This course is an introduction to the field of early childhood education and care. It provides a broad overview to the history, philosophy and theories of development as they relate to current best teaching practices. With the increased attention to different kinds of educational standards, the course is directly linked to the NAEYC Learning Standards, the Code of Ethics and the PA Learning Standards for Early Childhood. Students will examine the teacher's role in creating responsive, multicultural, and inclusive environments for young children, as well as the importance of play in the learning process will be stressed. The development of observation skills combined with practical experience will aid the student in documentation of young children's thinking and behavior during the field experience component of the class. Health and safety in the early childhood environment, classroom management strategies, and communication skills will also be discussed. Throughout the course, discovering who you are in the lives of children will assist in the process of becoming an early childhood professional.
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