Department of Early Childhood Education

Hawkins Hall 019
Phone: 410-704-2572
Fax: 410-704-2990
Email: 
eced@towson.edu

Graduate Information:
Phone: 410-704-4832
Email: ecedgrad@towson.edu

Vision Statement

Towson University will be recognized for preparing innovative and socially just professionals who advocate on behalf of children, families, and the profession. We will empower educators with strong knowledge of research-based pedagogies, a technology-rich skillset, a deep understanding of how children, youth, and adults learn, and caring dispositions to lead and succeed in inclusive and equitable settings.

Mission Statement

The mission of Educator Preparation Programs at Towson University is to:

  • Prepare the next generation of diverse educators and leaders committed to meet the individual needs of all learners.
  • Advance scholarship around significant priorities in the profession.
  • Collaborate with and advocate for children, families, and communities.
  • Develop and implement innovative solutions to education challenges.

Department Theme

Teacher as Facilitator of Active Learning for All Children and Families in Culturally, Linguistically and Developmentally Appropriate Inclusive Environments.

Programs of the Department

The Department of Early Childhood Education offers the following programs of study: the major in Early Childhood Education, the Master of Arts in Teaching in Early Childhood Education, Master of Education in Early Childhood Education, and the Master of Education in Gifted and Creative Education. For more information about graduate programs, consult the Graduate Catalog.

TU's Department of Early Childhood Education faculty prepares teachers to advocate for young children and their families, to create and facilitate developmentally appropriate environments for all learners. The guiding principles are the philosophical and practical basis for departmental programs.

Students entering the Early Childhood Education program are made aware of the sophisticated and demanding work that teachers of young children perform, and they are screened accordingly for admission into the program. Emerging teachers are challenged to recognize teaching as one of the highest and most dynamic professional callings to which one can aspire.

Faculty members facilitate the developing teacher’s respect for, pride in and commitment to the teaching profession. Faculty members motivate and inspire developing teachers in pathways of successful interactions with young children by strengthening their innate abilities and honing classroom techniques and best practices with families and children. ECED majors learn to exert positive influences on all learning scenarios. After completion of the program, teacher candidates have a firm sense of professional self-direction as educators and confidence in their decision-making when interacting with children, colleagues and family members in the educational setting. Faculty members assist in the development of emerging teachers who are reflective and ever-growing practitioners. From the outset, emerging teachers are taught and provided models of teaching that reflect the ethic that only the very best is good enough for young children and their families.

Faculty members work to awaken and support the developing teacher’s ability to value and approach children from broad intellectual, academic and social foundations. Emerging teachers are prepared to rely upon those foundations in order to support the development of relevant and challenging curricula and to learn to respond to young children’s immediate and long-term needs.

All course content promotes developmentally appropriate pedagogy that facilitates integrated learning experiences and environments for young children. The faculty understands how young children develop and learn; thus, they facilitate in developing teachers content-appropriate pedagogy. The faculty also provide a wealth of experiences, strategies, creativity and resources to enable developing teachers to draw in and inspire young children in all content areas.

The Early Childhood Education faculty members help emerging teachers understand how their personal and professional philosophies prompt them to facilitate the development of the “whole child.” Integrated knowledge about child development is crucial to understanding children’s play, learning and socialization. Faculty members make it apparent to developing teachers that assessing and responding to children’s individual differences and developmental needs requires resourcefulness, responsibility and responsiveness. Developing teachers are encouraged to respond to the individual child while recognizing that each child's responses occur incrementally within the context of meeting the needs of a total group or class.

Faculty members in the Department of Early Childhood Education are committed to preparing developing teachers with the ability to meet the diverse learning needs of all young children, particularly in terms of their creative and aesthetic development, their learning modalities (visual, auditory, kinesthetic and tactile), and their myriad intelligences (spatial, musical, mathematical, linguistic, kinesthetic and personal). Moreover, the faculty encourages students to become teachers who value the significance of human diversity and the richness, beauty and power that human diversity offers to classrooms and environments where learning takes place. Faculty and emerging teachers, therefore, are committed to designing diversity-rich environments that encourage respect for the individuality of teachers, young children and families. Additionally, faculty members promote respect for communities and the importance of communities in the lives of the children they serve. These efforts create a firm ethical foundation of practice with the teachers in their relationships with young children, their families and communities.

The goals and objectives of the Department of Early Childhood Education reflect the mission and the vision of the College of Education. Students in the program are provided the knowledge and experiences needed to assist in the development of the skills, dispositions and competencies identified by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), the Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (inTASC) Standards, and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Standards for professionals in Early Childhood Education.

Major in Elementary Education / Early Childhood Certification

In cooperation with Elementary Education, students can select courses that will enable them to seek certification in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education. Graduates of this program are eligible to teach children from birth through age 13. Interested students should contact the Department of Elementary Education. 

Major in Early Childhood / Special Education

Education majors may elect to become certified in both Early Childhood and Special Education by selecting this integrated major. This program, specially designed to integrate both early childhood education and special education, prepares students as early childhood classroom teachers, as well as infant/primary special education teachers. Interested students should contact the Department of Special Education. 

Outcomes

Students are required to compile and successfully complete a Capstone Project as a requirement for completion of the ECE program. The Early Childhood Teacher Education Program utilizes the Interstate Teachers Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC) Standards and the Standards of the National Association on the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) as the performance-based outcomes for all teacher candidates. All ECE candidates are required to satisfactorily complete the edTPA capstone assessment project.

Master of Arts in Teaching—Early Childhood Education 

ECE Graduate Director: Stephen Schroth
Hawkins Hall 009
Phone: 410-704-4832
Email: ecedgrad@towson.edu

ECE Assistant Graduate Director for MAT and External Programs: M. Lisa Mason
Hawkins Hall 010
Phone: 410 704-5271
Email: mlmason@towson.edu

The Master of Arts in Teaching program is designed to prepare highly qualified students without formal training or experience in the field of education for teacher certification in Pre-kindergarten through grade 3. For more information, refer to the Graduate Catalog.

 Admission Requirements for Teacher Education

The Teacher Education Executive Board, representing all initial teacher education programs at Towson University, utilizes the following minimum requirements as conditions for admission into teacher education programs, maintaining candidate status and formal entry into the capstone internship. Programs may include additional requirements for admission into the program and/or the capstone internship.

The College of Education admits students either as freshmen or as undergraduate transfer students from accredited, post-secondary institutions. During the freshman and sophomore years, students are generally engaged in pre-professional courses or courses that fulfill Core Curriculum requirements, as well as all identified prerequisites (e.g., specific and sequential courses in Core Curriculum) for admission to COE screened majors and programs.

All College of Education undergraduate programs are screened majors. As an integral part of the teaching/learning experience, students work with advisers in a strategic planning process across all years at TU. Accordingly, to support student success, all COE students are required to confer prior to registration each term with their assigned advisers.

I. PROCEDURES AND REQUIREMENTS FOR ADMISSION TO ALL TEACHER EDUCATION PROGRAMS

  1. Complete a self-disclosure criminal background form to be submitted to the major department with the application. 
  2. Submit an application for formal admission to the program. Students seeking admission to teacher education programs must contact their department chairperson or program coordinator by 45 credit hours for program-specific procedures and requirements for admission to professional education programs.
  3. A cumulative/overall GPA of 3.00 or higher is required for admission to an initial licensure teacher education program.

    1. Applicants with a GPA between 2.50 - 2.99 may be admitted conditionally if they provide evidence of passing scores on a Basic Skills Assessment* as identified by the Maryland State Department of Education (i.e. SAT, ACT, GRE, Praxis Core) and receive approval from the department chairperson/program coordinator.

      *Candidates may apply for a test waiver directly to the department. Such waivers should only be granted if it is predicted, based on the individual candidate’s transcript data, that the candidate’s final cumulative/overall GPA will be above a 3.00.

II. ADDITIONAL PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

Students must complete 65 units of courses in the program and will apply for the major during their fifth term to begin in their sixth term. The number of students admitted into the program each term is determined by available spaces.

The following requirements must be met for approval to advance into the ECED major:

  1. Completion of 65 or more units with a grade equivalent of 2.00 (C) or higher. Students must maintain 3.00 grade point average in the major. 
  2. Students must be approved by assigned adviser to apply for the ECED program. Students must submit an online application with unofficial transcripts from all colleges and universities, Advising Data Form, Checklist of Plan of Study, and evidence of meeting the basic skills assessment requirement to the Department of Early Childhood Education.
  3. All students must meet with an assigned adviser in the Department of Early Childhood Education each semester.

​​

Courses

ECED 103 INTRODUCTION TO EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION (3)

Key components and aspects of the Early Childhood profession; examination of current trends and issues. Initiates professional portfolio. Students who have successfully completed ECED 101 will not receive additional credit for ECED 103.

ECED 121 LAB EXP/YNG CHLD (3)

Practical application of educational theory through observation of and participation with young children in classroom situations. Corequisite: Concurrent with ECED 303.

ECED 201 EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT AND INTERVENTION (3)

An introduction to the theories and practice of child development from the prenatal period through the primary years. Emphasis on understanding of the physical, socio-emotional, and cognitive/language development of young children. Implications for learning and interventions will be explored in class and through a series of observational experiences. Not open to students who have completed ECED 101. Prerequisite: ECED 103.

ECED 301 MATERIALS AND EXPERIENCES FOR THE YOUNG CHILD (3)

Stimulating the intellectual, physical, social and emotional development of young children through the use of varied instructional materials and activities.

ECED 303 CURRICULUM FOR YOUNG CHILDREN (3)

Curriculum content and methods of teaching in programs for children under six. Emphasis on the integrated curriculum of language arts, social studies, nutrition, health and safety. Not open to students required to enroll in ECED 341 and ECED 342.

ECED 315 INFANCY AND TODDLERHOOD DEVELOPMENT AND INTERVENTION (3)

Psychological, social, and physiological growth and development of infants and toddlers. Introduces individual Family Service Plans and Head Start. Prerequisites: 6 units in early childhood education.

ECED 321 FOUNDATION OF READING & LANGUAGE ARTS (3)

Theories, processes, and acquisition of reading and language arts; cognitive, linguistic, social, and physiological factors involved in oral and written language development.

ECED 341 PRE-PRIMARY CURRICULUM (3)

Historical development and contemporary best practices in curriculum and methods of teaching children under six years of age. Extensive field placement. Corequisites: ECED 343, ECED 360, ECED 417, ECED 461, SCIE 371.

ECED 342 PRIMARY CURRICULUM (3)

Emphasis is on the developmentally appropriate objectives, materials, activities and methods for teaching grades 1-3 language arts, social studies, mathematics and science. Extensive field placement. Corequisites: ECED 344, ECED 361, ECED 429, MATH 321.

ECED 343 PRE-PRIMARY PRACTICUM (3)

This field-based practicum course integrates the theory and best practice teaching pre-kindergarten and kindergarten children in a public school with supervision and guidance from the classroom mentor-teacher and university supervisor. 15 weeks one day per week from 7:30am-4:30pm with additional evening hours. Corequisites: ECED 341, ECED 360, ECED 417, ECED 461, SCIE 371. Prerequisites: ECED 201, SPED 301. Internship/Practicum fee will be assessed.

ECED 344 PRIMARY PRACTICUM (3)

A field-based practicum course that integrates the theory and best practice for primary aged children in grades 1, 2, or 3 in a public school with supervision and guidance from the classroom mentor-teacher and university supervisor. 15 weeks one day per week from 7:30am-4:30pm with additional evening hours. Corequisites: ECED 342, ECED 361, ECED 429, MATH 321. Prerequisites: ECED 103, ECED 201, SPED 301, ECED 341, ECED 343. Internship/Practicum fee will be assessed.

ECED 351 INTERNSHIP: PRIMARY (6)

Integration of theory and practice in public school grades 1-3 with guidance from the classroom cooperating teacher and university supervisor. Approximately seven weeks. Corequisite: concurrent ECED 421 seminar session on campus to analyze, synthesize, and reflect on the internship experience. Graded S/U. Internship/Practicum fee will be assessed.

ECED 352 INTERNSHIP III: PREPRIMARY (6)

Integration of theory and practice in a public school preschool, pre-kindergarten or kindergarten setting with guidance from the classroom cooperating teacher and university supervisor. Approximately seven weeks. Corequisite: concurrent seminar session on campus to analyze, synthesize, and reflect on the internship experience. Graded S/U. Internship/Practicum fee will be assessed.

ECED 355 DIFFERENTIATED INTERNSHIP IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION (1-8)

Internship experiences different from those provided in ECED 351 and ECED 352 based upon the needs of individual students (Note: This is not a substitute for ECED 351 or ECED 352.) Experiences may be in public and private settings such as day-care centers, parent-child or infant programs, hospitals, or early intervention programs for young children who are developmentally disabled or at-risk, and their families. May be taken for a maximum of 8 units. Graded S/U. Internship/Practicum fee will be assessed.

ECED 360 EARLY LITERACY: BEST PRACTICES AND MATERIALS (3)

Emerging literacy process in children, birth to age five. Examination of strategies, materials, and experiences for literacy development. Corequisites: ECED 341, ECED 343, ECED 417, ECED 461 and SCIE 371.

ECED 361 TEACHING READING IN THE PRIMARY GRADES (1-3): BEST PRACTICES AND MATERIALS (3)

Examination of best practices, research, and materials, emphasizing developmentally appropriate active learning related to the process for beginning reading through grade three. Corequisites: ECED 342, ECED 344, ECED 429, MATH 321; also junior major standing.

ECED 403 THE CURRICULUM IN PRIMARY EDUCATION (3)

The child, curriculum, content, methods and materials of teaching, and program organization in the primary school years. Emphasis is on the integrated curriculum of language arts, social studies, science, and mathematics. Not open to students required to enroll in ECED 341 and ECED 342. Prerequisites: ECED 103 and ECED 201 or equivalents.

ECED 407 INTERACTIVE TECHNOLOGY AND THE YOUNG CHILD (3)

Emerging issues on interactive technology and early childhood education. Availability and use of interactive technology in schools. Prerequisites: ECED 103, ECED 201, SPED 301. Lab/Class fee will be assessed.

ECED 411 PARENTS & TEACHERS: PARTNERS IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION (3)

The development of a rationale for improved parent-teacher relationships in Early Childhood Education programs. The role of paraprofessionals, specialists, and volunteers. Observation, participation in school work with parents, and building the parent and school team are covered in the course. Prerequisite: 6 units of early childhood education or equivalent course work.

ECED 415 DAY CARE CENTER (3)

Interdisciplinary course designed to prepare day care personnel. Resource persons from related agencies will participate. Topics include purposes of day care, problems of organization, administration and supervision, records, programs, community interaction, and parent relations. Field trips and observation of day care centers.

ECED 417 ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION (3)

Developmentally appropriate methods of assessing young children, including methods for identifying disabilities using formal and informal assessment. Corequisites: ECED 341, ECED 343, ECED 360, ECED 461 and SCIE 371. Prerequisites: ECED 201; ECED 315; ECED 321. Lab/Class fee will be assessed.

ECED 418 TEACHING THINKING SKILLS TO YOUNG CHILDREN (1)

Focuses on current theories of teaching thinking skills with emphasis on methods, activities and questioning techniques appropriate in early childhood education. Infrequently offered. Prerequisites: ECED 342 and ECED 342 or equivalents, concurrent with internship or consent of department chairperson.

ECED 421 PROBLEMS IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION (3)

Research findings used as a basis for program planning in nursery school, kindergarten and primary grades; current trends and issues are considered. Prerequisites: internship and/or teaching experience in preschool or primary grades; junior/senior major standing.

ECED 422 WRITING TECHNIQUES FOR TEACHERS IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION (3)

Applied techniques of written communication for classroom teachers and professional educators. Focus on developing the ability to write thoughtful, well-organized letters, reports, critiques and other professional papers. Requires grade of C or better to fulfill Core requirement. Prerequisites: ENGL 102 or ENGL 190 or equivalent, ECE major, and 6 units of education course work. Core: Advanced Writing Seminar.

ECED 429 PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICES OF READING AND LANGUAGE ARTS ASSESSMENT (3)

Examination and practice using a range of literacy and reading assessments. Focus on relationship of assessment to instructional planning for diverse learners. Corequisites: ECED 342 and ECED 361. Prerequisite: admission into major. Lab/Class fee will be assessed.

ECED 457 METHODS AND MATERIALS FOR MULTILINGUAL SETTINGS (3)

Examines theories, instructional approaches, and materials appropriate for literacy development in multilingual settings.

ECED 458 FIELD-BASED PRACTICUM EXPERIENCES IN CULTURALLY AND LINGUISTICALLY DIVERSE SETTINGS (3)

This field-based practicum experience focuses on enhancing the knowledge and skills needed to teach and work with culturally and linguistically diverse students and families in different educational settings (for example: ESOL Classrooms, Multilingual Programs) under the supervision and guidance from mentor-teacher/practitioner and university supervisor. Prerequisites: ECED 460 or ELED 357 with a minimum grade of 2 0 (C) and department consent.

ECED 460 DUAL LANGUAGE LEARNERS IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION SETTINGS (3)

Language development of bilingual children in comparison to monolingual children and the impact of bilingual language development in the early childhood classroom.

ECED 461 TEACHING THE INTEGRATED ARTS IN EARLY CHILDHOOD (3)

The role and value of the arts in children's learning and development with a basis in current theory and research. Literacy learning, connections to technology, and relationships to standards and assessments are essential components. This course is designed in alignment with INTASC Principles and NAEYC's Core Standards. Corequisites: ECED 341, ECED 343, ECED 417, ECED 360 and SCIE 371. Prerequisite: admission to ECED program.

ECED 470 SPECIAL TOPICS IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION (1-3)

In-depth study of a selected topic in early childhood education. The specific requirements and prerequisites will vary with each course, and this will be designated by the department each time a topic is scheduled. Graduate credit only with the approval of the department graduate director. Each topic may be taken as a separate course, repeatable for different topics for a maximum of 6 units.

ECED 494 TRAVEL AND STUDY: EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION (1-6)

A field study, including cultural tours in selected foreign countries, of current early childhood education programs, facilities, and trends. Academic work includes lectures, observations, and personal interactions. Participation in planned educational activities and a follow-up paper are required. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 units. Prerequisite: junior standing or consent of department chair. Consent of departmental graduate director required for graduate credit.

ECED 495 INDEPENDENT STUDY IN EDUCATION: EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION (1-4)

Independent study in selected areas of Early Childhood Education. May be repeated for a maximum of 4 units. Prerequisites: ECED majors only, completed application form, permission of department chair, and 3.00 GPA.

ECED 496 DIRECTED READING: EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION (1-4)

Independent reading in selected areas of Early Childhood Education or related topics. May be repeated for a maximum of 4 units. Prerequisites: ECED majors only, completed application form, permission of department chair, and 3.00 GPA.

Faculty

Professors: Janese Daniels (Chairperson), Stephen Schroth, Mary Slade, Ocie Watson-Thompson

Associate Professors: LeaAnn Christenson, Sara Hooks (Graduate Program Director)

Assistant Professors: Stephanie Moody, Zachary Price

Lecturers: Lisa Buchy, Hannah Cawley, Danielle Ellis, Gweneth Mahoney, Amy (Kit) McDowell (Program Coordinator University at Shady Grove), Ann McLaughlin, Jennifer Pett, Lissa Shorr

Clinical Instructor: M. Lisa Mason