Early Childhood Education (PK-4)
High quality early childhood education represents one of the best investments our country can make (NEA). The emotional and physical health, social skills, and cognitive-linguistic capacities that emerge in the early years are all important prerequisites for success in school and later in the workplace and community (Harvard Center on the Developing Child). Science is changing the way we think about development policy and practice when it comes to young children, radically altering our definition of early childhood development and what we do to ensure that every child has the best start in life (UNICEF). That’s why it’s critical to assure the availability of stable, responsive relationships, growth-promoting experiences, and healthy environments for all young children – essential requirements for building sturdy brain architecture and promoting resilience.
Albright College Early Childhood Education Program has a history of preparing outstanding early childhood educators who
- learn critical tools to support the physical, cognitive, social and emotional development of young children
- become facilitators of active learning in developmentally appropriate environments;
- implement research-based curriculum and instruction;
- make data-driven decisions through assessment;
- build relationships with families and communities;
- exude professionalism, including ethical decision-making.
Are you ready to inspire the next generation of students? Do you want to learn to be an effective teacher of younger students? If you have a passion for helping children to learn and develop new skills, the Early Childhood Education (PK-4) Program at Albright College may be a great fit for you.
- Combining classroom and practical experiences, the early childhood education major offers the strong foundation you need to understand the developmental and educational needs of young children.
- Emphasis is placed on working with young children and their families. You will apply classroom knowledge of child development, families and best teaching practices to a variety of educational settings including public school kindergarten and primary programs, preschool programs, Head Start, childcare, parenting and family support programs.
- The Albright Early Learning Center is a NAEYC accredited early childhood learning facility (Infant Care – Kindergarten) where certified teachers will mentor you as you develop your teaching skills.
- Partnering with Muhlenberg, Fleetwood, Wilson, Boyertown and Governor Mifflin School Districts, Albright’s ECE Program provides field experiences in urban, suburban, and rural locations.
- At Albright, the PK-4 educator candidate combines a study of a liberal studies discipline with the study of early childhood education, earning the benefits of a liberal arts education. You can select from more than 20 possible co-majors to enrich your teaching preparation.
Advising Sheets are made available for a preview into a sample course sequences for prospective Education students. These are subject to change and work with our commitment to the Creativity and Innovation that is displayed through our unique co-majors at Albright College.
Advisers will work with you to individually plan your course selection and completion of requirements for PA teaching certification, licensing you to teach in pre-school childcare facilities as well as in public school from PK through grade four.
Students are required to pass the PRAXIS exam for their content area in order to receive certification. More information on these exams can be found at: PRAXIS Exam Materials
- PAPA Modules 1 Reading (001); 2 Math (002); and 3 Writing (003) OR Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators Tests should be completed no later than the end of 1st Semester Sophomore year
- Early Childhood Education Module 1 (006); Module 2 (007); & Module 3 (008) should be completed prior to student teaching
APPLY FOR ADMISSION TO THE TEACHER CERTIFICATION PROGRAM
- Submit “Formal Application for Admission to the Certification Program” This can be found on the Education Department website under “Resources” or by contacting the Manager of Education Department Programs
- A minimum of three semesters of study (12 course units or its equivalent of 48 credit hours)
- Passing Scores on PAPA Modules or Praxis Core Academic Skills Tests (Reading, Writing, Math)
- Completion of two college math and two college English (composition and literature) courses with a C or above
- Minimum GPA of 2.8.
APPLY FOR ADMISSION TO PROFESSIONAL SEMESTER
- Submit “Student Teaching Application.” This can be found on the Education Department website under “Resources” or by contacting the Manager of Education Department Programs.
- C or higher on all education & content courses required for certification
- Minimum GPA of 3.0
- Letter of Admission to the Teacher Certification Program
Students are required to obtain and annually renew their clearances: Child Welfare, FBI Fingerprinting, and PA State Police. More information on this process can be found at: PA Clearances Center. We recommend students obtain their clearances in July so they are valid for the entire academic year.
EDU 200: Introduction to Early Childhood Education
This course will provide an overview of the basic principles in development from prenatal to adolescent. The student will review trends in contemporary research on physical, intellectual, emotional, and social development from birth to adolescence and the impact of the interaction of these various aspects of development upon the individual as a whole. Major issues examined in this course include the relation of nature to nurture, of genes to environment, of the developing individual to the changing social context, and of mental health to school performance and learning theories. The course will begin with the history of developmental psychology. The student will be expected to discuss the contexts in which children live, with a particular focus on family, peers, and the larger cultural context. The course will end with an examination of physical, cognitive, and socio-emotional development, with consideration of the cultural context, and focusing particularly within the family unit. Clearances required
EDU 235: Mathematical Reasoning for Elementary Teachers
The Mathematical Reasoning course introduces elementary education teacher candidates to the mathematical knowledge needed for teaching with an emphasis on why future teachers are learning the content, as well as when and how they will use it in the classroom. The eight Standards for Mathematical Practice (SMP) will be integrated throughout the course. As students explore each mathematical concept, they will consider questions that will help them to consider how they might clarify subtle and often misunderstood points for their future students. Focusing on the development of understanding of elementary mathematics at a deeper conceptual level, teacher candidates will develop competency in scaffolding and supporting students’ problem-solving processes and developing understandings. Future teachers will develop insights into mathematical questions and procedures that children will generate and ways to respond to them. The mathematical concepts in this course address the content standards in the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics. The Mathematical Reasoning course fills the 2nd mathematics course requirement for admission to Albright’s Teacher Certification Program and for Pennsylvania Teacher Certification. It will not fill Albright’s General Studies Foundations Quantitative course requirement.
EDU 250: Children’s and Adolescent Literature for K-12 Educators
In this course, we will study authors, readers, illustrators and their illustrations, scholars and theories, awards, and reviewing media of Children’s and Adolescent’s literature. By the conclusion of our study, you will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the history, traditions, and chief characteristics of literature written for and read by children and adolescents, the leading authors, illustrators, and scholars of the genre. You will know the primary facts and point of view for a variety of issues in children’s and adolescent’s literature including genre distinctions, academic status, gender politics and censorship. Throughout the course you will engage in critical thinking, analytical reading, discussion supported by research and textual evidence, and writing about children’s and adolescent’s literature. You will be knowledgeable regarding a wide variety of resources for the study and analysis of children’s and adolescent’s and be proficient at using these resources for writing a thesis driven research essay as well as classroom activities.
EDU 320: PK-4 Mathematics and Science
This course is designed to provide participant with the current theory, research, and processes associated with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics instruction and assessment for young children (PK – 4). Participants will build familiarity with the PA Early Learning Standards for Mathematical Thinking and Expression and Scientific Thinking & Technology and the PA Standards for Mathematics; Science & Technology; and Environment & Ecology. Early Childhood Teacher Candidates will develop their lesson planning skills and an understanding of how to construct a unit of study, using Bloom’s Taxonomy and Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences as guides for engaging diverse learners in varied levels of mathematical and scientific thinking. Clearances required.
EDU 321: PK-4 Social Studies, Arts & Humanities
The underlying assumptions of the social studies methods course are embedded in constructivist philosophy. In this approach, students are thought to learn best when they are involved directly in authentic experiences. The experiences are planned and mediated by the teacher such that students gain in-depth understandings of their own lives within a diverse society and of today’s world. Teachers must plan carefully and thoroughly for such activities to take place successfully. They must take into account student characteristics and prior experiences in order to create meaningful experiences. Most likely, in this problem-centered approach, students become engaged from multiple perspectives, thus instruction and learning are “integrated.” This is where the Arts (ex. Art, Music, Theater) and the Humanities (ex. Literature, Foreign Languages) enter the picture, supported by the Mathematics and the Sciences. Social Studies units will be built on this Interdisciplinary approach using Children’s Literature as the source of the topic with all of the other subject areas working together to provide the opportunities to learn at the student’s own level. Students will become engaged in their work by integrating Art and Music under the guidance of the skilled classroom teacher. During the actual instructional event, teachers may spend much of their time as coaches and facilitators (rather than center stage disseminators of knowledge). Anticipated outcomes for the learners are in-depth conceptual knowledge, critical thinking processes, social skill development and positive self-esteem. Clearances required.
EDU 323: Early Literacy and Language Development
This course focuses on early language and literacy development during the age span of birth through grade one. An emphasis will be placed on the development of theoretical conceptualizations, research-based methods of instruction, tools to assess student learning, and strategies to design developmentally appropriate instruction. Candidates will develop competency in implementing adult-child interactions and creating learning environments that support early language and literacy development. This course is a field-intensive methods course, requiring substantial classroom time at the Albright Early Learning Center AELC, at local preschools, and Head Start. Clearances required.
EDU 324: Elementary Language Arts
This course introduces Early Childhood Education certification candidates to instruction and assessment strategies to support the literacy development of the child from grades 2 to 4. Candidates will develop an understanding of research-based strategies for supporting the development of developing and sustaining readers and writers. Course activities will include observation of classroom instruction as the certification candidates build a foundation of understanding of effective early literacy instruction and assessment. Candidates will tutor primary students and assist primary teachers with literacy instruction. Through this service learning, candidates will complete a minimum of 10 hours of level 2 field experiences. Clearances required.
EDU 327: ELL Strategies for the Developing Child
This course introduces early childhood education certification candidates to instruction and assessment knowledge, laying the pedagogical foundations for teaching a diverse population (Pre-K-4). The purpose of this course is to provide students with the philosophical, theoretical, and instructional foundations for understanding the schooling experiences of English language learners. Within this broader context, historical, legal and policy issues will be examined to assess their impact on school practices and student performance. Candidates will examine and understand key concepts of first and second language acquisition, language proficiency, and comprehensible input, research-based instructional strategies for academic development and assessment, and parental involvement. While enrolled in this course, candidates will be participating in a Practicum Semester in which they will be team teaching with a classroom teacher in an inclusive setting. With this course, teacher candidates will become more knowledgeable and better prepared to teach in our ever- growing diverse society. Enrollment in this course is limited to students who have been admitted to Albright’s Early Childhood Education Teacher Certification Program and who have completed EDU 323 and 324. Clearances are required.
EDU 328: Early Childhood Practicum
This course is designed to engage participants in the study of and practical application of research-based models of instruction and assessment. Candidates will develop an understanding of classroom management strategies, focusing on the development of high engagement learning environments that integrate social-emotional learning, discipline and self-regulation. Candidates will work in K-4 classrooms for four half-days (or two full days) during the Practicum semester. Collaboratively planning and implementing instruction with a primary classroom teacher, candidates will develop strategies to differentiate instruction. They will use flexible grouping and a variety of co-teaching models to implement data-driven instruction. Candidates meet weekly for on-campus seminars. Candidates will expand their understanding of teaching as a partnership with their students’ families and communities. They will develop a stronger understanding of how to promote wellness, good nutrition, and healthful practices in the PK-4 classroom. Enrollment in this course is limited to students who have been admitted to Albright’s Early Childhood Education Teacher Certification Program and who have completed EDU 323 and 324. Clearances are required.
EDU 350: Instructional Technology
This course will prepare teacher certification candidates to use technology in the PK-12 environment and to reflect how technology impacts the teacher, the student and the classroom as a whole. Course objectives are developed in accordance with the ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) Performance Standards for Teachers as well as the PA Information Literacy Standards, which are located in the Academic Standards for Business, Computer, and Information Technology. The content of the course continually changes to meet the ongoing growth in this field. Enrollment in this course is limited to students who have been admitted to Albright’s Teacher Certification Program.
SPE 380: Early Childhood Inclusive Classroom Assessment & Adaptations
This course is designed to meet the needs of teachers in today’s early childhood inclusive classrooms presenting a variety of teaching and assessment strategies that have been proven effective in educating both general and special education students. The goals of this course are to have participants develop an understanding of the special educational needs of students with mild-moderate disabilities; to have participants develop a practical understanding and demonstrate a proficiency in creating and implementing teaching approaches designed to accommodate the individual needs of all students, both with and without disabilities, and to assess the individuals with both teacher made and professionally made materials for better programming in their classrooms. Clearances are required.