A bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education prepares individuals to teach young children, ranging from birth to third grade. Many individuals considering pursing this degree may first ask What Specializations are Available with a Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education? Examples of the specializations in the field include teaching methods and curriculum in early childhood education, children’s literature, language development, and early childhood education administration.
Teaching Methods and Curriculum in Early Childhood Education
The methods and curriculum specialization emphasizes various teaching strategies and curricula in the early childhood education field. Students learn about instructional methods and curriculum from a historical and theoretical perspective and how these perspectives apply to current practices. They also learn how to imply certain teaching methods to ensure they are developmentally approach and meaningful in specific learning environments. Students learn how to create positive and active learning environments that inspire creativity and critical thinking. Students also learn how to develop a new curriculum and lesson plans and implement it in real life school settings. This area provides an overview of various types of teaching including project approach, brain based education, character education, multiple intelligences, inclusion and mainstreaming, Montessori, Waldorf, and Reggio Emilia. This specialization also focuses on the importance of collaborative relationships with family members and caregivers.
Children’s literature is essential to helping students learn and enhance their vocabulary and thought processes. This area helps future teachers select age appropriate and meaningful books and other educational materials that will have a significant impact on the cognitive, social and physical development of children of an array of ages. Students learn about classic children’s literature and modern-day works and using various types of literature, including picture books, folklore, poetry, and myths. They also examine research-based early literacy instructional methods for involving children in integrated speaking, listening, reading, and writing activities.
The acquisition of language is among the most crucial aspects in the early development of children. Children learn to talk and understand language naturally and at different times, but some need extra assistance before they turn six years old. This specialization focuses on the developmental stages of language acquisition in young children and how to facilitate language in educational settings. Students learn about theories in language development, including the acquisition of second languages. They also learn about the needs of English language learners and how to effectively teach these children in mainstream educational settings. Students learn how about common atypical pathways in language development and ways to identify them and modify instructional strategies to meet the needs of children with language issues.
Early Childhood Education Administration
The administration specialization focuses on the development and implementation of early childhood programs to a diversity of age groups. The specialization focuses on childhood development, organizational behavior and management, and program and curricula administration. Students learn about the various theories of early childhood education to create healthy, supporting and challenging learning environments for a wide range of children. They learn to evaluate the influence of various factors on the learning and development of children and how to design and assess programs to promote positive education. Students learn how to apply educational leadership principles to learning environments.
Early childhood education professionals play a vital role in the lives of young children, as they help establish the foundation for a lifelong love of learning. The bachelor’s degree in early childhood education opens the door to a variety of job opportunities for a rewarding career shaping and influencing the lives of children.