Early Childhood Education

Specializations

Constructivism Specialization

A specialization in Constructivism in Early Childhood Education is grounded in critical analysis and application of theory, including inspirations from educational ideas and practices from Reggio Emilia, Italy. We believe that children are active participants in the social construction of knowledge and identity as they engage with the people and the world around them.

The courses required for this specialization are:

  • ECED 571 Play: Curriculum in Early Childhood Education (3 credits)
  • ECED 573 Assessment and Technology in Early Childhood Education (3 credits)
  • ECED 576 Equity and Cultural Diversity in Early Childhood Education (3 credits)
  • ECED 577 Learning Designs: Environments in Early Childhood Education (3 credits)
  • ECED 578 Constructivist Curriculum: Big Ideas in Early Childhood Education (3 credits)
  • ECED 579 Young Child as a Scientist or ECED 572 Language and Literacy in Early Childhood Education (3 credits)

Early Childhood Special Education Specialization

A specialization in Early Childhood Special Education gives you the knowledge to support and provide services to children with differing abilities and educational rights in a typical classroom and their families. The courses required for this specialization include offerings from Early Intervention (birth-age five) and/or Early Childhood Special Education (focused on ages zero-five). This program does not offer preparation for teacher licensure.

The courses required for this specialization are:

  • SPED 480/580 Introduction to Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education
  • ECED 560 Inclusive Early Childhood Models
  • SPED 481/581 Family Guided Early Intervention
  • SPED 482/582 Specialized Techniques
  • ECED 410/510 Educational Rights in Inclusive Early Childhood Environments
  • SPED 487/587 Introduction to Infant Toddler Mental Health

Infant Toddler Mental Health Specialization

Infant Toddler Mental Health courses are taught by an interdisciplinary team of faculty from the fields of psychology, special education and counseling highlighting the most current research and interventions covering from prenatal development to three years of age. The program is aligned with the Michigan Infant Mental Health Association standards. The courses required for this specialization are listed below.

We encourage you to take the ITMH Specialization in order. Classes build on each other. Classes start spring, summer, or fall.

Specialization in Infant Toddler Mental Health (18 credits)

  • SPED 587 Introduction to Infant Toddler Mental Health (3 credits) or another course with advisor approval
  • ECED 592 Dynamic Models of Infant Toddler Development (3 credits)
  • COUN 597 Strengths and Risk Factors (3 credits)
  • COUN 520 Collaboration and Partnerships (3 credits)
  • SPED 594 Assessment Methods  (3 credits)
  • SPED 595 Prevention and Intervention  (3 credits)

Distributed Pathway

A distributed pathway allows you to select from a broad range of courses within the specialty areas. In this pathway you choose, with an advisor, two 3 credit courses from each of the three specializations. The courses from each specialization are listed below. Other options may be available as special topics classes with adviser approval.

Specialization in Constructivism in Early Childhood

  • ECED 571 Play: Curriculum in Early Childhood Education (3 credits)
  • ECED 577 Learning Designs: Environments in Early Childhood Education (3 credits)
  • ECED 578 Constructivist Curriculum: Big Ideas in Early Childhood Education (3 credits)
  • ECED 579 Young Child as a Scientist or CI 572 Language and Literacy in Early Childhood Education  (3 credits)
  • ECED 573 Assessment and Technology in Early Childhood Education (3 credits)
  • ECED 576 Equity and Cultural Diversity in Early Childhood Education (3 credits)

Specialization in Infant Toddler Mental Health

  • ECED 592 Dynamic Models of Infant Toddler Development (3 credits)
  • COUN 520 Collaboration and Partnerships (3 credits)
  • COUN 597 Strengths and Risk Factors (3 credits)
  • SPED 594 Assessment Methods  (3 credits)
  • SPED 595 Prevention and Intervention  (3 credits)
  • SPED 587 Introduction to Infant Toddler Mental Health (3 credits) or another course with advisor approval

Specialization in Early Childhood Special Education

  • SPED 580 Introduction to Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education (3 credits)
  • ECED 560 Inclusive Early Childhood Models (3 credits)
  • SPED 581 Family Guided EI (3 credits)
  • SPED 582 Specialized Techniques (3 credits)
  • ECED 510 Educational Rights in Inclusive EC Environments (3 credits)

Electives

Electives come in many forms for students and can and should fit students’ needs. Most electives are offered every other year. The 410/510 number indicates this is a special topics class in development. Remember, you may enroll in the other specialization area courses for electives (as listed below) or you may take electives from many areas of study that offer 500 level courses (up to 6 credits of 810 credits may also count in your program of study). Other classes may be accepted with prior academic advisor approval. Masters students must take 9 credits of electives

Electives (see also Specialization classes which may be used as electives)

  • ECED 410/510 Reggio Emilia Inspirations (1 credit)
  • ECED 410/510 Culture and Language in Early Childhood Families (3 credits)
  • ECED 410/510 The Emotional Life of Toddlers (3 credits)
  • ECED 410/510 Mathematical Thinking in Early Childhood (3 credits)
  • ECED 410/510 Arts as a Language of Childhood (3 credits)
  • ECED 410/510 Teaching and Learning with Competent Infants and Toddlers (3 credits)
  • ECED 410/510 Documenting Young Children's Learning (4 credits)
  • ECED 410/510 Special Rights in Early Childhood: Constructivist Perspectives (3 credits)
  • ECED 469/569 Leading in ECE Programs (4 credits)
  • ECED 410/510 Creating Communities: Guiding Young Children (2 credits)
  • ECED 410/510 Children as Citizens: Global Perspectives (2 credits)

Study abroad: Explore early childhood centers, preprimary schools, and infant-toddler centers in Reggio Emila, Italy over spring break (odd years) or at La Casa Amarilla in Peru in summer (even years).

Professional Development Initiative at Helen Gordon Child Development Center

Practicum by arrangement

Summer: Every summer we offer a hybrid class offered where students spend 3 or 4 days at the Helen Gordon Child Development Center working together to document children's experiences.

ECE Specializations