Courses for MAT Early Childhood Education, PreK-4

The faculty of the School of Education take pride in the curriculum they teach. Whether just beginning in the field of education as an undergraduate student or pursuing a graduate or doctoral degree, the coursework will prepare students to confidently and effectively make a difference in classrooms, school districts, and communities.

Course NumberCourse TitleCredits
GEPK 503

Child Development Typical and Atypical Development Birth through Age 9

This course provides an in-depth examination of typical and atypical development of children from birth to nine years in physical, cognitive, social and emotional areas of growth. Candidates will develop the knowledge, skills, and disposition to understand young children’s characteristics and needs that encompass multiple, interrelated areas of children’s development and learning- including physical, cognitive, social, emotional, language, and aesthetic domains, play, activity, and learning processes, and motivation to learn. Candidates will be able to describe the developmental patterns of change, physical, cognitive and psychosocial areas that have been identified for each stage of development. Candidates will develop an understanding of inclusive practices and how to scaffold experiences to enhance domain development. Candidates will use the method of inquiry and research to identify an influence that can have an impact on overall child development.

GEPK 504

Theory Research and Practice

GEPK 504 Theory, Research and Practice in Education3 credits This course considers developmentally appropriate practices in early childhood care and education. It includes early care and education perspectives at several different levels, since early childhood covers the age range from newborn through age 9. Standards, criteria, and guidelines developed by the National Association for the Education of Young Children are examined.

GEPK 505

Level One and Level Two Field Experience

This 0 credit 30 hour field experience is designed to introduce candidates to early childhood settings and grades 1-4 classrooms. Candidates will complete 15 hours of level 1 observations in an early childhood setting and 15 hours of level 2 small group or one on one experiences in an elementary (grades 1-4) classroom. Candidates will take this course with GEPK 504 Theory, Research, and Practice in Education. 

GEPK 525

Engaging Families Through Early Literacy Experiences

The early years are the most important period of literacy development. Major emphasis is on the developmental nature of becoming literate, the concept of emergent literacy, and the importance of quality reading and language arts experiences, and the vital relationship between reading and writing. This course will focus on emergent and literacy development birth through PreK children and creating engaging literacy experiences for families to implement at home. Candidates will become familiar with genres in Children’s Literature and will plan and implement cross-curricular literacy experiences for preschool age children as well as plan and implement literacy focused parent workshop sessions. Some of the class sessions will be held on Saturdays to implement on-campus literacy sessions with children and parents.

GEPK 526

Literacy, Language and Literature II

This course explores the development and acquisition of language, contemporary approaches to the teaching of language arts with emphasis on richness in content and activities to meet the needs of a broad range of linguistically different children. Emphasis will include the teaching of reading and writing during the early years.

GEPK 527

Literacy Field Experience

Candidates will complete 30 field hours working with PreK-4 children in a marginalized population school and/or community setting. This field experience is connected to the courses GEPK 525 AND 526.

GEPK 528

Curriculum Design Through Creative Play and the Arts

Candidates will explore effective and appropriate planned and spontaneous experiences that are meaningful and challenging in learning environments. These experiences will encourage children's physical, cognitive, language, socio emotional, and aesthetic development through play-based experiences. Candidates will plan developmentally appropriate integrated lessons including the creative arts.

GEPK 530

Methods of Teaching Mathematics in Grades PreK-4

GEPK 530 Methods of Teaching School Mathematics PreK-4 4 credits A study of the concepts and skills related to operations of whole numbers, decimals/common fractions with a problem-solving focus, issues in problem-solving geometry, and measurement.

GEPK 531

Methods of Teaching Mathematics in Grades PreK-4 Field Experience Level 3

GEPK 531 Methods of Mathematics Field Experience PreK-4, Level 30 credit Candidates will complete 30 hours of field experience working with urban PreK-4 children in a school/community based setting.

GEPK 535

Methods of Teaching Science in Grades PreK-4

GEPK 535 Methods of Teaching Science PreK-4 2 credits This is laboratory-oriented science education, using a variety of programs, units, and lessons designed to facilitate development of scientific thinking in children. Various science programs will be studied and students will work with program materials. Focus will be on teacher and learner competencies in the planning, implementation and evaluation of an adaptive science-learning environment.

GEPK 536

Methods of Teaching Science in Grades PreK-4 Field Experience Level 3

GEPK 536 Methods of Science Field Experience PreK-4, Level 3 0 credit Candidates will complete 15 field hours working with PreK-4 children in a school/community based setting.

GEPK 540

Methods of Teaching Social Studies in Grades PreK-4

GEPK 540Methods of Teaching Social Studies PreK-4 2 credits This course explores the structure of the social studies curriculum, goals and objectives, basic and advanced instructional techniques and special content areas, e.g. multicultural, geography, and affective outcomes.

GEPK 541

Methods of Teaching Social Studies in Grades PreK-4 Field Experience

GEPK 541 Methods of Social Studies Field Experience PreK-4, Level 3 0 credit Candidates will complete 15 field hours working with PreK-4 children in a school/community based setting.

GEPK 542

Family and School Collaboration

Candidates will apply their understanding of the complex characteristics of children’s families and communities by recognizing the central role that families play in the development of children and utilize their knowledge of the school culture and community at large to meet the needs of the families represented in their classroom. In addition candidates will have knowledge of the variations in beliefs, traditions, and values related to children and learning across and within cultures and the impact of poverty on family systems and children’s development. Candidates will recognize the importance of providing a socially just environment for all children by creating and implementing two family engagement activities that will create a sense of community in their classroom. This course is offered in conjunction with Student Teaching and utilizes the assigned placement to implement the given strategies.

GESL 501

Helping English Language Learners in Mainstream Classes

English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction aims to provide English Language Learner (ELLs) with social, cultural and basic and academic language skills to improve their academic achievement. Granted that the developmental goals of ELL’s language and academic skills are inseparably interdependent, ESL instruction cannot be perceived as the sole responsibility of ESL specialists. This course aims to support pre-service content area teachers in developing adequate level of competency in addressing the special needs of linguistically and culturally diverse learners in their classes. It also prepares pre-service content area teachers to work with ESL professionals on various levels. The course provides them with basic knowledge and skills appropriate and effective instructional experience for the ELL population. It also focuses on how content area teachers can make accommodations, adaptations and modifications in their instructional planning and implementation to create an inclusive instructional environment for all learners. In light of PDE requirements, the course covers content related to the five TESOL standards, including language, culture, instructiona, assessment, and professionalism.

GFDE 552

Educational Psychology in Pre-K Elementary Classrooms

This course will focus on the use of key theoretical principles of learning and motivation to create motivating learning environments for students in early childhood/elementary level classrooms. Emphasis will be placed on examination of beliefs about the teaching-learning process and use of theory and research to make effective decisions of teaching practice within developmentally-responsive classrooms.

GFDE 555

Foundations of Assessment in Grades PreK-4

Covers foundations of assessing student learning with special emphasis on developmentally appropriate assessment of young children’s learning through informal and formal observation. Topics also include reliability and validity, teacher made tests, diagnostic, screening, achievement and other standardized tests, goals, objectives, targets and standards, ethics and legal issues, objective, subjective, performance and authentic approaches to assessment.

GILT 511

Technology and Education

Examines the pedagogy of teaching digitally, the use of technology as a teaching strategy for the classroom, and the impact of school-related legislation and leadership roles available in instructional technology.

GILT 512

Instructional Design

"Instructional Design is a ""hands-on"" course. As such, you will work on assignments to address some of the key issues confronting educators with respect to the design and implementation of technology-based lessons in the classroom. This course introduces the fundamental concepts of technology-based instruction by examining the pedagogy of teaching and the use of technology as a teaching tool. The instructional design theories that are introduced are equally applicable to education, training and learning in general. However, this course was designed specifically around the application of these theories and practices in the teaching of children. Blending these theories, participants design instructional materials that take full advantage of their target population's learning strengths, and help their learners master the material and identified learning objectives. The design activities are provided to guide you in the development of an overall unit of instruction and how the particular lesson you will create in this course fit into the grand scheme of the identified unit of instruction. "

GSPE 501

Exploring Inclusive Practices

This online course allows teacher candidates from various disciplines to explore methods and supports for delivery of instruction to students with high incidence disabilities. A foundations will laid for acquiring the necessary background and skills in the process(es) of universal design, differentiated instruction, and co-teaching. With an emphasis on literacy development, candidates will become familiar with adapting curriculum based on student learning needs, IEP, and 504 plan goals and objectives, and environmental considerations.

GSPE 603

Multi-Tiered Systems of Support

Provides an introduction to the process of Response to Intervention (RTI) including the history, dimensions and characteristics of monitoring student progress and providing general and special education services for preschool and school-age students. Skills focus on the creation and analysis of student data systems, graphing behavior, interpreting evaluation results and placement in tier system. Students will develop strategies to create and modify plans for student instruction, analyze assessment information and make placement recommendation for students.

LTEC 592

Student Teaching PreK-4

Student teaching for Grades PreK-4 certification required a split placement in Early Childhood and Elementary. Student teaching is shared between a NAEYC accredited early childhood classroom or setting, and an elementary classroom under the direct supervision of a cooperating teacher and a University supervisor.

LTEC 593

Student Teaching Pre-Kindergarten - Fourth Grade Abroad

Students who plan to student teach may fulfill part of their student teaching requirement by student teaching for 10 weeks abroad.