The importance of the early years in a child’s life has been well documented across disciplines, sectors, and social policies. Over several decades, research has reported the benefits of quality early childhood education and care for the social, emotional, and intellectual well-being of children. However, we live in a world where access to quality early childhood education is inequitably distributed due to larger sociopolitical factors that impact present and future opportunities. Like social theorist bell hooks, we believe in children’s rights to an education that is safe, caring, culturally sustaining, and intellectually and socially rich. We also believe that it is a teacher’s role to uphold these values, while advocating for settings where play, creativity, joy, and imagination are central to children’s development.
Towards this end, the program is developed under the following core experiences:
We have two main tracks for the Masters in Early Childhood Programs, both leading to birth-grade 2 certification. Both tracks also have an option for bilingual extensions in Mandarin, French, Spanish, and Korean (an additional 3 credits):
Our emphasis is on curriculum, teaching, and learning for inclusive education. That is, the intersection of multiple identities (e.g. race, gender, ethnicity, language, disability) are addressed throughout the course content in both tracks. Our goal is to foster a community of reflective and engaged early childhood educators, leaders and advocates who create the conditions for children’s learning. Designed around the belief that early childhood educators are public intellectuals, our program develops early childhood educators into reflective practitioners and activists.