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Graduate Program Overview and Course List

Wheelock College Master of Science in Early Childhood Education

Offered in Partnership with SEED Institute in Singapore

The Master of Science program applies current knowledge and theory in the fields of child development, early education, and research to leadership in the early childhood sector. It provides an excellent model to educate professionals for leadership, management, teacher education, and policy-making positions in early childhood education in Asia and globally.

The program combines local and international faculty who are experienced in educating adult learners. Each selected faculty member possesses extensive experience in their identified area of expertise. The program grants a total of 30 credit-hours of graduate study to be offered in Singapore. Courses are offered in intensive one-week sessions, with the classes being held evenings and during weekends in order to accommodate in-service practitioners.

A new cohort launches approximately every two years.

Course Structure

HDF 501 Lifespan Development: Birth to Adulthood (3 graduate credits)

Examines the physical, cognitive, social, moral, and emotional development of individuals from conception through adulthood, paying special attention to the developmental changes that take place during these periods of development. Learners discuss theory and research from different psychological approaches, including psychoanalytic, ecological, structuralist and other approaches. Special attention is paid to the social and cultural contexts in which development occurs.

EDU 528 The Impact of Special Needs on Learning and Development: The Early Years (3 graduate credits)

Explores the impact of mild to severe disabling conditions on development in early childhood (birth to age eight). Learners study models of legislation governing the rights and services affecting children with special needs and their families. The attitudes and stereotypes of the larger society are explored as they affect children, families and the larger community. Strategies for promoting inclusive classroom environments and working with families to meet individual students’ needs are addressed. Uses categorical labels to help learners gain knowledge of differences in children’s development, however, emphasis is on understanding children as individuals with varying performance and rates of development, rather than as members of a disability group with common characteristics.

CFS 618 Contemporary Issues in Child and Family Studies (3 graduate credits)

Introduces learners to contemporary issues related to the lives of children and families using the ecological approach as a framework. Interdisciplinary guest speakers select specific issues for analysis and discussion. Topics are selected for the local context and may include the role of sports and enrichment in child development, responding to changing government standards and accreditation, and supporting children with special needs.

RES 725 Research Methods (3 graduate credits)

Explores alternate research methods and paradigms to answer questions in education and children’s services. Topics include formulating research questions and related hypotheses, analysis of published research, sampling, selection of instruments, research ethics, and data analysis.

EDU 560 Developing Infant and Toddler Programs (3 graduate credits)

Explores research on quality care programs for infants and toddlers, examining best practices in infant and toddler curriculum, programming, and evaluation. Addresses design and evaluation of early learning environments, early intervention strategies, family involvement, and developmentally appropriate practice to meet the needs of infants and toddlers with and without special needs.

EDU 561 Early Childhood Curriculum Planning and Assessment (3 graduate credits)

Explores the recursive cycle of curriculum development beginning with an examination of the fundamental bases of curricula. Draws on curriculum theory and models.   Topics include curriculum planning and development in inclusive environments, assessing student learning based on identified learning objectives, designing curriculum to meet standards, and managing curriculum change.

EDU 562 Early Childhood Program Development and Evaluation (3 graduate credits)

Examines the elements of high-quality early childhood programs, including family communication and collaboration; designing the learning environment; utilizing technology; and addressing issues of national accreditation, accountability to identified standards, and evaluation. Techniques for staff supervision, mentoring, and evaluation are introduced. Prerequisite: Builds on Early Childhood Curriculum Planning and Assessment.

RES 723 Practitioner as Researcher (3 graduate credits)

Offers learners opportunities to design and implement a research project to answer questions they have about their own site-based practice. Learners will review and compare a number of teacher research projects and examine the concept and practice of teacher research as a strategy to build collaboration in schools and strengthen the professional role of teachers, particularly in program evaluation and assessment.

LPA 720 Leadership for Organizational Change in Educational Settings (3 graduate credits)

Examines organizational models and systems theory in educational settings. A focus on strategic planning and effective management and leadership will develop participants’ ability to manage group dynamics and mentoring, as well as promote positive organizational change. Learners will apply theories of organization through the use of case studies and field experiences.

EDU 905 Capstone Research (3 graduate credits)

Allows learners to finalize and present the outcomes of the Action Research project initially designed during Practitioner as Researcher. Offers opportunities for feedback and planning for future dissemination and follow-up of research findings. Prerequisites: Serves as Capstone course for Master’s program, taken after both Research Methods and Practitioner as Researcher.


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