The study of child development and educational practice as it pertains to young children from birth through eight years of age. The course explores the history of early childhood programs and a consideration of different program models. The course will also explore four core elements of early childhood education: children, teachers, classrooms and curriculum. Students will engage in extensive observation and participate in the Early Childhood Center (ECC) classroom and visit off-campus environments to strengthen understanding of models of early education, and to reflect upon and interpret their experiences in journal writing and through classroom discussions and activities.
Consideration of the role of the teacher, the nature of the learner, conceptions of teaching, factors affecting instructional decisions, philosophies of education that guide the practice of teaching, curriculum innovations and trends, and the school as an institution. Includes observation and field work in local schools, K-12.
An introduction to the foundations of American education exploring the historical, philosophical, and social contexts of schooling. Students will explore the purposes of education within a democracy where the goals are influenced by politics, the law, global competitiveness, multiculturalism, and social justice, and examine the nineteenth-century Common School period, twentieth-century standardization and consolidation, and twenty-first-century plans for school choice. Students study the intersections of race, culture, immigration status, language, gender, sexual orientation, and ability with education.
A comparative study of alternative education models in the United States, including Waldorf Progressive, Montessori, and religious schools. Students will also examine alternative, magnet, and charter schools in the public system, homeschooling, and depending on student interest, art or environmental education programs. Students will grapple with the tensions between theory and practice by comparing course material with classroom observation in local alternative schools.
A study of basic facts, issues, and methods of inquiry in human development from conception to adolescence. The course covers theory and research relating to the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development of children and emphasizes the impact of child developmental knowledge on instruction. Students will have the opportunity to extend their knowledge through observations and service-learning opportunities.
An examination of the ways schools function as systems that maintain social inequalities and perpetuate the marginalization of people of color. Students will develop critical thinking skills necessary to evaluate how schooling systems create academic achievement gaps through curriculum and pedagogy. Students will use a social justice framework to explore how power and oppression manifest themselves in school settings.
An overview of the social, political, historical, cultural and educational contexts of disability. Topics will include societal attitudes towards disability, representations of disability in media and literature, and different perspectives on the meaning of disability. The course will introduce major issues in the field of special education by critically examining federal and state special education and disability laws, regulations and policies and their implementation in schools. The course will emphasize how disability is a lived, embodied experience and socially constructed by families, communities, schools, and society. Course participants will apply an understanding of disability to the design of accessible, humanizing classroom environments, individualized education programs and instruction.
An examination of the formation of the public school system and the stated and unstated goals of schooling in light of our current expectations of schools. Students will study historical movements including the Common School and Progressive education with particular attention to the rise of the current standards movement. They will also explore the evolution of local, state, and federal roles in education and the opportunities and barriers that schools have created for women and racial and ethnic minorities in the United States.
An introduction to the theories, goals, and development of the field of multicultural education. Course topics include the interaction of race and culture with the construction of knowledge, student and teacher identities within education, and anti-racist and anti-bias schooling practices. Within each of the areas of study, students will consider how theory and practice intersect and inform how multicultural education is implemented in educational settings.
The study of child development and educational practice as it pertains to young children from birth to eight years. The course includes a history of early childhood programs and a consideration of different program models. Students will engage in extensive observation at the Skidmore Early Childhood Center, as well as selected off-campus environments, to strengthen understanding of models of early education.
An exploration of how adolescents learn in light of adolescent development processes. The course will integrate theoretical and educational foundations as well as current research while examining the physical, social-emotional, and cognitive changes occurring in the period between childhood and adulthood. Students will gain an understanding of the developmental role played by contextual influences impacting the period of adolescence including the community, family, school, work, peers, culture, significant others, and biological imperatives. Special topics include identity, gender, autonomy, sexuality, moral development, and possible pathology. We will identify how these subtopics affect students as they progress through adolescence.
A survey of children’s literature. Students will be introduced to a variety of genres, authors, and illustrators with an emphasis on selection criteria for choosing multicultural and anti-bias children’s literature for the elementary classroom. Exploration of trends and political and social issues in children’s literature, including topics related to censorship, race, ethnicity, language, culture, immigration experiences, sexualities, dis/abilities, and social justice.
Exploration of theory and research in the field of emergent literacy. Core topics include language learning, concepts of print, and writing and spelling development. Students are introduced to asset-based and critical literacy through the lens of early childhood literacy curricula. Students research and analyze literacy curricula and instructional models that support development of emergent readers and writers. The laboratory component and course assignments allow students to link theory into practice by learning how to prepare a literate environment for emergent readers and writers.
Introductory exploration of selected topics in education. Such topics may differ from year to year and might include: “Technology and Education,” “The Image of the Child in Literature,” “The Art of Picture Book Illustration,” and “Comparative Studies in Education.” (This course may be repeated with a different topic).
Internship opportunity for students whose curricular foundations and cocurricular experiences have prepared them for professional work related to the major field. With faculty sponsorship and departmental approval, students may extend their educational experience into specialized educational programs such as preschool, gifted and talented, special needs students, or educational administration.
The study of educational assessment procedures and instruments and their interpretation and application in preparing educational environments for children who are disabled and nondisabled. Students will develop comprehensive evaluation plans, design criterion referenced tests and observational systems, and assess individual children.
The application of developmental curricula to learning settings for young children. Students will participate two half-days each week in a classroom setting within the Skidmore Early Childhood Center or in an early-childhood program within the community at the N-3 level. The course will focus on planning strategies, teaching styles and techniques, management, relevant legislation, issues and trends in the fields of education, as well as observation and assessment.
An introduction to the politics of education; students will study the past and current state of schooling in the U.S. through the lenses of policy, politics, and law. National, state and local education policy formulations and implementation will be explored through a focus on particular topics, which may include desegregation, high stakes testing, early childhood education, and school choice.
Prepares students to make informed decisions related to curriculum and instruction in elementary education. Topics include lesson planning, choosing resources to support student learning, applying various instructional strategies including the use of technology, using assessment data to strengthen the teaching and learning process, and learning to use self-evaluation and reflection. The social studies curriculum will be the focus for modeling integrated teaching.
Explores the effective teaching of literacy and literature in the upper elementary classroom, grades 3-6. The course builds on and applies theory and concepts learned in Emergent Literacy. It includes developing curriculum for literature studies, teaching writing, teaching literacy across the curriculum, sheltering instruction for emergent bilingual (ENL) students, assessment of readers and writers, and supporting students experiencing reading/writing challenges. Throughout the semester, students will have supervised observations as they practice teaching literacy in elementary school classrooms.
A course designed to introduce students to current principles and methods for teaching mathematics in the elementary school. Topics and content will be addressed using active-learning and cooperative-learning strategies, manipulative materials, active-assessment and technology-based-assessment techniques, and current research of interest and relevance to educators. Throughout the semester, students will have supervised observations as they practice their skills in elementary school classrooms.
An advanced course in child development in which students integrate theory and research to build teaching skills and practices that promote developmentally appropriate, child-centered lessons, activities, and classroom environments. Topics include: contemporary issues among school students; perspectives and approaches to behavior and classroom management; teaching and learning processes that foster academic achievement; design and implementation of individualized interventions; and theories and strategies for social-skills building.
Introduction to current principles and methods for teaching science in the elementary school. Topics and content will be addressed using inquiry-based and cooperative-learning strategies. Topics include designing, justification, and implementation of lesson plans; use of manipulative materials; formative, summative, and performance based assessments; the integration of children's literature units; and current research of interest and relevance to educators. As a culminating experience, students will design and deliver station-based lessons with young children.
Opportunities for student teaching candidates to process the experiences occurring in the associated concurrent student teaching fieldwork and to strengthen professional growth in a seminar setting. Topics include design and delivery of instructional material, classroom management, assessment, and professionalism in the educational setting. Seniors who have satisfactorily completed the junior year program and have demonstrated professional attitudes and practices included in the program description are eligible. Prerequisites: ED 334, ED 335, and ED 336.
Student teaching fieldwork that integrates methods and materials of teaching in the elementary school. Within this elementary classroom placement, the student teacher increasingly assumes all teaching, administrative, and management responsibilities of a classroom with the guidance from the professional classroom teacher and a college supervisor.
Alternative educational placement that integrates methods and materials of teaching in an educational setting. Within this placement, students complete a series of tailored educational tasks that assist them in reflecting upon the role and responsibilities of the professional educator. Students will be supervised as they fulfil a variety of practical experience exercises that enable them to meet the field experience learning outcomes.
Examination of a theoretical or area specialization not available in existing course offerings. These courses address problems and issues of special interest at the advanced level.
An opportunity for study in depth of an educational problem. The topic is chosen by the student. One or more investigative approaches may be utilized, such as selected readings, field projects, and case studies. Students should consult the chair of the department to plan their study.
In this seminar, students research and discuss current issues in education. A major paper reporting the results of the student's library or empirical research is required. Students are encouraged to pursue topics that reflect the application of theory into practice while also integrating coursework and teaching experiences acquired both locally and abroad. This course is a capstone experience and is required of those seniors seeking departmental honors.