Prepare Infants to Preschoolers for Academic Success
Improve your understanding of youth from birth to eight years old in the Master of Education (MEd) in Early Childhood Education program. Offered by GCU’s College of Education, this MEd in Early Childhood Education program provides an in-depth review of literacy development, child guidance and growth. Learn the concepts to enhance your teaching and learning in 21st century daycares, preschools and elementary schools.
In this graduate-level program, you exercise your critical thinking skills to research child development and early interventions for birth to third graders. By implementing a rigorous curriculum under the guidance of expert faculty, we aim to refine your instructional methods using evidence-based research and applied strategies. Field experience opportunities throughout your Master of Education in Early Childhood Education program expose you to working with diverse age groups and youth of varying developmental stages and intellect.
Learn the Skills of Effective Early Childhood Education
In the MEd in Early Childhood Education program, you develop the foundation for early learning. Reviewing research on child development and growth provides the fundamentals for teaching and offers ways to gauge mastery of milestones. Examine child guidance and activity during internship experiences in multiple classroom settings to support your learning of teaching and assessment methods.
What You Will Learn
Study Curriculum for Early Childhood Education
In this early childhood education degree program, you study topics such as:
- Instruction methods for the exceptional learner and non-English speakers
- Classroom engagement and management techniques
- Developmental milestones and methods of evaluation
- Curriculum development and teaching for language arts, math, science, health, social studies and the arts
Become an Outstanding Educator
Common jobs following the Master of Education in Early Childhood Education include preschool teacher, daycare director, child development specialist, school program director and education advocate. Potential places of work include daycare centers, early childhood education centers or social service agencies.
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.
Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere. GCU offers the most experienced leadership in delivering online degree programs. Full-time faculty members and fully trained adjunct instructors, equipped with strong academic backgrounds and practical experience in their fields, support you every step of the way. Designed with the career-oriented professional in mind, our online classes provide an intimate environment that stimulates engaging and challenging discussions. Choose from programs across our distinct colleges, in high-demand employment areas. Classes begin frequently.
Grand Canyon University’s evening programs cater to the demands of working professionals who prefer an in-person learning environment. Our night classes meet just once per week and offer the interaction and discussion of a typical college classroom. Night classes are designed for a specific number of students, providing a warm and nurturing environment that supports an engaging experience. In an evening cohort, you will progress through your degree program with the same career-minded classmates, providing an opportunity to network and forge relationships that go beyond the classroom. Classes begin frequently at various locations, including our main campus.
* Please note that this list may contain programs that are not presently offered as program availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability of the program.