Introduction Early childhood education and teaching programs prepare people to work in schools and preschools. Students learn the principles of teaching young children up to the third grade level. They also learn to direct and operate childcare centers. Overview Puzzles. Finger paints. Books with bright pictures. Counting beads. Colorful carpets and games with friends. Preschool. Ahh, those were the days. Playing for hours at preschool. But what was all that play about? Puzzles taught you spatial skills. Painting taught you creativity and how to make shapes. Hearing someone read to you got you familiar with words. Counting beads taught you to ¿ of course ¿count! Playing with friends taught you social skills. And of course, there was that special teacher who made you feel good about your accomplishments. http://usearch.mnscu.edu/education/fieldOfStudy?tab=5&id=471100
You can become that special teacher yourself by enrolling in an early childhood education program. In this program, you learn how young minds learn and develop. You learn how to promote a child's learning in many areas, including physical, social, emotional, and mental. You study child psychology, how to use technology in the classroom, and how to measure student progress. You also learn about different subject matter, from reading to math to art. You then use this information to learn how to plan creative and stimulating activities and materials. And through student teaching, you get to apply the information that you've learned and try out ideas that you've developed.
Some programs allow you to focus on a specific subject area. For example, you might concentrate on language arts. This would allow you to concentrate your teaching on helping children learn to read and speak well. Many colleges and universities offer programs in early childhood education. You can earn a bachelor's, a master's, or a doctoral degree in this program of study. In general, a bachelor's degree takes about four years of full-time study after high school. Graduate degrees typically take two to five years to complete after your bachelor's degree.
You can also earn a postbaccalaureate certificate. One-year certificate and two-year associate degree programs in early childhood education are designed to prepare people to work with preschool children or as teacher aides in schools. Some two-year educational aide programs allow students to specialize in classroom aide, bilingual/bicultural aide, students with disabilities, and vocational-technical education. As an early childhood teacher, you can work in public and private schools, day-care centers, camps, kindergartens, and other similar places.
Undergraduate special Some programs require you to complete an admissions process separate from their general undergraduate admissions process. In such a case, you typically apply to the program after your freshman or sophomore year. Program admissions vary. However, for all programs, you need good grades. You also usually need to complete some combination of the following requirements: Praxis I (or some other exam that tests your general academic skills) Core courses Personal statement Required general education courses Depending on the program, you may first need to complete introductory education courses before you can apply to the teacher education program. Some schools require that students pass reading, computation, and writing skill tests. In some states, a criminal records check and child abuse registry clearance are required before beginning student teaching.
Early-childhood education embraces a variety of group care and education programs for young children and parents. The traditional focus on DAY CARE , NURSERY SCHOOL and KINDERGARTEN programs has expanded recently to include attention to the needs of infants and school-aged children in primary grades, but programs designed for children in the 2-to-8 age range still outnumber those for older and younger children.Various types of day-care and nursery programs are designed for the care and education needs of preschool children. Although different kinds of day care exist, there is increasing demand for the kind of group program associated with a centre. In schools, kindergarten and the early primary grades are considered within the purview of early-childhood education. For some Canadian children, entry to kindergarten or first grade represents the first organized early-education experience. http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=A1ARTA0002536
Instructional Models for Early Childhood Education. ERIC Digest. What is the best approach for teaching young children? No question could be more pressing as teachers, researchers, and policy makers strive to make sure all children are "ready to learn." Yet, as of now, there is no definitive answer. This Digest discusses the existing knowledge base on the differential effects of various approaches to early education. Concurrently, the field eagerly anticipates results from the recently funded Preschool Curriculum Evaluation Research initiative, which will use randomized trials to examine a variety of preschool curricular approaches. http://www.ericdigests.org/2003-3/early.htm
Although, depending on the age and experience of the children involved, programs may emphasize either the care or the education of the child at a particular time, all early-childhood education is guided by concern for the individual child and by an awareness of the need to nurture all aspects of his or her development. Early-education practice reflects the thinking of Johann Pestalozzi (1746-1829), the renowned Swiss educator whose concern for, and work with, young orphan children is generally acknowledged as being responsible for the birth of early-childhood education.
The influence of European educators, such as Friedrich Froebel, Maria Montessori and Margaret McMillarn, is obvious in North American and European early-childhood education. The Montessori schools in Canada are a concrete example, but the more widespread and enduring impact of these educators is reflected in classroom practices based on their beliefs about child development and their respect for a child's individuality. In the latter part of the 20th century, early-childhood education has been strongly influenced by Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget's theories. Piaget's studies of children's thinking, in particular, have stimulated a wave of research exploring children's intellectual development, resulting in many innovations in early-childhood programs.
There is an ongoing controversy about what constitutes the best educational experience for the young child. Generally the goals and purposes of this experience are in less dispute than the means by which they are to be achieved. Recently parent and public demands for educational "accountability" and a return to "the 3 Rs" have included attacks on "play" approaches to teaching and learning. At issue are conflicting beliefs about when children can and should direct their own learning. For example, the extent to which the teacher, or any adult, should intervene in a child's learning is debatable, particularly when intervention takes the form of direct instruction in teacher-directed lessons. A second, related question, concerns the desirability of prespecified learning objectives. Much of the debate concerns school programs for children in the 5-8 age range, but it has spilled over into preschool programs as well. The latter seems tied to the fact that many children spend 1-2 years in preschool before entering school.
Compensatory education for preschool children, developed principally in the US with extensive government funding, was intended to meet the needs of socially and economically disadvantaged children. Some programs designed by groups of educational researchers and developers challenged the long-standing early-childhood education emphasis on social and emotional development and emphasized intellectual development. The conflict between the more traditional and the experimental programs and the effect of these programs on the children became part of the general discussion about the means and ends of the preschool experience. This discussion, in Canada, has centered around children with special needs or "at risk" children (eg, those who because of one or more factors in their background may face some difficulties in school achievement or social adjustment, or both.)
Other developments within the field of education and society have also influenced the scope and direction of early-childhood education. For many years the study of child development and early-education practice were dominated by the child developmentalists, who resisted direct intervention by teachers in children's learning. However, since the 1960s scholars and researchers in other disciplines and professions have turned their attention to the study of children and the early-education setting. In Canada today a number of university departments of education and psychology are engaged in research exploring the dimensions of child development and learning, and the dimensions and outcomes of early-childhood practice. The research of linguists, eg, has provided new understanding of the development of and relationship between language and thought. These findings have generated new discussions about the teacher's role in language development.
Changing ways of life and other social change have also affected early education because of changing needs and demands for child care and education. The increasing number of working women, many of whom are mothers of young children, has resulted in a demand for increased day-care facilities. In Canada this demand and the related issue of day-care funding have attracted the attention of many interest groups and policymakers, and the role of the school in providing day-care needs has become a subject of debate.
Perhaps the greatest challenge to early-childhood practitioners and researchers today is finding a way to determine whether early-childhood education achieves its objectives. Developing valid and reliable measures to assess program effectiveness, or even to define the criteria of effectiveness, has been difficult because some early-childhood educators are reluctant to support formal evaluation of program effects on children. This reluctance seems to stem from concern that any formal assessment of children promotes a kind of child evaluation that is antithetical to the notion of respecting individual differences. However, advances in research design and methodology and an awareness of the need to back up claims with evidence have combined to support a growing body of research in the field. This research increasingly demonstrates concern with long-term as well as immediate effects of early-childhood programs, and with determining relationships between different types of programs and different learning development outcomes. Author ELLEN M. REGAN
EARLY EMPIRICAL STUDIES AND LONGITUDINAL FOLLOW-UP The work began in the mid-1960s when Head Start was initiated. Well-implemented, conceptually coherent programs grounded in the scientific theories of the time were studied for their effects on children in the short and long term. Three studies are especially noteworthy (see Golbeck, 2001, for more detail about each study). Miller and Bizzell (1983a, 1983b) studied (1) a traditional nursery school, also called Bank Street; (2) Montessori; (3) a direct instruction approach called DISTAR; and (4) a program called DARCEE, which blended specific pre-academic goals and motivational goals. Short-term effects of the programs were consistent with program goals. DISTAR and DARCEE produced the highest outcomes in pre-academic areas, while the more child- centered programs led to higher levels of inventiveness, curiosity, and social participation. However, by second grade, the boys from the Montessori program appeared to be outperforming other groups in reading and also showed a less severe decline in IQ. This advantage was maintained through middle school. Unlike the boys, girls seemed to fare better in the more pre-academic DARCEE program.
Karnes and colleagues (1983) studied five model approaches, including traditional, Montessori, and direct instruction. At the end of first grade, the children from the most highly structured pre-academic programs were most successful in school. But in a later follow-up, the original Montessori group contained the highest percentage of high school graduates, with the traditional program group close behind. Relatively low rates were shown for the other programs. On a composite indicator of success in school, the Montessori boys outperformed boys in other programs.
Researchers at the High/Scope Foundation compared their own Cognitively Oriented Curriculum, direct instruction, and a traditional, child-centered theme-based approach. Again, there was a slight advantage for direct instruction initially, but long-term data collected in adolescence showed higher levels of social adjustment for children in High/Scope and traditional programs (Schweinhart & Weikart, 1997). (These results must be viewed with caution because the developers were also the evaluators in this study.)
These studies have methodological limitations, but taken together, they present a pattern worthy of more exploration. To the extent that there are any differences across pre- kindergarten programs at the beginning of elementary school, they tended to favor the more teacher-directed approaches. Yet, in the long term, children in the child-centered programs fared at least as well or better. In all three studies, children in the direct instruction program had slightly higher IQ or achievement scores immediately following preschool. By middle school, these advantages had eroded, and boys, especially, were floundering more than peers from at least some of the child- centered programs.
The success of the Montessori models studied by Miller and colleagues (1983a, 1983b) and also by Karnes et al. (1983) merits closer scrutiny. Although Montessori models vary, in these studies, boys actually outperformed children in other programs at seventh and eighth grades. Karnes reported that children from the Montessori program showed the highest levels of school success, although they did not necessarily show the highest IQ scores. Perhaps working independently and persisting--both components of Montessori--were important program elements. There may be similarities between instructional strategies found in the DARCEE program, the Montessori approach, and more recent Vygotskian approaches to instruction. The Montessori teacher appears to scaffold from a distance. She keeps extensive observational notes on individual children, using this information to decide when to introduce new materials in a demonstration lesson. She supports the child as he works with carefully structured didactic materials in a carefully sequenced instructional experience.
RECENT RESEARCH Complementing these longitudinal studies is more recent work linking specific instructional variables in preschool and kindergarten classrooms to developmentally appropriate instructional practices. Diverse dependent measures have been studied, including child stress, interpersonal reasoning, and motivation for learning. Instructional techniques that emphasize drill, worksheets, and pre-academics, while minimizing child choice and decision making, lead to higher levels of child stress (Burts et al., 1990; Hyson & Molinaro, in Golbeck, 2001). The effects appear to be most pronounced among boys (Burts et al., 1992).
Motivational outcomes also vary as a function of preschool instructional practices. Although children in more academically oriented preschool programs fared better on achievement tests when compared to children in more child-centered preschool programs, the children rated their abilities lower, showed lower expectations for success on academic tasks, showed more dependency on adults, evidenced less pride in their accomplishments, and claimed to worry more about school. A subsequent study replicated these findings in preschool but suggested that these relationships become more complex in kindergarten, making it difficult to separate the type of instruction from the social context of teachers' behavior (Stipek et al., 1995, 1998; Stipek & Greene, in Golbeck, 2001).
A CALL FOR NEW PARADIGMS Empirical support can be found for child-centered approaches to preschool instruction, especially if the emphasis is upon long-term goals and social-emotional factors related to academic success (e.g., self-regulation). Research suggests that there is an important role for play or active "meaning making" by the child in the classroom, but this must occur within an environment offering the teacher a clear instructional role (Case, Griffin, & Kelly, in Golbeck, 2001; see also Dickinson, 2002). As Stipek et al. (1995; 1998) note, the simple dichotomy between teacher directed and child centered is not adequate for characterizing the complexity of instructional practices in early childhood, and further research combining direct instruction with high nurturance is needed. There are varieties of child-centered approaches, and research shows they are not all equally effective. Similarly, there are varieties of teacher-centered approaches. The discrepancy between short-term and long-term outcomes suggests that there are benefits, and risks, associated with several of the approaches studied.
One way to pursue new paradigms for instruction is to ask teachers how they conceptualize their practices. Marcon (1999) queried teachers about their beliefs and practices. She found that when teachers were clear and their responses corresponded to a single coherent theory of young children's learning and development (based either on a didactic learning approach or a more traditional developmental orientation), children fared better than when their teachers' approaches were "eclectic" or inconsistent.
CONCLUSION Practitioners, researchers, and policy makers must envision new approaches to instruction integrating proven success with new research on early learning. Developmentally appropriate practices must provide a clear role for the teacher, a sequence of content for the child to learn, and opportunities for self-regulation (Ginsburg et al., in Golbeck, 2001; Roskos & Neuman, 2002). Furthermore, new approaches must acknowledge the complex ecology of young children's learning and development. It is imperative to include (1) the interplay among emotions, social understanding, and cognition within the child (Hyson & Molinaro, in Golbeck, 2001; Pianta,1999); (2) factors within the classroom such as socioemotional climate and the teacher-child relationship; and (3) the larger context of school, family, and community (Rogoff et al., 2001).
Directed study/research allows you to design and carry out an independent project, working one-on-one with a faculty member. Directed instruction allows you to assist other students, generally by helping deliver instruction in a course you have already taken. EXC registration allows you to add extra credits to a course you are currently taking or one you have taken in the past. IND registration allows you to enroll in an established course, but to study independently without attending class.
Once the Student/faculty contract has been completed and signed by you, the faculty member and the department, it should be taken by you to the CLA Student Information Office in 49 Johnston Hall. There you will receive a registration override number that will allow you to register for your Directed Study project just as you would for any other class. Sometimes a directed study, directed research, directed instruction, EXC or IND course can count towards the requirements of a major or minor. Many departments have restrictions on this, however, so you should never assume that this will be the case. Consult your adviser about the possibility of using your course to meet departmental requirements.
Independent Study/Directed Study Independent Study and Directed Study are frequently confused with one another. Both offer the opportunity to study individually with an instructor on a contractual basis, but they differ in intent. Independent Study is intended to be an extension or a “spin-off” of an existing course. It provides the student with an opportunity to pursue/research a subject in more depth and in a more independent manner than would be possible in a traditional course. Directed Study is designed to be a substitute for a course that is needed in the student’s program of study, but is not offered in the semester they wish to take it. The material covered in such courses is essentially the same as that covered in the traditional course. http://www.brockport.edu/registrar/faq/independentstudy.html
General Guidelines for all Independent and/or Directed Study You may carry no more than two Independent Study courses in a regular semester and no more than one Directed Study course per semester. You may carry no more than one Independent Study course and one Directed Study course during a summer session. Both Independent and Directed Study courses are a privilege and not a right that may be extended to you by arrangement with the instructor and the department. You are expected to do the work with much less supervision than is customary for a standard course. Independent Study courses will be designated as liberal arts (A) credit. Directed Study courses will be designated either as liberal arts (A) or as professional credit (B) depending upon the regular course’s catalog entry.Independent Study courses may not exceed six credits per semester. The credits assigned for a Directed Study course will be set equal to the credit value of the traditional course for which it is to be substituted.
THE DIRECTED STUDY OVERVIEW A directed study is intended to give a student the opportunity to conduct research in an area of interest to them under the supervision of a faculty member. If, while taking courses you have found a problem or a subject matter of interest and never had the opportunity to pursue it in more depth, then here is an opportunity to do so. You can work with a professor and study the issue or subject more fully than may be possible in a regular course. You can learn how to conduct research, use various research methodologies and arrive at meaningful conclusions. A directed study also gives you the opportunity to work very closely with a professor whose expertise and research interests match your interests. A directed study is not intended to duplicate or act as a substitute for a regular course and this will not be approved. http://www.business.wayne.edu/article.php?id=1241
A typical directed study is student-driven. You are responsible for choosing the subject matter you wish to study, the method, data sources and theoretical question(s), all under the direction of a faculty member. Because a directed study is generally limited to one specific topic, it allows you to examine one question or issue in depth. Choosing the topic or subject matter is probably the most important part of a directed study. You should choose a topic in which you are interested, and toward which your courses and/or experiences have drawn you. You should also consider such things as the availability of research material and data if the study requires data, the timeliness of your subject, and your ability to complete the study in a timely manner.
DIRECTED STUDY EXPECTATIONS The topic selected and the research conducted should lead to new learning, discovery or growth for the student and contribute toward the student’s academic program. The directed study should result in a substantial and significant paper or series of papers. The paper should reflect the significant amount work that was performed in the directed study and should approximate 25 pages or more for undergraduate students and 35 pages or more for graduate students.
What is "Independent Study"? In your Junior or Senior year, you may decide to follow up on an interest or a question that intrigues you in an Independent Study. Proposing an independent study (ILR 4990) begins with a statement of an issue or question of interest, then discussing this topic with a faculty member, and writing a proposal for credit. Students must write a description of their project, how the study will be conducted and with what level of faculty supervision, a tentative bibliography, and an indication of how the work will be evaluated. The proposal is then reviewed by the supervising faculty member and the Academic Standards and Scholarships Committee in ILR. Forms to be completed may be downloaded here (PDF) , completed, and submitted to OSS, 101 Ives Hall. (Forms are also available in the OSS.) http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/studentservices/options/studentresearch/independent_directed_study.html
What if I want to do a project with some classmates? A project involving one or more students supervised by a professor is similar to an Independent Study, but is called Directed Study and is handled slightly differently. How do I get started on a proposal? In most cases, undergraduates begin with an idea, consult with a faculty member who may agree to supervise the study, focus the proposal, develop a preliminary bibliography, and submit it to the supervising faculty member and then to the Committee on Academic Standards.
Who will review my proposal? The Committee reviews your academic record, which should give reason for confidence that you can complete a self-initiated and self-determined study, and the scope of the topic (to be sure that you have identified a manageable amount of material). When do I begin my independent study or directed study? Most 4990's are proposed at the end of a term (for the next semester) or at the very beginning of a term (within the first week).
Out of College Independent Study You may request that a non-ILR professor supervise an Independent Study. The proposal must include description of the topic the methodology and resources to be used the amount of academic credit to be awarded upon successful completion of the project Forms need to be filed with the faculty member's College Registrar; for example, if you are doing an independent study in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, you need to submit their independent study form and file a copy with the ILR Registrar in 101 Ives Hall. You also need to print out and submit a Permission Request form (PDF) to the OSS.
Out of College Directed Study Two or more students may request that a professor outside of ILR supervise a "Directed Study" (ILR 4990), a research project for which a proposal is developed jointly among the students and the professor, then approved by the Committee on Academic Standards and Scholarships. The proposal must include description of the topic the methodology and resources to be used the division of work among the students the amount of academic credit to be awarded to each upon successful completion of the project
A directed study is a special, one-time offering of a topic. The directed study cannot substantially overlap an existing course in the curriculum. Directed studies should not be last-minute, ad hoc ideas. The best directed study proposals are those that are well-defined and have detailed learning objectives and deliverables. You must have a faculty sponsor/instructor support your directed study proposal.
G eneral Restrictions
The directed study cannot duplicate or significantly overlap an existing course. Your academic advisor can assist you in this determination
A directed study carries 3 semester hours of credit
A student may not use more than 9 semester hours of directed study credit to fulfill degree requirements. Check with your department for specific restrictions on the use of directed study credit to fulfill major and free electives
A student must have a cumulative and major GPA of at least 3.0 to be eligible for a directed study
A directed study must be approved at least one month prior to the beginning of the semester that the student plans to enroll in IT 4400
The proposal for the directed study should include:
Descriptive, self-documenting title (the title should describe the purpose of the directed study)
Student�s name, telephone number and email address
One-sentence statement of the purpose of the directed study
Learning objectives with sufficient detail to enable the directed study to be properly evaluated
Detailed schedule of activities, readings, projects, and or/assignments
Deliverables of the directed study, including reports, systems, presentations, etc.
Schedule of deliverables
Description of the evaluation criteria - how the grade will be determined
The name of the supervising faculty member
1. Evaluate your eligibility to participate in a directed study
2. Develop a proposal for a directed study. Talk with your advisor and instructors if you need assistance
3. Get your academic advisor's approval
4. Bring/email the completed proposal to the Department of Computer Science & Information Systems (SC 510). If the proposal needs reworking or is rejected, you will be notified via email. If accepted, you will need to complete the KSU document, "Request For Directed Study Approval".
Do not wait until the last minute to begin developing your proposal. It usually takes a couple of iterations to get the proposal refined
Spread your deliverables out over the semester � do not propose that they all be delivered on the last day of the semester
Get your advisor involved early in the process
It is better to have multiple, small deliverables rather than a single, large deliverable. Examples of deliverables include, but are not limited to: