Early Childhood Education 322

EDEC 322: Early Development and Learning: Preschool through Primary Grades (Three years through age eight)

Pre- or Corequisites: 2.5 GPA; EDEC 321; HUMD 300, or PSYC 317 or equivalent, or permission of instructor

Credit Hours: (4) Three hours lecture, one hour laboratory

Designed to provide knowledge of the dynamic interrelated physical, social, emotional and cognitive development of children three through eight years of age.  Theories of development and methods of child study within cultural and family contexts will be addressed.  Learning patterns will be identified as will appropriate strategies and practices to enhance and support learning and development. Students will go to preschool settings regularly to observe and interact with preschoolers.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

I.   Issues related to observing and studying children

           A. Professional ethics

           B. Data collection methods with preschool and primary age children


II. Developmentally appropriate programs

      A. Definitions

      B. Principles and trends

      C. Myths

      D. Administrative issues


III. Development during the early childhood years (3 through 8)

      A. Physical growth and development

      B. Perception, cognition, and language

      C. Social learning and personality development

      D. Creativity, play, and imagination

      E. Emotional development


IV. Assessment

      A. Developmental assessment

      B. On-going assessment to guide curriculum and instruction

      C. Program evaluation


V. Diversity

      A. Cultural and ethnic

      B. Inclusion of children with disabilities

           C. Gifted children

      D. Language and dialect


VI. Developmental domains and curricula connections

      A. Aesthetic

           1. music

           2. art

           3. drama

      B. Affective

           1. self-concept development

           2. interpersonal relationships

           3. social studies

           4. self control

      C. Cognitive

           1. science

           2. math

           3. social studies

      D. Language Arts

           1. emergent literacy

           2. dialects

           3. limited and non-English speaking children

      E. Physical development

           1. gross motor

           2. fine motor

           3. health

           4. safety

           5. nutrition

      F. Symbolic play

           1. language

           2. concrete and abstract thinking

           3. problem-solving

           4. conflict resolution

      G. Construction

           1. spatial relationships

           2. symmetry

           3. ordering

           4. sequence and patterning


VII. Curriculum development and implementation

      A. Thematic planning

           1. integration/webbing

           2. emergent curriculum

           3. project approach


VIII. Preschool

      A. Learning activities

      B. Using technology to enhance instruction

      C. Transitions

      D. Self-help Skills:

           1. toileting

           2. eating

           3. sleeping

           4. dressing and undressing

      E. Guidance

           1. social interaction and cognition

           2. setting limits

           3. role of the physical environment

           4. discipline

           5. aggression

           6. prosocial behavior

           7. developing positive self-esteem

           8. specific technique in child guidance

      F. Organizing space, materials, and time

           1. learning centers in the classroom

           2. indoor and outdoor environments

      G. Transitioning to public school


IX. Programs for 5 through 8 year olds

      A. Programming/curricula

           1. before and after school

           2. summer programs

      B. Organizing space, materials, and time

           1. learning centers in the classroom

           2. indoor and outdoor environments

      C. Promoting children's self-discipline

           1. theoretical approaches to child guidance

           2. games with rules

           3. helping children to resolve conflicts


X. Regulations and policies

      A. State Department of Social Services

      B. National standards

      C. Accreditation


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Instructional strategies will include lecture, video/films, guest speakers, curriculum projects, field trips, demonstration, role-playing, on-site observations and supervised lab experiences.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

Goals, objectives, and assignments in the class address NCATE Standards 1c: Professional and Pedagogical Knowledge and Skills for Teacher Candidates and 1g: Professional Dispositions for all candidates.


Objectives below also include the following standards:

·         Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) Licensure Standards Professional Studies requirements Competency #2: Curriculum and instructional procedures

·         Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) Licensure Standards Early/primary education preK-3 competency #1: Methods

·         Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) Licensure Standards Early childhood special education competency #9: Child Growth and Development

·         National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Standard

  • Standard #1: Promoting Child Development and Learning
  • Standard #2: Building Family and Community Relationships
  • Standard #3: Observing, Documenting, and Assessing to Support Young Children and Families
  • Standard #4: Teaching and Learning
  • Standard #5: Becoming a Professional

·         Council for Exceptional Children (CEC/DEC) Common Core Standards

  • o   Standard #1: Foundations
  • Standard #2: Development and Characteristics of Learners
  • Standard #3: Individual Learning Differences
  • Standard #4: Instructional Strategies
  • Standard #5: Learning Environments and Social Interactions
  • Standard #6: Language
  • Standard #7: Instructional Planning
  • Standard #8: Assessment
  • Standard #9: Professional and Ethical Practice
  • Standard #10: Collaboration


Interdisciplinary Studies Early Childhood Education/Early Childhood Special Education (IDEC) competencies identified in the course objectives were developed to organize standards from six national and state specialty professional areas for which a crosswalk is provided.


Upon successful completion of EDEC 322, students will be able to:

  1. Describe the child’s growth and development trends and learning, patterns from three years through age eight. (IDEC 1.1)
  2. Demonstrate the ability to select the appropriate teaching strategies, methods, and practices based on the child’s age, interests, and abilities. (IDEC 4.3)
  3. Identify and use effective and ethical means for studying and observing young children. (IDEC 3.2)
  4. Articulate a personal philosophy of education for preschool and primary aged children. (IDEC 6.7)
  5. When planning, recognize the concept of the whole child being able to anticipate the next level of development. (IDEC 4.3)
  6. Plan and implement appropriate curriculum based on child development research and theory, on individual children, the community, and curriculum goals and content development and learning. (IDEC 4.3)
  7. Identify the critical role that parents and other caregivers have in working with children including those with special needs. (IDEC 2.1)
  8. Use informal and formal assessment strategies to individualize curriculum and teaching practices. (IDEC 3.2)
  9. Evaluate instructional practices, teaching resources and curriculum materials for accuracy and usefulness for representing particular ideas and concepts from both educator and administrative perspectives. (IDEC 4.3 & 6.2)
  10. Demonstrate the ability to plan meaningful, integrated learning experiences, in curriculum content areas including language and literacy, mathematics, science, health, safety, nutrition, social studies, art, music, drama, and movement. (IDEC 4.3, 4.6, & 4.7)
  11. Use technology and multimedia effectively to assist instruction (IDEC 6.8)
  12. Communicate effectively with professionals concerned with children and with agencies in the larger community to support children’s development learning and well-being. (IDEC 6.4)
  13. Establish and maintain physically and psychologically safe and healthy learning environments for young children. (IDEC 4.1 & 4.5)
  14. Teach under supervision of qualified professionals in providing services to infants/toddlers and families in childcare settings, and will analyze their experiences. (IDEC 5.1)
  15. Demonstrate appropriate professional writing skills. (IDEC 6.9)


Assessment Measures

  • Written tests
  • Individual and group projects including development of unit and lesson plans
  • Class participation in discussion and small group activities
  • Class presentations
  • Student observations and field notes
  • Completion of lab hours
  • Key NCATE Performance Assessment: “Thematic Unit with Adaptations”


Other Course Information

This course will have a regular field experience equivalent of one (1) lab hour per week.

This course is offered concurrently and braided with EDSP 436: Teaching Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers with Disabilities.


Review and Approval

October 2007 Revised by Barbara Boyd and Boyoung Park