supervisor
  • Key NCATE Performance Assessment: “IDEC Student Teaching Evaluation”
  • Key NCATE Performance Assessment: “Professional Characteristics and Dispositions”
  • Key NCATE Performance Assessment: “Child Assessment Portfolio Assignment”


Other Course Information

The IDEC Internship Handbook provides detailed information on policies, procedures, responsibilities, and expectations for performance. 


Review and Approval
Revised April, 2009