Early Childhood Education
Early childhood education offers opportunities for challenging and diverse career paths for professionals seeking to make positive differences in the lives of young children and their families. This program is designed to provide advanced study, focusing on the developmentally appropriate care and education of children, from birth through age eight, within various early childhood and elementary school settings. UCO's early childhood education graduates are recognized as being some of the best-prepared teachers in the state.
Student Learning Objectives
- Knowledge of young children's characteristics and needs from birth through age 8, of early childhood development.
- Knowledge of the ability to plan a complete integrated unit of learning for young children, and understand the multiple influences on early development and learning.
- Developmental knowledge to create healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging learning environments for young children and the ability to facilitate student-centered instruction with young children.
- Knowledge of the ability to construct effective assessment instruments to assess classroom learning and understanding diverse family and community characteristics.
- Knowledge of the ability to engage professionally in the field of early childhood education and engaging families and communities through respectful, reciprocal relationships.
- Knowledge of the ability to analyze a child in the context of his/her life world, involving families and communities in young children's development and learning.
- Knowledge of understanding the goals, benefits, and uses of assessment- including its use in the development of appropriate goals, curriculum, and teaching strategies for young children and will demonstrate the ability to recognize bias in classroom settings.
- Ability to implement effective instruction for young children, knowing and using observation, documentation, and other appropriate assessment tools and approaches, including the use of technology in documentation, assessment and data collection.
- Understanding of knowledge of assessment partnerships with families and with professional colleagues to build effective learning environments.
- Knowledge of understanding positive relationships and supportive interactions as the foundation of their work with young children.
- Knowledge of understanding effective strategies and tools for early education, including appropriate uses of technology.
- Knowledge of using a broad repertoire of developmentally appropriate teaching/learning approaches.
- Knowledge of reflecting on own practice to promote positive outcomes for each child.
- Knowledge of content and resources in academic disciplines: language and literacy; the arts-music, creative movement, dance, drama, visual arts, mathematics, science, physical activity; physical education, health and safety; and social studies.
- Knowledge using central concepts, inquiry tools, and structures of content areas or academic disciplines.
- Self-knowledge of appropriate early learning standards, and other resources to design, implement, and evaluate developmentally meaningful and challenging curriculum for each child.
- Identifying and involving oneself with early childhood field.
- Knowledge about upholding ethical standards and other early childhood professional guidelines.
- Engaging in continuous, collaborative learning to inform practice, using technology effectively with young children, with peers, and as a professional resource.
- Integrating knowledge, reflectively, and critically on perspectives on early education.
- Knowledge engaging in informed advocacy for young children and the early childhood profession.
- Knowledge and opportunities to observe and practice in at least two of the three early childhood age groups (birth- age 3, 3-5,5 -8).
- Knowledge and opportunities to observe and practice in at least two of the three main types of early education settings (early school grades, child care centers and homes, Head Start programs).
Early Childhood is a growing and expanding field in Oklahoma and surrounding states.
Job opportunities include:
- Pre-K through 3rd-grade teacher in public schools
- Pre-K through 3rd-grade teacher in private schools
- Child Development Centers
Admission to the Teacher Education Program
Early Childhood Education majors must apply and be accepted to the Teacher Education Program in order to be eligible to take professional teacher education courses and to graduate with an education degree from UCO. Admission to the Teacher Education Program is separate from admission to the University of Central Oklahoma.