Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education
Students passionate about working with infants, toddlers or young children should consider the Early Childhood Education program at Thomas College.
Early childhood majors participate in guided field trips, service-learning opportunities, and many hands-on activities and projects. Students won't just be reading about developmentally appropriate practice, they will apply these concepts in project-based courses. For example, in the course Infant and Toddler Development, students compete to design the best developmentally appropriate learning environment for infants and toddlers.
Early-childhood coursework connects students with numerous resources in the community and state, so that from day one, students are building their professional tool kits: collecting and designing their own teaching materials.
Woven throughout the early-childhood, and elementary-education programs is a respect for and willingness to embrace the rich diversity present in our society. We are committed to preparing students to work with children and families from diverse backgrounds. Early-childhood majors are encouraged to examine multiple perspectives of cultural, social, ethnic, racial, economic, and geographic diversity to inform their educational work. For example, in the course Family, Culture and Community, students study the contemporary immigrant experience in Maine, keep a journal on their own cultural backgrounds and traditions, and engage in a semester-long cultural inquiry, where they develop strategies for working with diverse children and their families.
The Special Topic courses in the major focus on contemporary issues related to the field and Currently include Brain Development in Early Childhood, Creativity and the Fine Arts in Early Childhood and Observation, Curriculum and Assessment in Early Childhood.
The Early Childhood Education experience at Thomas will immerse you in practical, constructive, and arts-based approaches, blending multiple ways of thinking about early-childhood education, to include ideas from the Montessori, Waldorf, and Reggio Emilia approaches. Be prepared to explore, discuss, and create curriculum!
Early-childhood course and program objectives at Thomas are guided by the Maine State Infant and Toddler Learning Guidelines; The Early Learning Guidelines for ages 3-5; The Maine State Teacher Certification and (Endorsement) Requirements and the principle and position statements of the National Association for the Education of the Young Child.
Students are encouraged to participate actively in their learning and to develop the attitudes, dispositions, skills, and professionalism that will prepare them for successful careers in early-childhood education.