An early childhood education degree introduces future teachers to learning theories, concepts and strategies for infant to primary school aged children. Some education advocacy groups have noted a marked decline in the academic performance of students in the United States in comparison with those in other countries. Subsequently, special programs have been initiated at all grade levels to help close the perceived learning gap, and a great deal of those initiatives are aimed at improving early childhood development and education. Here are some of the course topics that prospective teachers can expect to take when pursuing degrees in early childhood education.
Top 30 Affordable Early Childhood Education Degree Online Programs (Bachelor’s)
Many early childhood education degree programs help teachers to guide the physical, emotional and intellectual growth of their students. Course topics in childhood development instruct students on how to identify the stages of development in these areas and how to encourage growth in children who have different learning styles. These future teachers learn how to plan activities and games for their students that support the advancement of social abilities, physical coordination and motor skills. This type of course also introduces future teachers to the industry and state standards for preschool and kindergarten education as they pertain to childhood growth and development.
Language and Literacy
The ability to communicate well is essential for the cultivation of successful personal and professional relationships throughout one’s life. The years associated with early childhood education are the ones that are the most important for language development. It is the period when some parents choose to introduce their children to multiple languages that they seem to absorb with relative ease. It is also the time when neglected children fail to develop the necessary abilities to express themselves effectively in any language. Future early childhood education teachers are taught how to assess the linguistic development stages of their students and create lesson plans to promote language acquisition and communication skills that prepare young learners for literacy during their primary school years.
Special Needs in Early Childhood Development
The best time to identify whether children require special needs in academic settings is in the early childhood development stage. These special needs could be related to physical, emotional and cognitive disabilities; they could also address the issues surrounding childhood behavioral disorders. Courses that focus on these exceptional children introduce instructors to the appropriate ways of addressing the special learning requirements of these children according to the industry and state standards. Special needs courses also train future instructors on how to identify gifted students and help them to develop their talents. Many of these courses reflect the concept that it takes a village to raise a child, and instructors learn about programs sponsored by state and local agencies in their communities that help special needs children to receive the same level of quality education as all other students.
Childhood Creative Development
A casual observer into a classroom led by an instructor who is promoting childhood creative development would likely think that the young students are simply playing and having fun. However, future early childhood education instructors are trained in their degree program course work to structure play time for young learners in ways that help to facilitate artistic expression in drama, drawing, dance and music.
Many people regard early childhood education teaching positions as some of the most important in the field of education. It is during the early stages of development that children learn languages, establish cognitive skills and cultivate creative abilities. Early childhood education degree programs make sure that teachers of these young learners make the most of that critical time in children’s lives.
Child Development is taught at KS4 as a GCSE option. There is one tier of assessment, with covers all the grades from A* to G.
This specification aims to attract candidates to study Home Economics: Child Development by offering an interesting and stimulating programme of study. Candidates will have the opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding of human needs in a diverse society and to work in a variety of contexts.
The skills and knowledge acquired will be relevant and transferable to other settings, enhancing career opportunities and providing a satisfying course of study for candidates who may, or may not wish to progress to further study of the subject.
The skills and knowledge acquired will also provide progression to GCE Health and Social Care qualifications
This course will consist of:
- Unit 1- Written Paper
1 Hour 30 Mins. – 100 Marks – worth 40% of the final grade.
6-8 compulsory questions comprised of short answer, structured and free response questions. Some questions may include stimulus material.
- Unit 2- Research Task
Completed in the classroom within 7 hours of supervised time – worth 30 marks – 20% of the final grade.
- Unit 3- Child Study
Completed in the classroom within approx. 20 hours of supervised time – worth 60 marks – 40% of the final grade.
For further details of this course please go to www.aqa.org.uk (Home Economics: Child Development 4580).
Click the button below to access past exam questions and model answers.
AQA Child Development for GCSE
AQA Child Development for GCSE by Heather Brennand, Valerie Hall
This is the main book for use in the classroom and for homework.
Child Care and Development
Child Care & Development by Pamela Minett
There is also a revision text for this book which has multiple choice questions. I use these as end of topic revision exercises in or for homework.
Child Development: An Illustrated Guide
Child Development: An Illustrated Guide by Carolyn Megitt
The Essentials of Child Development
The Essentials of Child Development by Judith Sunderland
A good book to summarize a topic or as a memory check before a test or exam.
Child Development: Coursework Guide
Child Development: Coursework Guide by Valerie Hall and Heather Brennand
Useful for the child study. Gives ideas on layout and how to go about the study.
Babies & Toddlers
Babies & Toddlers by Caroline Young
Useful for suggestions for activities for child study visits.
Child Development: Essentials
Child Development: Essentials by Letts and Lonsdale
This is the main book for use in the classroom and for homework.
All of these books will be available in lesson times and copies can also be found in a specialist section in the LRC. Please ask Mrs A Poole or Mrs L Kirkland for assistance.
For assistance with – Child Study – coursework go to school network on the student drive (O:\child_development).
The Sections of information include:
- Starting the coursework – what is involved, time allocation, precentage of the overall assessment and an overall plan
- The introductory visit – what to include and how to present the information
- Milestones of Development – where to find this information relevant to your child and how to use this in your study
- Your Chosen Task – where to research information and help on finding Primary and Secondary sources. Planning visits and research advice needed before the visits. Planning an interview or questionnaire and how to analyse your results
- Observational visits – how to plan these. What to look for. How to record your results.
- Evaluation – suggestions for how to present this information.
- Bibliography – need for this information and how to present it.