Early Childhood Education | Teachers College Columbia University

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Early Childhood Education

Department of - Curriculum & Teaching

Contact Information

212.678.3860
212.678.4048
sheridan@tc.edu
Professor Mariana Souto-Manning

Program Description

Master of Arts

There are three initial certification programs in Early Childhood Education:

The course of study for the M.A. in Early Childhood Education (ECED-INIT) leads to initial certification in Early Childhood Education (birth-8 years). The course of study for the M.A. in Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE-INIT) leads to initial certification as a Teacher of Students with Disabilities, Early Childhood (birth-8 years).

Students must complete at least 40 points in order to obtain the Master of Arts degree and the department’s recommendation for initial certification.

The course of study in Dual Certification: Early Childhood Education/Early Childhood/Special Education (ECSE-DUAL) leads to initial certification as both an Early Childhood Education teacher and a Teacher of Students with Disabilities in Early Childhood (birth-8 years).

Students must complete at least 48 points in order to obtain the Master of Arts degree and the department’s recommendation for initial dual certification.

The Bilingual Extension may be added to the ECED-Initial and ECSE-Dual programs.

There is also the Early Childhood Education Non-Certification Program.

Students must complete at least 32 points in order to obtain the Master of Arts degree.

These programs prepare educators to work in preschools, schools, home and community settings.  Our program is child-centered (from Birth -Grade 2) and dedicated to culturally relevant and multilingual practices.  We focus on preparing early educators to support the development and learning of all young learners through a graduate curriculum that integrates early childhood education, early childhood special education, and bilingual education content.  Our certification students become outstanding early childhood teachers, decision makers, and leaders.  Our Non-certification students inquire into issues critical to the education and development of young children across settings. 

Doctor of Education (Early Childhood Education)

  1. D. in Early Childhood Education, Early Childhood Special Education or Early Childhood Policy (90 credit)

Early Childhood Education

At the doctoral level, the specialization in Early Childhood Education prepares candidates for college teaching, research, policy, and other leadership positions in early childhood education. The program is highly selective, aiming to identify and train individuals whose prior education and experience, whether or not it has been specifically in the field of early childhood, gives promise of the ability to develop modes of inquiry suitable to the field’s complexities.

Early Childhood Policy

The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) concentration in Early Childhood Policy prepares candidates for leadership positions, college teaching, and research in early childhood policy. The concentration is highly selective, aiming to identify and train individuals whose prior education and experience, whether or not it has been specifically in the field of early childhood, gives promise of the ability to develop modes of inquiry suitable to the field’s complexities. Combining rigorous methodological, conceptual, and practical interdisciplinary experiences, the program is designed for those interested in shaping the policy agenda for young children and their families. It is predicated on the principle that undergirding all policy work, candidates must have thorough understandings of both substantive content (early childhood practices, pedagogy, and theory) and research skills. While the focus of this program is on U.S. early childhood policy, there will be opportunity for international and comparative work.

Early Childhood Special Education

The Department of Curriculum and Teaching offers a doctoral concentration in Early Childhood Special Education, within the Early Childhood Education specialization.  This concentration prepares students for careers related to leadership and advocacy in the field, research and scholarship, and higher education and teacher preparation programs. Core courses emphasize theory and foundations in general and special early childhood education and research methods and training. Seminars and advanced practica focus on special topics in the field. Opportunities for involvement in faculty-sponsored research and professional development activities are an integral part of the program concentration.

Degree Summary

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION-INITIAL CERTIFICATION (ECED-INIT)

  • Master of Arts (M.A.)

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION/SPECIAL EDUCATION-INITIAL CERTIFICATION (ECSE-INIT)

  • Master of Arts (M.A.)

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION- SPECIAL EDUCATION/DUAL CERTIFICATION- INITIAL (ECSE-DUAL)

  • Master of Arts (M.A.)

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION-NON CERTIFICATION (ECED-MA)

  • Master of Arts (M.A.)

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION (ECED)

  • Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

For a complete listing of degree requirements, please click the "Degrees" tab above

For a complete listing of degree requirements, please continue on to this program's "Degrees" section in this document

Degree Requirements

Master of Arts-Initial Certification

Course requirements for M.A. students seeking initial certification as early childhood teachers (birth–8 years): 

Core Courses

  • C&T 4080               Risk and resilience in early development (3)
  • C&T 4112               Integrated curriculum in early childhood education (6)
  • C&T 4708               Student teaching- infancy and early childhood (two terms) (6)
  • C&T 5118               Infant and toddler development and practice (3)

Methods Courses

  • A&HM 4022           The artistic lives of young children (2)
  • C&T 4131              Language and literacy in the early childhood curriculum (3)
  • C&T 4132              Learning and teaching in the primary reading/writing classroom (3)
  • HBSS 4116            Health education for teachers (1)
  • HUDK 4027            How children learn math (3) OR
  • MTSM 4057            Teaching & learning math in early childhood (3)

Foundation Courses

  • C&T 4001              Differentiating instruction in inclusive classrooms (2)
  • C&T 4114              Multicultural approaches to teaching young children (3)
  • C&T 4615              Young Children, Families and Social Policy (3) OR
  • C&T 4083              Working with families of young children with Disabilities (3)
  • Out of Dept.          Elective (2)     

Culminating Project:

Students complete an integrative portfolio over the course of the program reflecting their growth as an early childhood teacher.

New York State Education Department (NYSED) has teacher certification requirements that are needed for program completion and graduation which are listed in the Office of Teacher section of the catalog.


Master of Arts - Early/Special-Initial Cert

 

Course requirements for M.A. students seeking initial certification as teachers of students with disabilities in early childhood (birth–8 years):

Core Courses

  • C&T 4080               Risk and resilience in early development (3)
  • C&T 4112               Integrated curriculum in early childhood (6)
  • C&T 4302               Supervised practicum in the educational assessment of young children with exceptionalities (3)             
  • C&T 4708               Student teaching- infancy and early childhood (two terms) (6)
  • C&T 5118               Infant and toddler development and practice (3)

Methods Courses

  • A&HM 4022           The artistic lives of young children (2)
  • C&T 4131               Language and literacy in the early childhood curriculum (3)
  • C&T 4132               Learning and teaching in the primary reading/writing classroom (3)
  • HBSS 4116             Health education for teachers (1)
  • HUDK 4027            How children learn math (3) OR
  • MTSM 4057            Teaching & learning math in early childhood (3)

Foundation Courses

  • C&T 4001      Differentiating instruction in inclusive classrooms (2)
  • C&T 4615      Young children, families and social policy (3)  OR
  • C&T 4083      Working with families of young children with disabilities (or equivalent) (3);
  • Out of Dept.  Special education elective (2)

Culminating Project:

Students complete an integrative portfolio over the course of the program reflecting their growth as an early childhood teacher.

New York State Education Department (NYSED) has teacher certification requirements that are needed for program completion and graduation which are listed in the Office of Teacher Education section of the catalog.


Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education (Non-Certification)

Language and Literacy Methods 

C&T 4131     Language and Literacy in the Early Childhood Curriculum (3)  OR

C&T 4132     Reading and Writing in the Primary Classroom (3)

Child Development 

C&T 4080    Risk and Resilience in Early Development (3)  OR

C&T 4615    Young Children, Families, and Social Policy (3)

Equity in Early Childhood Education

C&T 4114  Multicultural Approaches to Early childhood Ed (3)

Additional Courses

  • a minimum of 12 additional points within the Department
  • at least 6 points outside of the Department
  • a minimum of 32 points total

Beyond the required courses (identified above), all other courses will be comprised of electives; that is, in consultation with and approval by the advisor.  Students will undertake courses that help them develop an area of expertise.

This degree requires a thesis.  C&T 5308N (for non-certification students) is highly recommended for students admitted in 2018-2019 and is required for students entering the program after spring 2019, as it supports the development of thesis components.


Master of Arts - Dual

Course requirements for M.A. students seeking initial dual certification as both early childhood teachers and teachers of students with disabilities in early childhood (birth–8 years):

Core Courses

  • C&T 4080               Risk and resilience in early development: Birth-8 years (3)
  • C&T 4112               Integrated curriculum in early childhood (6)
  • C&T 4302               Supervised practicum in the assessment of young children with exceptionalities (3)             
  • C&T 4708               Student teaching- infancy and early childhood (two terms) (6)
  • C&T 5308               Advanced practicum-infancy and early child-hood (3)
  • C&T 5118               Infant and toddler development and practice (3)

Methods Courses

  • A&HM 4022           The artistic lives of young children (2)
  • C&T 4131               Language and literacy in the early childhood curriculum (3)
  • C&T 4132               Learning and teaching in the primary reading/writing classroom (3)
  • HBSS 4116             Health education for teachers (1)
  • HUDK 4027            Development of mathematical thinking (3) OR
  • MTSM 4057            Teaching & learning math in early childhood

Foundation Courses

  • C&T 4001               Differentiating instruction in inclusive classrooms (2)
  • C&T 4615               Young children, families and social policy (3) OR
  • C&T 4083               Working with families of young children with disabilities (or equivalent) (3) 
  • C&T 4114               Multicultural approaches to teaching young children (3)
  • Out of Dept.           Special education elective (2)
  • Out of Dept.           General education elective (2)  

Culminating Project:

Students complete an integrative portfolio over the course of the program reflecting their growth as an early childhood teacher.

New York State Education Department (NYSED) has teacher certification requirements that are needed for program completion and graduation which are listed in the Office of Teacher Education section of the catalog.


Doctor of Education

Early Childhood Education

At the doctoral level, the specialization in Early Childhood Education prepares candidates for college teaching, research, policy, and other leadership positions in early childhood education. The program is highly selective, aiming to identify and train individuals whose prior education and experience, whether or not it has been specifically in the field of early childhood, gives promise of the ability to develop modes of inquiry suitable to the field’s complexities.

 Early Childhood Policy

The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) concentration in Early Childhood Policy prepares candidates for leadership positions, college teaching, and research in early childhood policy. The concentration is highly selective, aiming to identify and train individuals whose prior education and experience, whether or not it has been specifically in the field of early childhood, gives promise of the ability to develop modes of inquiry suitable to the field’s complexities. Combining rigorous methodological, conceptual, and practical interdis-ciplinary experiences, the program is designed for those interested in shaping the policy agenda for young children and their families. It is predicated on the principle that undergirding all policy work, candidates must have thorough understandings of both substantive content (early childhood practices, pedagogy, and theory) and research skills. While the focus of this program is on U.S. early childhood policy, there will be opportunity for international and comparative work.


Application Information

Three programs leading to the Master of Arts degree and initial certification in early childhood and early childhood special education as well as one program leading to the Master of Arts degree (Non-Certification) are available through the Department of Curriculum and Teaching: Early Childhood Education, Early Childhood Special Education, and dual certification in Early Childhood General and Early Childhood Special Education.  Admission to each of these programs is determined on the basis of academic ability and promise as an early childhood educator as evidenced by prior academic work, letters of reference, and the applicant’s own personal statement of purpose.

Admission to programs leading to the Ed.D. degree is determined on the basis of academic ability as evidenced by success in prior academic work and/or other measures of academic aptitude; demonstrable potential for research, field inquiry, or development activities in education; and three years of successful teaching or equivalent experience. All applicants are required to submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Miller Analogies Test (MAT) scores that are no more than five years old, and are required to submit a writing sample. The Department of Curriculum and Teaching evaluates Ed.D. applications twice per year.

All admissions materials must be received by the early or final deadlines as advertised by the College. For information on application deadlines, see the Admissions section of this bulletin.

Faculty List

Faculty

Professor of Early Childhood Education
Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education

Lecturers

Instructors

For up to date information about course offerings including faculty information, please visit the online course schedule.

Course List

C&T 4080 Risk and resilience in early development
A first course in child development, pre-birth through age 8, within a family context. Primary focus is on the impact of risk and disability on developmental outcomes, and those factors that promote resilience in young children, with and without disabilities, and their families.
C&T 4083 Working with families of young children with disabilities
This course offers current and historical perspectives on the role of families in the lives of young children with special needs, with a focus on family structures, resources, and concerns. Students will explore strategies for facilitating partnerships between families and professionals that support the developmental and educational needs of young children with disabilities.
C&T 4112 Integrated Curriculum in Early Childhood Educations (full-year course)
A two-semester course focused on integrated theories and methods in ECE/ ECSE. Will incorporate historical and sociocultural contexts, emphasis on physical and interpersonal environments in early childhood settings, centrality of play, social studies and science, adapting curricula for full range of abilities from infancy through grade 2.
C&T 4114 Multicultural Approaches to Teaching Young Children

Exploration of aspects of professional preparation needed for teaching from a multicultural perspective: first, the disposition toward inquiry needed for ongoing self-development; second, the knowledge and skills needed to infuse multicultural curriculum content, program designs, and teaching strategies; and third, the creation of a context through which participants can examine issues of social justice.

C&T 4131 Language and literacy in the early childhood curriculum
Introduction to research and practices related to early communication and literacy in early childhood settings (birth through prekindergarten). Focus will be on children whose first language is English, as well as English language learners, and on curricula and adaptations for full range of learners. (3 credits toward State literacy requirements)
C&T 4132 Language and teaching in the primary reading/writing classroom
Examines principles of literacy learning in young children and introduces theories, practices, and materials for teaching reading/writing in primary grades in diverse settings.
C&T 4302 Supervised practicum in the educational assessment of young children with exceptionalities
Permission required. Prerequisite: C&T 4080. Participation in educational assessment of young children with exceptionalities. An introduction to formal and informal assessment strategies and their applications to work with young children. Analysis of observational and test data; formulation of educational interventions.
C&T 4308 Field experiences in early childhood/early childhood special education
A practicum for students in the Early Childhood initial certification program that serves as a prerequisite for student teaching. Field experiences will relate to work in other courses and be paired with an ongoing seminar designed to respond directly to issues as they arise in field placements.
C&T 4615 Young children and social policy: Issues and problems
Overview of social policy towards young children as it affects classroom practice and professional goals. Situations such as child abuse, divorce and custody, student classification, and foster care are examined.
C&T 4708 Student teaching-infancy and early childhood
Observation and student teaching. Permission required. This two-course sequence requires 3-5 days a week for participation in community, school, and agency programs and a weekly seminar on campus.
C&T 5118 Infant and toddler development and practice
Theory is related to practice and research with infants, toddlers, and families. Students participate in classroom practice and meet for weekly seminar on-site at Early Childhood Centers.
C&T 5308 Advanced practicum-infancy and early childhood
Permission required. Students engage in action research at their practicum sites.