University Early Childhood Education Courses Available Online
Anyone pursuing a degree in primary education, whether it be at the elementary, middle, or high school level, will likely have to take courses in early childhood education. Courses in early childhood education prepare future teachers for the pressures and responsibilities teaching elementary age students demands. According to the U.S. National Association for the Education of Young Children, “early childhood” is defined as the period before age eight. It is at this education level that young students are first introduced to social interactions outside of their familial units.
Educators at the early childhood level work with young students on the cognitive, emotional, and social development they need to succeed with their continuing primary education. Online college courses in early childhood education may include developmental psychology, emerging mathematics, language development in young children, and beginning literacy. While these courses will cover the specific materials and subject matter that needs to be taught to this age group, they will more centrally focus on how to teach this material to students at this developmental level. At the early childhood level, methodology and teaching style is of equal importance to the actual subject matter and facts being taught.
Those pursuing an online degree in childhood education should be sure to find program and specific courses that are properly accredited by a certified accrediting agency. The National Association for the Education of Young Children provides a database of accredited associate degree programs and accredited baccalaureate and graduate degree programs in teacher education. These databases can be used as a resource for researching the legitimacy of your desired program of study. Also, the U.S. Department of Education provides an accreditation database that can be used alongside the NAEYC databases to determine the accreditation status of your desired program. Whether you are pursuing a degree in early childhood education or simply interested in taking online courses focused on teaching young children, ensuring that those courses are properly accredited by a recognized accrediting agency is essential.
Early Childhood Education and Your Career
Online college courses in early childhood education help prepare you for numerous careers in the world of academia. Those pursing an online degree in early childhood education most commonly find jobs as kindergarten and elementary school teachers. While these specialized courses are essential to preparing for a career in teaching, there are also specialized certifications required before you can be employed as a public school teacher. Online courses in early childhood education will prepare you to teach the subjects and material students beginning their academic journey need to continue successfully in future grades.
Individuals completing these courses may also find success in professional areas such as school administration, school counseling, parent education, and general child care. Many teachers and school administrators may take early childhood education courses online to help refresh their knowledge about the field and to catch up on any updated materials that might be new to the courses than the last time those individuals had taking an education course.
Though early childhood education courses are fairly specialized, the knowledge gained from these courses is translatable to a wide variety of professional sectors. For example, courses in developmental psychology can help students understand how a child’s brain develops and processes information. This knowledge is useful for educators, psychologists, administrators at the primary school level, athletic coaches, marketing, or any other professionals working directly with children. Understanding how the developing brain functions helps individuals better facilitate a child’s understanding of material. With courses in early childhood education most typically leading to careers as primary school teachers, students in these areas can typically expect better than average job opportunities out of school. Dedicated, intelligent, and qualified educators are in demand around the country.
Free Online Early Childhood Education Courses:
- Introduction to Education: Understanding and Evaluating Education – MIT OpenCourseWare
- Research for the Classroom Teacher – Utah State University OpenCourseWare
- Itellectual Development – Tufts University OpenCourseWare
- Play, Learning, and the Brain – The Open University OpenCourseWare
- Individualized Reading Instruction in the Elementary Grades – University of Michigan OpenCourseWare