This course provides a foundational base for the field of Early Childhood and an introduction to the Early Childhood Studies major. It includes exploration of current practices, various roles, professionalism, environments for learning and approaches to working with and teaching diverse young children. The course also provides an outline of the historical and theoretical foundation of the field, development of young children, resources for professional development, and the development of early childhood curriculum with equitable learning opportunities.
Full course description for Foundations of Early Childhood Studies
This course explores the social, cultural, and historical contexts which impact child development. Students learn how children have been perceived during historical periods as well as the roles that children play in a variety of cultures. Emphasis is on racism, classism, sexism, ethnocentrism, ableism and heterosexism. Strategies for reducing the negative impact on children's lives and promoting healthy development of children within the social-political context are explored. The roles of parents, family and the community are considered as they relate to current policies affecting the needs of young children.
Full course description for Early Childhood Development within a Social/Cultural and Historical Context
This course addresses the developmentally appropriate strategies to support learning of socially appropriate classroom behaviors for young children. Strategies examined for the course support social development, personal values and citizenship. The developmental and philosophical rationale for selection of behavior guidance strategies and practices are the foundational focus of the course. Students address the differences between discipline, classroom management and positive behavior guidance with particular focus on the cultural and contextual experiences of children in urban communities.
Full course description for Positive Behavior Guidance
Developmentally appropriate curriculum, materials, and environmental design for infants and toddlers are the focus of this course. Students will review infant and toddler development and connect development to the practices used to design programs for infants and toddlers in urban early childhood settings. The importance of integrating the values, language, and cultural practices of the child's family into the daily curriculum will be a topic. The course will focus on strategies for communication with urban families and the current issues around infant and toddler care. Students will consider the appropriate practices for a program serving infants and toddlers in a diverse urban community. This course requires a practicum designed to provide urban field experiences for students to practice meeting the individual developmental needs of infants and toddlers. Using the basic strategies and techniques of child study, the student will learn to critically observe and assess the general…
Full course description for Urban Infant-Toddler Curriculum and Practicum
The spectrum of physical and motor development of children from conception to age 8 will be covered in this course. Students will also be introduced to foundations of good nutrition and health maintenance for young children. There will be opportunities to develop nutritional plans for yearly childhood programs that respect cultural and religious diversity. Students will consider health policies for schools and child care centers as well as assess and plan large and small motor activities for groups and individual children. The effects of drugs will be addressed, from the prenatal period through the use of medication to treat behavior and emotional conditions in early childhood.
Full course description for Physical Development, Health, Nutrition, Effects of Drugs in Birth-Grade 6
This course examines principles of teaching that can be derived from psychological theories and research, including behavioral, cognitive and social cognitive theories. Students plan and implement appropriate instructional practices based on knowledge of individual children, home culture, the urban community, curriculum goals and content.
Full course description for Principles of Teaching and Learning in Early Childhood
This course focuses on a comparative study of traditional, current and culturally-based program models designed for children from birth through five years of age. Students are introduced to early childhood program models including: The Creative Curriculum, Reggio Emilia, Head Start, Montessori, High Scope, Waldorf, behavioral approaches to learning (Portage, Distar), early childhood family education, and school readiness.
Full course description for Comparative Study of Early Childhood Program Models
This course provides students with foundational knowledge of the development of the communication skills in young children from birth through age eight. Topics include: hearing and speaking, speech and language development, vision and visual motor skills, and emergent literacy and small motor skills development. The process of learning more than one language is addressed as well as strategies for working with children for whom English is not the first language. The application of knowledge in the areas of assessment, individualization and referral are addressed and practiced.
Full course description for Language and Communication Development in Early Childhood Education
This practicum is for students interested in working with young children. Students apply their knowledge and skills within a community-based program, school, or agency serving young children from birth through age five. Students are required to complete observations, plan activities and facilitate children's learning. The practicum includes required hours in the field as well as lectures and assignments. Note: This course is reserved for Early Childhood Studies students.
Full course description for Early Childhood Studies Practicum
Note: PSYC 420 Early Childhood Studies Capstone: Professionalism and Ethical Issues will change from 4 credits to 2 credits starting Spring 2024.
Metropolitan State University offers two online courses leading to the Minnesota Association for the Education of Young Children (MnAEYC) Director's Credential. The MnAEYC Director's Credential program is a voluntary opportunity for the career advancement and professional development of early childhood center directors and other administrators. Students seeking the Director's Credential complete Psyc 425 Administration of Early Childhood Programs I and Psyc 426 Administration of Early Childhood Programs II through Metropolitan State University. After courses are successfully completed, students send an application and payment to the Minnesota Association for the Education of Young Children to receive the credential.
This course covers the nature of early childhood program administration, decision making and communication, leadership images, human relations, time management, employee motivation and evaluation, planning and organizing, and budgeting. Special attention is paid to the geographic location, ethnic composition and ages of the population being served, legal requirements for centers in Minnesota and other states, philosophies of child care and their impact on curriculum, and staff qualifications.
Full course description for Administration of Early Childhood Programs I
This course identifies and evaluates critical success factors leading to effective managerial performance of early childhood administrators in the roles of planner, decision maker, organizer, leader and motivator. Management theory, current trends in regulations and standards for early childhood programs including health/safety of children in the facility, federal history in early childhood, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and child abuse and neglect mandated reporter regulations. Students examine the elements of a business plan and budgeting, strategic planning, parent engagement, advocacy, anti-bias leadership and program marketing.
Full course description for Administration of Early Childhood Programs II
Alternative learning strategies are options for students in the Early Childhood Studies program. Through a Student-Directed Independent Study, students can create a proposal to study an early childhood topic that is not covered in a college course. Early Childhood Studies faculty can assist with registration and evaluation of the student created course. Faculty Designed Independent Studies are created by faculty often using the same learning outcomes as the course of the same name. Faculty Designed Independent Studies are listed in the class schedule.
Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) is the process by which learning gained through work, training, or self-study is systematically assessed for college credit. The student and faculty decide how the student will demonstrate that the student has met the learning outcomes. Assessment may include writing a paper, creating a portfolio, taking a test, or an oral interview. Students work with a faculty evaluator to decide the best way to assess what they already know about the care and education of children. Students can also register for a free online workshop PSYC 020-81 Getting Credit for What You Know in Early Childhood.
Finally, students can earn college credits for training that is not sponsored by Metropolitan State University but has been assessed and approved for prior learning credit. Admitted students are eligible to apply for credit if they earned the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential, the Montessori Center of Minnesota Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) 3-6 Diploma, or the Parents In Community Action (PICA) Head Start Journey Assessment for teachers. Contact an Early Childhood Studies program advisor to learn more about these options.