The purpose of this certificate is to expose practitioners and prospective teachers in various early childhood education contexts to both theoretical and practical knowledge regarding current trends in the area of early childhood education, child development and teaching, and practices in the field. It also aims at developing the related skills for better performance. New educational programs and approaches are explored in light of findings of new brain research regarding how children learn and develop. The implications for appropriate practices are studied in various areas which include curriculum, methods of instruction, classroom management, parental involvement and the changing role of the teacher. Special emphasis will be placed upon the inquiry method and the development of creative and critical thinking.
- CECE 201 New Trends in Early Childhood Education
This course explores contemporary trends in the field of early childhood education, including major theories, models, programs, approaches and best practices. Special emphasis will be laid on findings of new brain research in regard to how children learn, important factors that contribute to their learning, and their implications for developmentally appropriate practice in early childhood programs.
- CECE 202 Integrated Curricular Practices in ECE
This course examines the integrated curriculum, including its nature, characteristics, the rationale behind its application in relation to the way children learn, the nature of content areas and the aims of education in addressing all aspects of children’s development. Illustrations will be taken from various content areas (science, math, language, and social studies) relevant to the children’s different spheres of development (physical, cognitive, emotional and social). The course dwells upon the two major forms of its application: the thematic unit and the project approach with special emphasis on inquiry based learning.
- CECE 203 Managing the Early Childhood Program
This course explores how developmentally appropriate early childhood programs are managed, including planning the learning experiences, organizing the learning environment and guiding children’s behavior. It encompasses both concepts and principles underlying this management and their practical applications to motivate children’s development and learning, considering both their needs and rights in accordance with the aims of education. Along with the theoretical background, this course equips students with practical skills necessary for the organization and management, with special emphasis on assessment of children’s development and learning.
- CECE 204 Creativity and Creative Skills in ECE
This course explores theoretical and practical aspects of creativity, stages of its development, relevant skills and means for fostering them in early childhood programs. The practical use of children’s creative experiences in art, music, play, literature, and drama is dubbed to foster children’s creative, critical and higher thinking skills and social development. Special emphasis is laid on play as this course equips students with theoretical background and practical skills necessary for facilitating the natural playfulness in young children, as it presents different theoretical frameworks that study the role of play in children’s development and learning, its characteristics and stages. The course also explores how the teacher’s roles and responsibilities enhance children’s growth through creative experiences.