Academic Programs

Academic Units: Department of Early, Elementary and Reading Education

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Early Childhood Education
  PreKindergarten Through Third Grade Bachelor’s Level Licensure Program
The early childhood program draws heavily from research and theories in child development and teaching and learning. Through course work and extensive field experiences, the teacher candidate is prepared to design activities that have an interdisciplinary focus, reflect an understanding of the individual child’s development and learning and support the young child in constructing knowledge about self and the world. The JMU program prepares teachers for grades PreK-3 and is based on the following three assumptions:
  • Classroom teachers must have a strong liberal education.
  • Classroom teachers should possess a broad range of knowledge that provides a context for understanding individual behavior and major social issues in a modern democratic and technological society.
  • Classroom teachers must have professional preparation that develops critical thinking and problem-solving skills to become educational decision makers who consciously choose appropriate curriculum based on an understanding of how children develop and learn.
The courses in the Early Childhood Education program are sequentially organized throughout four semesters to help candidates develop an understanding of how children learn and interact in classroom settings as well as a familiarity with methods and materials appropriate for teaching. Field experiences are provided along with course work to enable candidates to apply their knowledge in a variety of classroom settings. Candidates must be accepted in teacher education and have passed Praxis I to begin ECED course work. Assessment occurs each semester and performance will be reviewed at each assessment gate and candidates must demonstrate satisfactory performance before moving on to the next semester. Satisfactory performance includes a “C” or better in course work, demonstration of professional behaviors, acceptable performance in practicums and on key assessments. To be recommended for licensure in PreK-3, candidates must satisfy the following requirements:
  • complete the General Education and degree requirements of the university.
  • complete a major in IDLS.
  • meet all admission and retention requirements for teacher education and the ECED program.
  • complete the 46 credit hour licensure program.
Candidates in this program must meet with the head of the EER department, declare the minor in early childhood education, be assigned a date to start the program, and be assigned an adviser in early childhood education in addition to their first year or major adviser. A limited number of candidates can start the program each semester; therefore, candidates should meet with department head during their first semester of enrollment at JMU.
Back to top of page Student Teaching
Candidates must apply to student teach one year prior to their student teaching semester. At that time, students must be fully accepted into teacher education, and have completed EDUC 360 and all early childhood course work with a grade of “C” or better. Students in the early childhood program must also register for ECED 481, Fieldwork in Family and Community during their student teaching semester.
Back to top of page Degree and Major Requirements
General Education1
41
Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies Major
39-42
Early Childhood Licensure Program
46

126-129
1 The General Education program contains a set of requirements each student must fulfill. The number of credit hours necessary to fulfill these requirements may vary.
Back to top of page Recommended Schedule for Early Childhood Education
The following program sample is intended as a guide for students planning to complete the minor in early childhood education. Individual student’s enrollment and progress in the program will be influenced by the major and the availability of space and student teaching placements. Students must complete a program plan with both the major adviser and the education adviser to ensure that individual course prerequisites are met.

Students should take General Education and major requirement courses during their first and second years.

Third Year
Credit Hours
EDUC 360. Foundation of American Education
3
ECED 371. Practicum in Early Childhood Education
1
ECED 372. Introduction to Early Childhood Education
3
ECED 441. Practicum in Child Development
1
ECED 442. Child Development
3
READ 366. Early Literacy Development and Acquisition
3
ECED 401D. Diversity and Differentiation
3
ECED 412. Science and Social Studies for the Young Child
3
ECED 443. Practicum in Primary Grades
1
Major requirements
12

33
   
Fourth Year
Credit Hours
ECED 444. Children and Math
3
ECED 461. Practicum in Curriculum
3
READ 436. Literacy Learning in the Elementary Grades
3
ECED 480K. Student Teaching (kindergarten)
8
ECED 480P. Student Teaching (primary)
8
ECED 481. Fieldwork in Families and Communities
2
Major requirements
6

33
Back to top of page Elementary Education
  PreKindergarten Through Sixth Grade Master’s Level Licensure Program
The Elementary Education Master of Arts in Teaching Program prepares candidates to teach students in grades PreK-6. Drawn from research and theories in child development, teaching, and learning, the course work and field experiences prepare teacher candidates to employ an interdisciplinary approach to instruction that reflects an understanding of the diverse nature of learners and their families.

The JMU elementary program seeks to foster in its candidates an empathic understanding of the ways that children are affected by social contexts and by the children’s own abilities/disabilities; the knowledge and pedagogical skills to support each child’s right to success; and belief in the value of each child. Our candidates are guided in:

  • critically challenging conventional wisdom and common practices to identify hidden assumptions and activities that constrain or privilege some at the expense of others;
  • learning to ask questions and developing an inquiring approach motivated by the desire to understand the world in its myriad complexities;
  • reflecting deeply on and constructing positive relationships with others;
  • expressing knowledge, skills, and attitudes in ways that communicate with others and provide a forum for the creative and academic expression of profession and the self;
  • developing an appreciation for the global connection of all humanity and our interdependence on the finite, natural resources of the earth;
  • experiencing life among people whose social contexts are unlike the candidates’ own to broaden and deepen respect for and sensitivity to various cultures and social contexts; and
  • knowing and appreciating the process of human unfolding throughout the cycles of life from conception onward, particularly throughout the period of childhood.
The courses in the Elementary Education program are sequentially organized throughout the junior and senior years, and continue in the graduate program. Field experiences are provided along with course work to enable candidates to apply their knowledge in a variety of settings. Candidates must be accepted in teacher education and have passed Praxis I to begin the ELED course work.

Assessment occurs each semester and performance will be reviewed at each assessment gate. Candidates must demonstrate satisfactory performance before moving on to the next semester. Satisfactory performance includes a “C” or better in course work, demonstration of professional behaviors, acceptable performance in practicums and on key assessments.

Candidates in this program must meet with the Head of the Department of Early, Elementary and Reading Education to declare the minor in elementary education, be assigned a date to start the program and be assigned an adviser in elementary education. A limited number of candidates can start the program each semester, therefore, candidates should meet with the department head during their first semester of enrollment at JMU.

Back to top of page Degree and Major Requirements
Candidates in the Elementary Education program will complete the IDLS major or equivalent and the pre-professional undergraduate courses and be accepted for graduate study. The program of study for elementary education is as follows:
Credit Hours
Undergraduate Degree
General Education1
41
Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies Major
39
Elementary Pre-professional Program
33
Electives
7
M.A.T. Program
Graduate Level Professional Studies
33

153-161
1 The General Education program contains a set of requirements each student must fulfill. The number of credit hours necessary to fulfill these requirements may vary.
Back to top of page Recommended Schedule for Elementary Education
Students should take General Education, major requirement courses and EDUC 360 during their first and second years.
Third Year
Credit Hours
ELED 308. Child Development Birth Through Adolescence
3
ELED 309. Learning and Teaching in the Elementary School
3
ELED 310. Considering Diversity in Elementary Education
3
ELED 311. Practicum in Learners and Learning
3
READ 366. Early Literacy Development and Acquisition
3
Major requirements/Electives
15

30
   
Fourth Year
Credit Hours
ELED 432. Children and Science
3
ELED 433. Children and Math I: Number, Operations, Algebraic and Geometric Reasoning
3
ELED 434. Children and Social Sciences
3
ELED 411. Practicum in Curriculum Integration
3
READ 436. Literacy Learning in the Elementary Grades
3
Major requirements/Electives
15

30
Back to top of page Graduate Courses
Candidates beginning the graduate portion of the program must meet all College of Graduate and Outreach Programs’ requirements and criteria for admission; it is expected that students will complete the admission process during their senior year. In addition, students must meet all graduate level graduation requirements.
Credit Hours
ELED 501/601. Special Topics
3
ELED 510. Creativity and the Arts
3
ELED 533. Children and Math II: Data, Chance and Space
3
ELED 621. Practicum in Teachers and Learners as Inquirers
3
ELED 632. Inquiry in Elementary Education
3
ELED 641. Families, Schools, and Communities
3
ELED 690. Internship in Teaching
9
SPED 520. Differentiation of Instruction
3
READ 590. Reading Across the Curriculum
3

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