Preparing Early Childhood Teachers
Published in TC Today - Volume 35, No. 1
TC’s Integrated Early Childhood Program certifies students to work with children from birth through second grade. The 80-odd students that go through the program each year can concentrate in general education, special education or in a dual certification program that encompasses both.
All are required to take a course that focuses on birth to three years and work a minimum of four classroom placements, including preschool, kindergarten and first or second grade.
Each placement is linked to a corresponding seminar, with the faculty member who teaches the course doubling as supervisor in the field.
Special Ed and dual concentration candidates participate in formal classroom assessments of children who may qualify for special education services. They work in teams, interview the child and the child’s family members, conduct home and classroom visits and produce a report reflecting the child’s needs and strengths.
The program’s curriculum-making instruction focuses on understanding that “there isn’t really one way to teach all children,” says Susan Recchia, Associate Professor of Education, who coordinates the program together with Professor of Education Celia Genishi. “One needs to observe and pay attention to who the children in your classroom are and create curriculum that reflects them and is responsive to their needs.”