Department of Early, Elementary and Reading Education
Birth – 3rd Grade
The inclusive early childhood program draws heavily from research and theories in child development, family systems, special education, differentiated 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, recognize the importance of family and developmental influences, support the young child in constructing knowledge about self and the world, and involve parents in supporting the child's growth and development.
The JMU program prepares teachers for endorsements in Early Childhood Special Education, birth to five, and Early Childhood Education, PreK-3. The program is based on the following three assumptions:
- Early childhood educators must have a strong liberal education.
- Early childhood educators should possess a broad range of knowledge that provides a context for understanding individual behavior, family and environmental influences and major social issues in a modern democratic and technological society.
- Early childhood educators 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 Inclusive Early Childhood Education program are sequentially organized throughout four undergraduate and three graduate semesters to help candidates develop an understanding of how children learn and interact in learning environments as well as familiarity with methods and materials appropriate for teaching and working in a collaborative way with families and other professionals.
Field experiences are provided along with course work to enable candidates to apply their knowledge in a variety of family and learning settings. Candidates must be accepted in teacher education to begin upper level IECE 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 higher in all education course work and an overall 2.5 GPA, demonstration of professional behaviors, and acceptable performance in practica and on key assessments.
To be recommended for licensure in ECSE and 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 IECE program.
- complete the 43 credit hour pre-professional program with an overall 2.75 GPA
- be admitted to graduate school
- complete the 30 hour graduate program including student teaching
Candidates in this program must meet with an IECE program adviser, declare the pre-professional licensure program in inclusive early childhood education, be assigned a date to start the program, and be assigned an adviser in inclusive 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 the adviser during their first semester of enrollment at JMU.
The IDLS major is assigned two advisers. One adviser is the adviser for the education pre-professional licensure program who will guide the student through the licensure program requirements. The other adviser is the IDLS adviser who will guide the student through the IDLS major requirements. Students should plan on consulting both advisers regularly. Typically, the education adviser is assigned when the student meets with the head of his or her licensure program and elects the licensure program. This may be as early as the first semester of the first year. The IDLS adviser is assigned when the first year student advising folders are transferred to the IDLS office (second semester, first year). Students are required to check with advisers regularly to ensure timely graduation.
Degree and Major Requirements
|General Education requirements 1||41|
|Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies Major||37|
|Inclusive Early Childhood Licensure Pre-professional Course Work||47|
|Graduate Degree Course Work||30|
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.
Refer to the Department of Early, Elementary and Reading Education for required undergraduate and graduate courses.
PreKindergarten Through Sixth Grade Master's Level
The Elementary Education 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.
- 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 to begin the ELED course work.
Assessment occurs each semester and performance will be reviewed at the end of each semester. Candidates must demonstrate satisfactory performance before moving on to the next semester. Satisfactory performance includes a "C" or higher in all education course work and an overall 2.5 GPA, demonstration of professional behaviors, and acceptable performance in practica 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 ELED courses and be assigned an adviser in elementary education. A limited number of candidates can start the ELED course work each semester.
Recommended Schedule for Elementary Education
Students should take General Education, IDLS requirements and EDUC 300 during their first and second years.
|Third Year||Credit Hours|
|ECED 372. Introduction to Early Childhood Education||3|
|ELED 308. Child Development Birth Through Adolescence||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|
|Fourth Year||Credit Hours|
|ELED 432. Children and Science||3|
ELED 433. Children and Math I: Number, Operations,
Algebraic and Geometric Reasoning
|ELED 434. Children and Social Sciences||3|
|ELED 411. Practicum in Curriculum Integration & Guiding Behavior||3|
|READ 436. Literacy Learning in the Elementary Grades||3|
Candidates beginning the graduate portion of the program must meet all Graduate School 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.
|ELED 510. Creativity and the Arts||3|
|ELED 533. Children and Math II: Data, Chance, and Space||3|
|ELED 570. Teaching and Learning in Elementary Education||3|
|ELED 621. Practicum in Teachers and Learners as Inquirers||2|
|ELED 622. Seminar: Inquiry Projects||1|
|ELED 632. Inquiry in Elementary Education||3|
|ELED 641. Families, Schools, and Communities||2|
|ELED 690. Internship in Teaching||8|
|READ 590. Reading Across the Curriculum||3|
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, be admitted unconditionally to graduate school and have a 3.0 graduate GPA.