University of Vermont

2013-2014 Catalogue

Teacher Education: Early Childhood Education (Birth-Grade 3) (Bachelor of Science)


The Early Childhood program is designed to provide students with the perspectives, knowledge and skills necessary to work with children from birth through grade three in Early Childhood and Grade PreK-3 classroom settings. Students will learn to:

  • Facilitate children’s socio-economic, physical and cognitive development;
  • Promote young children’s knowledge and skills across all subject areas;
  • Develop meaningful and engaging learning experiences in inclusive environments;
  • Use assessment to individualize instruction;
  • Value and respect individual and family diversity.

The program involves a substantial field-based experience and makes significant use of the UVM Campus Children’s Center and area elementary schools as practicum sites. Graduates of the program who successfully complete all requirements are eligible for licensure from the State of Vermont.

Specific Requirements

The Birth-Grade 3 Professional Preparation sequence involves three components. The first component is foundational to the education of children and includes a course in family relations. The child development course introduces students to the concepts that form the practical and theoretical foundation of the program’s educational approach. The family relations course provides students a foundation in family dynamics and parent-child relationships and serves to emphasize the important links between children’s children’s family and cultural identity and school experiences.

The second component introduces students to the rationale, practices, and approaches used in the provision of meaningful and effective learning experiences for children. Students learn observation and documentation skills, looking to the practices of the early childhood programs and early elementary level educational initiatives of Reggio Emilia Italy as inspiration. Beginning in their first year in the program , students are offered opportunities to observe and work with children in community settings, the UVM Campus Children’s Center, and local elementary schools. Through a series of courses and related lab experiences, students explore topics such as: the role of materials and the classroom environment in fostering relationships and meaningful learning; the role of teacher as researcher; developing curriculum and learning encounters that build on each child’s strengths; effective practices that promote knowledge and skills in the areas of literacy, numeracy, and inquiry; the central role of the family and culture in children’s learning and development.

The third component includes two student teaching practica. One practicum typically takes place in the UVM Campus Children’s Center which provides education and care to children 6 weeks to 5 years old. The second practicum is based in a local elementary school in grades K though Grade 3.

The course of study consists of 121 credits that are divided into the following categories:

  • Major concentration in a Liberal Arts and Sciences Discipline
  • General Education Courses
  • Professional Preparation Sequence
  • Diversity Courses
  • Electives*

* The number of electives depends on the degree of course overlap in the general education, major concentration, and diversity requirements. It is possible to have one course fulfill two requirements but the credits only count once.

A possible curriculum in Early Childhood Education:


Course Credits
Fall Spring
EDEC 063 - Child Development 3
Major Concentration 3 3
General Education Courses 9 3
Diversity Course 3
EDEC 001 - Intro to Early Education 4
HDFS 060 - Family Context of Development 3
Total 15 16
Sophomore Year
Course Credits
Fall Spring
EDEC 101 Curric Development in Early Ed 3
EDEC 102 - Inquiry and Pedagogy in Early Education 3
EDEC 103 - Early Education Internship 3
General Education Courses 3
Major Concentration 3 3
EDEC 189 - Early Childhood Practices 12
Total 15 15
Junior Year
Course Credits
Fall Spring
Diversity Category Two:
    EDSP 005 - Issues Affecting Persons with Disabilities or
    ECSP 202 - Intro to EI/ECSE
General Education Courses 6
Elective* 3
Major Concentration 6 3
EDEL 156 - Teaching Math for Meaning 3
EDEC 180 - Early Literacy in Young Children 6
EDEC 296 - Early Literacy Field Experience 3
Total 18 15
Senior Year
Course Credits
Fall Spring
General Education Course 3
Elective* 1
Major Concentration 9
EDEC 187 - Field Practicum 15
Total 13 15

* The number of electives depends on the degree of course overlap in the general education, major, and diversity requirements. It is possible to have one course fulfill two requirements but the credits only count once.