In recent years, research on children and families has found that the early childhood years are the most crucial time for developing essential linguistic, cognitive, and social skills. Furthermore, it has been shown that quality early education, carried out in a stimulating and supportive environment, can have significant positive long-term—even lifetime—effects, especially in relation to academic achievement, employability, and social behavior.
In consonance with these research insights, the School of Education and Human Development now offers a program for teachers and other professionals interested in pursuing graduate studies and specializing in early childhood education. The program leads to the degree of Master of Arts in Education (thesis track) and Master in Education (nonthesis track) major in Child Development and Education. Participants can complete the program in two years without having to give up or be released from their jobs. They must earn 39 units (33 units of coursework and 6 units of thesis writing for the thesis track, and 6 units of Research Seminar for the nonthesis track) to be eligible for graduation.
The program seeks to form early childhood educators and specialists (preschool and primary school teachers and administrators, child development consultants, and researchers) who can effectively blend theory and practice in creating positive learning opportunities and experiences for young children to promote their total development. The MAE-CDE curriculum thus intertwines four areas of learning: foundational subjects, psychology, specialization subjects, and research. These four areas of learning are studied from and integrated by a perspective that views the family as the first school and parents as the primary educators of their children.
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