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M.A. in Early Childhood Education: Curriculum

Curriculum Details

30 Total Credits Required

The online M.A. in Early Childhood Education requires 30 credit hours of coursework covering theories of play, language and literacy development, educational research, family systems, curriculum and instruction, and more.

You also have the option to earn a certificate in Early Childhood Education by completing five core courses (15 credits).

The master’s in early childhood education online degree can be completed in 5.5 semesters, although your transfer credits will vary the time it takes you to finish.

Required Courses


This course is a study of the various theoretical foundations of play and their application to young children’s development and learning. Students examine the role of the teacher in children’s play, analyze play environments, and review the issues and research affecting children and curricula.

Current research is studied in regard to emergent literacy and language development in children with implications for the classroom teacher. Whole language strategies are explored for children from birth through age seven.

This course presents studies of education in multicultural settings. Students explore the values, beliefs, customs, and perceptions of racial and ethnic groups which affect social life and the education of children. Concepts of culture, social class, and power are developed.

Along with the presentation of curriculum and instruction theory, this course will explore the development and implementation of early childhood curriculum and instruction. The link between assessment and program evaluation will be made.

The various methods of child study, observation, portfolio development, and other assessment strategies are studied as a way to assess children’s growth and the development of knowledge and skills. In addition, current classroom practices and learning environments are explored to identify changes that benefit children, their families, and communication between program and home.

A survey of qualitative and quantitative research methods and their applications to educational research.

This course engages students in exploring the best practices for building strong family-school relationships; a survey of current developments in the study of the family and an analysis of changes in American society and their influence on family life.

This course is a study of ethics and moral philosophy with applications to making decisions regarding current social and personal problems.

A review and critical analysis of current educational research focused on a specific question. Students complete the capstone project.

Optional Capstone:


Graduate level action research is included in this post-Capstone course for students that want this additional option, but is not required to complete the degree program.

*Courses denoted with an asterisk are the courses required to earn a Certificate in Early Childhood Education.

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