Educating Young Children

Western Texas College

  1. Basic Course Information:
    1. ECM Course Description: An introduction to the education of the young child.  Includes developmentally appropriate practices and programs, theoretical and historical perspectives, ethical and professional responsibilities, and current issues.  Course content is aligned with State Board for Educator Certification Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities standards.  Requires students to participate in a minimum of 16 hours of field experience with children from infancy through age 12 in a variety of settings with varied and diverse populations.
  2. Student Learning Outcomes
    1. Learning Outcomes:  Discuss the contributions of key historical and contemporary theorists to the field of early care and education; explain the features of a developmentally appropriate program for young children; define each of the four basic developmental domains (physical, cognitive, emotional, and social); examine the types of early childhood programs; analyze trends and issues of early care and education; identify the characteristics and developmental stages of a professional in early care and education.

      Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Core Curriculum: Intellectual Competencies and Exemplary Objectives
      Intellectual Competencies: A series of basic intellectual competencies considered essential to the learning process in any discipline.

      1. Reading   x
      2. Speaking   x
      3. Critical Thinking___
      4. Writing   x
      5. Listening___
      6. Computer Literacy___

  3. Course Objectives
    1. Discuss the contributions of key historical and contemporary (theorist) to the field of early childhood education.
    2. Understand strategies for creating an organized and productive developmentally appropriate learning environment.
      Explain the features of developmentally-appropriate programs for young children.
      1. Define developmentally appropriate practice and discuss how knowledge of child growth and development impacts developmentally appropriate learning environment.
      2. Analyze the effects of classroom routines and procedures on student learning, and know how to establish and implement routines and procedures to promote an organized and productive learning environment.
      3. Demonstrate an understanding of how young children function in groups and design group activities that reflect a realistic understanding of the extent of children’s ability to collaborate with others.
      4. Recognize the importance of creating a schedule for children that balances restful and active movement activities and that provides large blocks of time for play, projects and learning centers.
      5. Know the stages of play development (from solitary to cooperative) and the important role of play i.e. young children’s learning and development.
      6. Compare a developmentally appropriate classroom with one that is not developmentally appropriate in relation to child-staff ration, group size and teacher qualifications and training.
    3. Describe the types of early childhood programs.
    4. Enhance professional knowledge and skills by effectively interacting with other members of the educational community and participating in various types of professional activities.
      1.  Explain characteristics and developmental stages of an early childhood professional.
      2.  List characteristics of an early childhood professional.
      3.  Discuss career opportunities for the early childhood professional.
      4.  Understand and use professional development resources (e.g. Mentors, and other support systems, conferences, online resources, workshops, journals, professional associations, coursework) to enhance knowledge pedagogical skills, and technological expertise.
      5. Engage in reflection and self-assessment to identify strengths, challenges, and potential problems, improve teaching performance and achieve professional goals.
    5. Understand the process of referral.
      1. Discuss the referral process including observation and assessment.
      2. Identify school and community resources early childhood professionals would access when making a referral.
    6. Demonstrate an understanding of the characteristics and development stages of an early childhood professional.
      1. Describe the profession’s code of ethical conduct and its application in everyday practice.
      2. Apply knowledge of ethical guidelines for educators in Texas (e.g. Those related to confidentiality, interactions with students and others in the school and community), including policies and procedure described in the Code of Ethics and Standard Practices for Texas Educators.
      3. Know legal requirements for educators (e.g. those related to special education, students’ and families’ right, student discipline, equity, and child abuse) and adheres to legal guidelines in education-related situations.
    7. Identify current trends and issues in the early childhood profession.
  4. Individual Development and Educational Assessment (IDEA)
    1. As the primary criteria to evaluate the course, the IDEA class evaluation survey is administered at the end of the semester.  The survey asks students to rate the amount of the educational progress they made based on a set of twelve learning objectives.  Your instructor has chosen 3-5 specific learning objectives from this set that he or she considers “Essential” or “Important” learning objectives for this course:
      1. Gaining factual knowledge (terminology, classifications, methods, trends)
      2. Learning fundamental principles, generalizations, or theories
      3. Learning to apply course material (to improve thinking, problem solving, and decisions
  5.  Information on Books and Other Course Materials
    1. Driscol, A., Nagel, N.G. (2008). Early Childhood Education, Birth-8: 4th Edition. Boston: Pearson.
    2. Additional Readings: None
  6. nstructional Methods: The class sessions will include lecture, discussions, problem solving, small group projects, videotapes, and student presentation.
  7. Evaluation:

    Weekly Assignments/ Discussion




    Field Experience


    Final Exam 10%

  8. Course/Lab Requirements: This class will have textbook assignments, class discussions as well as independent lab assignments.
  9. Other Requirements: Each student will be expected to keep up with assignments.  It is very easy to get behind in an online class.
  10. Late & Make-up Assignments Policy:  Make-up exams will be given if prior permission is obtained from the instructor and if there is a justifiable reason. No make-up on in-class assignments.  Late assignments will automatically be deducted 5 points for each day it is late.
  11. Attendance Policy:  Students shall adhere to the college policy on attendance.  Absent from six hours of instruction, your name will be submitted to the counseling office; with nine hours of absences, you will be encouraged to drop the course. Three tardies constitute as an absence.
  12. Academic Integrity:  Students shall adhere to the college policy on student conduct and academic dishonesty. A copy will be provided upon request.
  13. Course Organization:
    1. Assignments
      1. Each assignment should show evidence for the students’ knowledge from personal experience and reading assignments
      2. Each assignment will vary in length and format. Some lab experiences assignments will require using the “Activity Plan Worksheet”
      3. Each assignment will need to be submitted with assignment number.
      4. The reading assignments are necessary and are developed to enhance your knowledge in the course subjects. These are the bases of the assignment

 “ The above schedule, policies, procedures, and assignments in this course are subject to change in the event of extenuating circumstances.”


Last Modified: November 20, 2014