Early Childhood Education

Why Early Childhood Education?

  • You are passionate about helping young children from birth to second grade and about supporting their families
  • You want to help children learn how to communicate and interact with their peers
  • You want to learn how to address racism, sexism, and other biases with young children

Why Wheelock?

  • Wheelock has a longstanding reputation for excellence in early childhood education
  • Curriculum emphasizes social justice for all children and families
  • Wheelock offers more time in the field than most other programs
  • Apply what you learn in class during field experiences

The first few years of life are crucial to developing a child's identity, as well as communication and problem-solving skills. As an early childhood professional, you will help young children develop awareness of social interaction, curiosity, and communication methods through music, art, reading, and other mediums.

Our students are passionate about opening the world of learning to young children. They love working with families and learning about different cultures, languages, and ways of raising children.

We combine educational philosophy and theory with hands-on experience and practical skills. You will learn how children develop and learn; how to address racism, sexism, and bias of all types with young children and their families; how to address the different needs of every child; and how to build curriculum based on children's development and growth.

Program Options

All students in Early Childhood Education must also have a an Arts and Sciences major leading to a B.S. or B.A. in that major.

Preschool to Grade 2 Specialist: Inclusive Classroom Teacher — The Inclusive Classroom Teacher specialty focuses on comprehensive education and care of children birth to 8-years old and professional work with their families and communities, with a focus on preprimary and primary grades (through grade 2). Upon successful completion of this major, you'll be eligible for an initial license in Early Childhood Education (Pre-Kindergarten to 2nd Grade). Completion of this degree leads to Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Early Childhood Teacher of Students with and without Disabilities, Pre K-2 licensure (with passing scores on all required MTEL exams) and/or Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) Certification. In addition, Wheelock is nationally accredited, which will give you an advantage when you seek employment and if you apply for licensure in other states or abroad.

Birth to Age 5 Specialist: Preschool to Kindergarten — The Birth-5 Specialty focuses on comprehensive education and care of children birth to 5 years old and professional work with their families and communities. Birth-5 Specialist provides a variety of options for students interested in working with children in early childhood care and education settings, such as child care centers including infant/toddler settings, museums, publishing firms and resource and referral agencies. Students interested in teaching in private kindergarten, pre-school and early care settings may use courses and experiences in this program as they apply to the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (DEEC) for Lead Teacher certification. Students complete two practica with children birth to 5-years old. The full time practicum is in a preschool or kindergarten setting. Students in this track must major in Psychology and Human Development with a Developmental Psychology focus as their Liberal Arts/Sciences Major.

Field Experience

You'll begin field experiences in your first semester and have two supervised student teaching experiences in your junior and/or senior year. You'll have the opportunity to observe and learn from experienced teachers in classrooms and at childcare centers throughout the Boston metropolitan area.

Sample Courses

  • Early Childhood Practicum and Seminar
  • Mathematics for Young Children in a Diverse Society
  • Principles of Early Childhood Education in a Diverse Society
  • Racial and Cultural Identities
  • Early Literacy for Young Children

Skills You'll Learn

  • Individualize curriculum and teaching for each child
  • Plan and teach curriculum in all content areas for young children
  • Create positive relationships with children and families
  • Guide children's growth and behavior by focusing on their strengths
  • Create partnerships with families and include them in their children's education
  • Work with children who have a variety of special needs

Potential Careers

  • Early childhood teacher
  • Childcare center director
  • Children's museum educator
  • Children's publishing professional
  • Create or sell healthy, positive toys for young children

Potential Graduate Study

  • Art therapy
  • Child and family therapy
  • Drama therapy
  • Early intervention
  • Early childhood education

inspire a world of good

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