What is a Masters in Early Childhood Education?
GCU supports masters of early childhood education students in learning concepts for teaching the youngest learners. Graduates of this Master of Education in Early Childhood Education degree from Grand Canyon University will be highly qualified to become Kindergarten through third grade teachers. This program is ideal for people looking for a second career or a career change. For those not seeking a teaching license, visit our Master of Education in Early Childhood Education (Does Not Lead to Initial Teacher Licensure) program.
From daycare centers to elementary schools, graduates with a MEd degree in early childhood education may find work in diverse environments where they lead the learning experiences of children from infancy to eight years old.
The master’s in early childhood education degree program at GCU requires practicum experiences throughout the program. Additionally, graduates will need to complete an eight-week student teaching experience in a birth through Pre-K setting and another eight-week experience in Kindergarten through third grade.
Upon completion of this master’s, graduates may pursue teacher licensure. To qualify for a teaching certification, graduates may need to pass state certification exams in addition to pursuing an institutional recommendation from Grand Canyon University.
What Will You Learn While Earning a MEd Degree in Early Childhood Education?
Students enrolled in the MEd Early Childhood Education program will gain the skills need to work with diverse students as future daycare directors, preschool teachers and early childhood teachers and specialists. Throughout the program, students will survey current early childhood teaching practices and learn where those ideas and methods support the learning of birth through grade 8 students.
Early childhood development is a cornerstone of the master of early education degree program. GCU grads will come away from their coursework with a solid understanding of brain development, social and emotional growth and academic achievement in young learners.
Topics of study in this Master of Education in Early Childhood Education degree program include:
- Instruction for early learners
- Differentiation strategies for exceptional learners
- English as a second language methods
- Evaluation and assessment skills
- Curriculum development
- Teaching methods across all content areas
Earn Your Master of Early Childhood Education Degree Online
Students enrolled in the Master of Education in Early Childhood Education degree program can attend GCU classes on campus or online.
The early childhood education masters online is a great fit for nontraditional students. Full-time employees hoping to earn a degree to start a new career in education or those looking for work and home life balance, will find what they need in the online degree program.
At GCU, online degrees, like the master’s degree in early childhood education, mean:
- High tech learning environments
- Flexibility and convenience
- Ability to work around your own schedule
And yet, you still have all the perks of being a GCU student, including:
- Attending classes with experienced faculty and instructors
- Accessing courses designed for the career-minded progressions
- Stimulating and challenging coursework
People with a passion for education and a deep interest in preparing our youngest learners for future academic success are in demand! Daycares, schools and social services agencies are looking for grads who have the education and the drive needed to make a difference. Answer the call by earning your Master of Education in Early Childhood Education degree at Grand Canyon University.
Program Core Courses
This course begins by acquainting teacher candidates with the GCU learning management system, while preparing them to be successful graduate-level students and future Early Childhood educators. Teacher candidates survey the philosophical and historical foundations upon which early childhood educational theories and practices are constructed. Current educational models, including the Montessori education model, are explored. Teacher candidates examine the application of theories to the early childhood classroom and evaluate their contemporary usefulness in supporting children’s academic achievement, brain development, and social and emotional growth through early childhood. Practicum/field experience hours: None. Fingerprint clearance not required.
Teacher candidates survey how young children grow and develop, recognizing that patterns of learning and development vary individually across the cognitive, linguistic, physical, social, and emotional areas while understanding the implications for designing and implementing developmentally appropriate and challenging learning experiences. This survey of the seminal concepts, principles, theories, and research related to development of young children will allow teacher candidates to build foundational knowledge for constructing differentiated learning opportunities that support individual students’ development, acquisition of knowledge, and motivation. Teacher candidates review atypical development, early intervention, and Parts A and B of IDEA to develop IFSP, IEPs, and 504s for young children. Practicum/field experience hours: None. Fingerprint clearance not required.
Candidates examine the United States Constitution, and the constitution of the State of Arizona. From this foundational review, candidates will explore application of the United States Constitution and the constitution of the State of Arizona in educational contexts. Practicum/field experience hours: 3. Fingerprint clearance not required.
Teacher candidates obtain a robust view of the learning cycle of teaching, which includes assessment, evaluation, data analysis, reflection, and next steps, to develop lessons aligned to state and national standards. Data are used to assess, monitor, and report the progress of young children. Teacher candidates analyze and integrate multiple methods of assessment that support monitoring student progress and guiding decision making. Assessment and instruction will support foundational knowledge regarding the importance of planning instruction based on the knowledge of students, learning theory, connection across the curriculum, curricular goals, with focused attention on formative and summative assessment. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required.
In this course, teacher candidates continue to examine the fundamentals of the legal, historical, and educational foundations of Structured English Immersion and other instructional programs for English language learners. Theoretical principles of language acquisition and the role of culture in learning are examined. Methods of assessment are identified and analyzed. Teacher candidates identify strategies to promote English language development and improve student achievement. They plan, deliver, and evaluate instruction for English language learners. Practicum/field experience hours: 15. Fingerprint clearance required.
Teacher candidates explore child growth and development, including developmental milestones that must be met with regards to physical, cognitive, and social-emotional development, as well as adaptability and approaches to learning for young children. This course emphasizes safety, health, and nutrition with a focus on the special health care needs for young children. Aspects of physical development, including fitness and movement, gross and fine motor skills, and fostering physical development within the community are discussed. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required.
This course examines the foundations for early language development in young children. Teacher candidates build knowledge regarding whole language, phonics, emergent literacy, and the integration of literary elements. Teacher candidates focus on the assessment of literacy abilities, meeting the literacy needs of small groups, and literacy in the classroom and at home. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required.
Teacher candidates examine the family, community, and cultural influences that affect young children. Teacher candidates identify factors that put young children at risk as well as resources to support various types of families and structures. Teacher candidates also identify ways to meet community needs while promoting cultural awareness and competence. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required.
Teacher candidates use the guidance approach to create environments that support individual and collaborative learning, encourage positive social interaction, facilitate active engagement in learning, and promote self-motivation. Montessori classroom management philosophies are explored. Teacher candidates develop skills related to establishing and maintaining organized, safe, inclusive, respectful, challenging, and positive early childhood environments with rules and expectations that are clearly communicated. Teacher candidates also examine how to help students overcome challenging behavior and learn from mistakes. Practicum/field experience hours: 15. Fingerprint clearance required.
Teacher candidates examine a variety of instructional strategies that encourage young children to build reading, writing, and oral language skills in meaningful ways. Emphasis is placed on integrating the creative arts throughout language arts curriculum that teacher candidates will develop, teach, and assess. Candidates will also gather and analyze performance data to make instructional decisions. In addition, teacher candidates will build skills to integrate math, science, and social studies into language arts lessons while strengthening literacy connections at home. Practicum/field experience hours: 15. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisites: ECE-520 and ECE-540.
Teacher candidates research instructional methodologies for teaching mathematics to young children. Emphasis is placed on hands-on and inquiry- and manipulative-based learning in mathematics curriculum that teacher candidates will develop, teach, and assess. Candidates will also gather and analyze performance data to make instructional decisions. In addition, teacher candidates will build skills to integrate literacy, science, social studies, and the creative arts into mathematics lessons while strengthening mathematical connections at home. Practicum/field experience hours: 15. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisites: ECE-520 and ECE-540.
Teacher candidates research instructional methodologies for teaching science and social studies to young children. Emphasis is placed on inquiry-based learning and real-world connections to science and social studies curriculum that teacher candidates will develop, teach, and assess. Candidates will also gather and analyze performance data to make instructional decisions. In addition, teacher candidates will build skills to integrate literacy, mathematics, and the creative arts into science and social studies lessons while strengthening connections at home. Practicum/field experience hours: 15. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisites: ECE-520 and ECE-540.
Session A is one of two 8 week sessions of the student teaching experience. Teacher candidates are engaged in the student teaching experience that includes practical classroom experiences, research, analysis, and teaching to support the creation of a Student Teaching Evaluation of Performance (STEP). Fingerprint clearance required. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisites: Successful completion of all courses in POS and content area; a 3.0 GPA; successful completion of NES or your state’s mandated content area exams; and approval and placement by the College of Education Office of Clinical Practice. All paperwork for student teaching must be submitted by the due date the semester prior to student teaching. Fingerprint clearance required.
This course is the second of two 8-week sessions of the student teaching experience in a classroom. The teacher candidate is assigned to an approved school with a certified cooperating teacher, a university supervisor, and a student teaching course instructor. The course includes practical classroom experiences, research and analysis, and teaching duties that will support the compilation and creation of a Student Teaching Evaluation of Performance (STEP). The teacher candidates are required to complete their internship experiences in a K-3 classroom. Fingerprint clearance required.
Online and Evening program disclosures (2.417 years)
* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Program subject to change.