Early Childhood Studies (ER)

ER 2150  Play and Learning in Early Childhood  (4 Credits)  

Focuses on the essential importance of play for young children’s learning and development. Introduces key theories about the nature and purposes of play. Examines the developmental progression of play from birth through age 8, characteristics of play, and types of play. Explores environments, materials, and interactions that promote children’s play. Considers threats to play and ways in which early childhood educators can be effective advocates for play. Students have opportunities to explore and play with materials in class as well as to observe and promote children’s play in early childhood settings. Falls.

ER 2200  The Constructivist Approach in Early Care and Education  (3 Credits)  

Introduces the constructivist approach to teaching and learning in early care and education programs from infancy through the primary grades. Reviews the theoretical bases of constructivism and explores its applications in curriculum, instruction, and guidance and discipline. Emphasis on supporting all children as they construct knowledge from experiences with materials and interactions with others, and how this knowledge is influenced by the classroom and cultural context. Requires 8 to 10 hours of observation/participation in an approved early childhood setting. Falls.

Prerequisite(s): ER 2300.

ER 2305  Young Children's Learning and Development in Context  (4 Credits)  

Examines the characteristics and needs of young children from birth to 8 and the multiple interacting influences on their development and learning. Explores the interrelated domains of children's development - physical, cognitive, social, emotional, linguistic and aesthetic - and how children learn. Reviews the child development knowledge base, research and theoretical perspectives. Focuses on the development of observational skills and strategies that inform teaching. Emphasizes the many influences on children's development and learning and how developmental knowledge is used to create learning environments that are healthy, respectful, supportive and challenging for all children. Requires 10 observation/participation hours in an approved early childhood setting. Not open to students who have earned credit for ER 2300. Falls.

ER 2400  Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Health for the Young Child  (3 Credits)  

Introduces core concepts for nutrition, physical activity, and health in early care and education settings. Surveys national and state nutrition, physical activity, and health initiatives to address malnutrition and obesity. Examines the health and nutritional factors necessary for children’s optimal development and learning for children from birth through age 8. Explores health and safety topics for the prevention of childhood illnesses and disease. Focuses on materials, environments, and interactions to promote health and safety in the home and early childhood settings. Falls and Springs. (WECO)

ER 2800  Preschool and Kindergarten Curriculum and Instruction  (6 Credits)  

Examines teaching strategies and curricular approaches for preschool and kindergarten children. Focuses on designing, implementing and evaluating constructivist learning experiences and on creating learning environments that are supportive and respectful of all children. Emphasis on incorporating appropriate and meaningful content from various disciplines. Requires practicum of 8 to 10 hours per week at the PSU Center for Young Children and Families. Falls and Springs.

Prerequisite(s): ER 2200 and RL 2500.

ER 3210  Assessment in Early Childhood  (3 Credits)  

Explores the goals, benefits, and uses of assessment in programs serving children birth-age 8. Examines a variety of assessment strategies and their uses in developing goals and curriculum, selecting appropriate teaching strategies, and informing decisions. Emphasis on assessments that are responsible, ethical, and appropriate for diverse children. Promotes the importance of establishing assessment partnerships with families and other professionals. Requires 3 hours of observation in early childhood settings. Not open to students who have earned credit for ER 3200. Falls.

Prerequisite(s): ER 2300.

ER 3300  Culturally Responsive Early Care and Education  (3 Credits)  

Examines the influence of culture on child-rearing, teaching and learning and explores the dynamics of privilege and power. Prepares early childhood professionals to be culturally responsive caregivers and educators who set high expectations for all children and work effectively with families and within the community. Focuses in particular on supporting racially, ethnically and/or linguistically diverse children. Emphasizes the responsibilities of early childhood professionals to recognize, confront and change racism and other biases in themselves, early childhood settings and other social institutions. Springs. (DICO)(WRCO)

Prerequisite(s): ER 2200.

ER 3400  The Project Approach  (6 Credits)  

Examines the underlying principles of the Project Approach to early childhood curriculum development. Engages students in designing, implementing, documenting and evaluating projects with preschool and kindergarten children and families. Requires practicum of 8 hours per week at the PSU Center for Young Children and Families. Falls.

Prerequisite(s): ER 2800.

ER 3450  Guiding Young Mathematicians: Math Methods for Early Childhood  (4 Credits)  

Examines how children from birth through age 8 develop mathematical ideas and the typical learning progressions for various mathematical concepts. Reviews aspects of early childhood learning environments that can support young mathematicians. Introduces ways to develop activities to engage young children in mathematical thinking, problem solving, and discourse. Requires 6-9 hours of observation in approved early childhood settings. Springs. (QRCO)

Prerequisite(s): MA 2110.

ER 3700  Learning and Teaching in the Primary Grades  (3 Credits)  

Examines the roles and responsibilities of K-3 teachers in promoting all children’s learning and development. Focuses on how to create respectful, supportive, and challenging learning environments; establish partnerships with diverse families, school faculty, and communities; and utilize a wide repertoire of teaching strategies to support and assess children’s learning. Emphasizes culturally relevant, critical, reflective, and collaborative approaches. Requires approximately 25 hours in a primary grade classroom. Falls.

ER 4200  Senior Seminar: Perspectives on Early Childhood  (3 Credits)  

Focuses on the ideas, individuals and events that have shaped the field of early childhood. Examines the philosophical, historical, cultural and political influences on the development of early care and education programs and the early childhood profession in the United States. Investigates the origins of contemporary issues impacting young children, families and early childhood professionals, including poverty, government support for early care and education, children's health and safety, trends in curriculum and teaching and the status of the early childhood profession. Falls and Springs. (INCO)

Prerequisite(s): permission of the instructor and (Junior or Senior status).

ER 4250  Inquiry, Integration, and Problem Solving in the Primary Grades  (4 Credits)  

Emphasizes the design and implementation of integrated curriculum aligned to Common Core and district specific standards. Focuses on developmentally and culturally relevant science, technology, and social studies learning progressions. Explores how each discipline can serve as a basis for in-depth investigation and integrated study, emphasizing inquiry and formative assessment as means of constructing knowledge and promoting active investigation. Explores critical perspectives on the use of communication and problem solving technologies in education communities. Falls. (TECO)

Prerequisite(s): ER 3700, RL 3500, and a 3.0 GPA.

ER 4290  Primary Grade (K-3) Practicum  (6 Credits)  

Emphasizes gaining experience and expertise in co-planning and co-teaching culturally relevant curriculum aligned to Common Core and district specific standards, providing opportunities for family engagement, using appropriate assessments to inform instruction and curriculum, and engaging in self-reflective practice. Reinforces how research and theory support children’s academic and social success in public schools. Requires 2.5 days per week practicum experience in one classroom in one of the Early Childhood Studies professional development District or Partnerships Schools. This is the first half of an intensive year-long apprenticeship. Students are required to arrange their own transportation to the practicum placement. Falls.

Prerequisite(s): ER 3700, RL 3500, and a 3.0 GPA. Corequisite(s)

ER 4300  Leadership, Advocacy, and Policy in Early Childhood  (3 Credits)  

Focuses on the development of the skills and qualities needed to be an effective leader in the early childhood profession. Emphasizes collaboration, communication, critical perspective-taking and the importance of informed advocacy and how technology serves as a tool for leaders and advocates. Examines the ways in which leaders and advocates can influence the development of public and private-sector policies affecting children, families and the early childhood profession. Falls. (TECO)

Prerequisite(s): permission of the instructor.

ER 4410  K-3 Internship in Teaching in an Inclusive Classroom  (12 Credits)  

The culminating field experience leading to NH early childhood teacher certification Birth-Grade 3, this full-time (5 days per week) internship requires candidates to teach in an inclusive kindergarten, first, second, or third grade classroom in a public school setting. With mentoring and supervision from a mentor educator and university supervisor, candidates are expected to function in a professional capacity by gradually assuming a full range of teacher responsibilities. They are to demonstrate competencies (i.e., knowledge, skills, and dispositions) learned and developed throughout their program of study. Candidates are placed in a school setting with diverse learners. They should be prepared to live near or drive to those settings during their internship semester. Pass/No Pass. Springs.

Prerequisite(s): minimum grade of C in ER 4250, ER 4290, and RL 3500; minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA; completion of program requirements for certification at the beginning of the internship semester; permission of the Coordinator of Internships in the Office of Educator Preparation.

Corequisite(s): ER 4500.

ER 4500  K-3 Internship in Teaching Seminar  (3 Credits)  

Focuses on methods of inquiry that provide a variety of self-assessment and problem solving strategies for reflecting on practice. Promotes collaborative learning to support teaching and learning in the primary grades. Establishes a professional learning community for engaging in reflection, dialogue, and inquiry. Assists early childhood interns in preparing for their transition into the profession. Springs.

Prerequisite(s): minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA. Corequisite(s)

ER 4600  Special Topics in Early Childhood  (3 Credits)  

Provides special opportunities for upper-level Early Childhood majors to explore topics not covered in depth in other early childhood classes. Topics vary. May be repeated for credit once with a different topic. Unscheduled.

Prerequisite(s): Early Childhood Studies majors.

ER 4700  Early Childhood Practicum  (3 Credits)  

Provides an opportunity for an intensive, field-based experience in an approved setting, with mentoring from an early childhood professional. Emphasis on applying acquired knowledge and skills, fulfilling professional responsibilities, and demonstrating ethical and professional behavior. Practicum of 6-8 hours per week in an approved setting, with semi-monthly on-campus seminars with college faculty. May be repeated for credit once in a different approved setting. Pass/No Pass. Springs.

Prerequisite(s): permission of the instructor.

ER 4910  Independent Study  (1-4 Credits)  

Enrichment of the background of students in early childhood studies through the pursuit of a special topic pertinent to their interests and abilities. Chance for an in-depth study of a problem or issue in the field of early childhood studies. Consent required of the instructor who will supervise the independent study and the Department Chair.