Early childhood education is a profession. Over time, a body of knowledge about child development and appropriate practice has been developed through research, observation, and study of theoretical constructs. And a diverse work context has evolved, with a variety of teaching roles, various employment opportunities, and a profile of wages and working conditions. This first unit of the Professional Program will introduce you to this profession.
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As a result of completing this course, the student will be able to:
To establish and maintain a safe, healthy, learning environment.
Safe: Candidate provides a safe environment to prevent and reduce injuries.
Healthy: Candidate promotes good health and nutrition and provides an environment that contributes to the prevention of illness.
Learning Environment: Candidate uses space, relationships, materials, and routines as resources for constructing an interesting, secure, and enjoyable environment that encourages play, exploration, and learning.
To advance physical and intellectual competence.
Physical: Candidate provides a variety of equipment, activities, and opportunities to promote the physical development of children.
Cognitive: Candidate provides activities and opportunities that encourage curiosity, exploration, and problem solving appropriate to the developmental levels and learning styles of children.
Communication: Candidate actively communicates with children and provides opportunities and support for children to understand, acquire, and use, verbal and nonverbal means of communicating thoughts and feelings.
Creative: Candidate provides opportunities that stimulate children to play with sound, rhythm, language, materials, space, and ideas in individual ways to express their creative abilities.
To support social and emotional development and provide positive guidance.
Self: Candidate provides physical and emotional security for each child and helps each child to know, accept, and take pride in himself or herself and to develop a sense of independence.
Social: Candidate helps each child feel accepted in the group, helps children learn to communicate and get along with others, and encourages feelings of empathy and mutual respect among children and adults.
Guidance: Candidate provides a supportive environment in which children can begin to learn and practice appropriate and acceptable behaviors as individuals and as a group.
To establish positive and productive relationships with families.
Families: Candidate maintains an open, friendly, and cooperative relationship with each child’s family, encourages their involvement in the program, and supports the child’s relationship with his or her family.
To ensure a well-run purposeful program responsive to participant needs.
Program management: Candidate is a manager who uses all available resources to ensure an effective operation. The Candidate is a competent organizer, planner, record keeper, communicator, and a cooperative co-worker.
To maintain a commitment to professionalism
Professionalism: Candidate makes decisions based on knowledge of early childhood theories and practices, promotes quality in child care services, and takes advantage of opportunities to improve competence, both for personal and professional growth and for the benefit of children and families.