The Masters of Science Program in Early Childhood Education (Birth-Grade 2) is comprised of two options: a 36 credit, 12 course field change program for students who have already earned initial certification at a different developmental level and a 42 credit, 14 course program for career changers. These programs guide teacher preparation to promote development and learning among young children with diverse abilities and backgrounds in a variety of early childhood settings.
What Makes St. John’s Program Unique?
- Our study of education theory and pedagogy is based on the latest research on how children learn and specifically designed to provide a high quality, developmentally appropriate curriculum for all children—a program that fosters self-esteem, confidence, and a love of learning.
- Graduates are prepared to build a classroom environment that works in collaboration with families to teach children with varying capacities.
- Advocates for high-quality care for all children through the development of strong relationships with schools, families, and communities.
- Helps teachers become teacher-researchers and reflective practitioners.
- Engages teachers in in-depth study of how children develop in different stages according to their age, individual characteristics, and culture.
- Prepares teachers to sensitively interact with a diverse population.
- Develops an understanding of both content knowledge and pedagogical knowledge.
- Engages professionals in collaborative work that is interdisciplinary and inquiry-based.
St. John’s has established partnerships with many Catholic, public, and private schools, creating invaluable job and intership opportuntities throughout the New York area.
According to the New York City Department of Education, “St. John’s graduates were rated highest in retention, the percentage of teachers still employed in the NYC DOE three years after hire; were second-best in tenure approval; had the lowest percentage receiving ‘unsatisfactory’ ratings their first year; and 91 percent of its teacher graduates were rated ‘highly effective’ or ‘effective’ as reflected in student growth scores on fourth through eighth grade math and English tests.”
U.S. News and World Report recently ranked the Graduate School of Education as the “Best Online Graduate Education Program.”
Smita Guha, Ph.D. Back to top
Associate Professor, Program Coordinator
Sullivan Hall 428
Empower diverse learners
- Prepare to work in a variety of early childhood settings with children of diverse abilities and backgrounds
- Design safe, healthy environments that promote children's positive social relationships and capacity for self-regulation
- Develop flexible strategies for fostering children's growing understanding and mastery of different symbol systems
- Make children's progress visible by observing, documenting and assessing their learning and your own practice
Foster rational, spirited inquiry
- Help children actively investigate the world around them to construct their own knowledge and acquire skills consistent with state learning standards
- Develop your own sense of initiative and a disposition towards curiosity and inquiry as a model for the children you teach
- Understand and evaluate research that impacts your practice
Address issues of poverty and social justice
- Foster a sense of caring community
- Implement anti-bias curriculum
- Advocate for children and their families
- Collaborate and communicate skillfully with co-workers, administratores, parents and community agencies
- Tackle the challenges of urban education
Help students and teachers acquire competencies to lead and serve in a technologically advanced global community
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- Make technology serve your classroom needs
- Stay in touch with advisors, professors and fellow students outside of class via online communications
Graduates will be able to:
Demonstrate knowledge of child development theory and its implications for children’s growth in all domains of development – social-emotional, physical, cognitive, linguistic, and aesthetic.
- Identify sequential developmental milestones and describe how their manifestation in individual children is tempered by a wide range of individual variation and by cultural diversity.
- Critically analyze how different theories of development have different implications for the design of educational environments and the selection and implementation of curriculum.
- Apply knowledge of criteria for designing safe, healthy environments and for initiating interactions that promote children’s positive social relationships and capacity for self-regulation.
- Describe strategies for capitalizing on teachable moments in informal learning contexts and for maximizing opportunities to strengthen children’s purposive communication skills, including nonverbal communication among the youngest children and oral language for all young children.
Demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to empower diverse learners.
- Demonstrate initiative, curiosity and inquiry as a model for the children being taught
- Provide opportunities and support for diverse learners to display initiative, make choices, and apply their developing skills through engagement in inquiry projects that engage their interest.
- Demonstrate knowledge of how to provide materials, well designed spaces, time, and skillful support for young children to learn through creative, spontaneous play experiences.
- Demonstrate strategies for supporting linguistically and culturally diverse learners, as well as learners with disabilities, in collaboration with other professionals.
Demonstrate understanding of how to teach an integrated curriculum and the content, core concepts and tools of inquiry in academic subject areas, in ways that match the interests and developmental levels of young learners.
- Articulate and apply the learning standards of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, National Council of Teachers of English, and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
- Demonstrate how research findings of these professional organizations can be used to strengthen and update professional practice.
- Provide experiences that help children actively investigate the world around them, construct their own knowledge and acquire skills consistent with state learning standards.
- Demonstrate a range of flexible and evidence-based strategies for fostering children’s growing understanding and mastery of different symbol systems involved in language and literacy development, mathematical problem-solving and artistic expression.
- Organize and effectively manage a classroom in which multiple small-group learning experiences occur simultaneously, with a balance of small group and large group activities and a balance of teacher-directed and child-initiated learning experiences.
- Demonstrate knowledge of technology tools that enhance teaching practice and children’s learning opportunities in all curriculum areas and in developmentally appropriate ways.
- Access, summarize, analyze, synthesize and interpret educational research relevant to early childhood child development knowledge and teaching and learning strategies, to demonstrate the ability to maintain up-to-date skills in the field.
Demonstrate knowledge of the goals, benefits, and uses of various types of assessment of children’s development and learning.
- Applying techniques for observing, documenting, and assessing learning and each child’s unique qualities, strengths, and needs.
- Demonstrate knowledge of a wide range of developmentally and culturally appropriate assessment tools and their most suitable application in formative and summative evaluation.
- Implement and interpret assessments in an ethical and responsible manner in order to inform practice.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the relationship between goals established in planning curriculum and methods of assessment selected to evaluate outcomes.
- Articulate how to collaborate responsibly and ethically with parents and supportive agencies in the sharing of assessment results.
Apply knowledge and skills to create caring learning communities and to advocate for social justice in educational settings
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- Articulate an understanding of the centrality of positive relationships and open communication with children and their families in support of children’s learning.
- Demonstrate how to achieve skillful collaboration and communication with co-workers, administrators, parents and community agencies.
- Identify strategies to implement an anti-bias curriculum.
- Identify and apply strategies to foster a sense of caring community in a variety of educational environments and with children at different developmental levels.
- Demonstrate knowledge of avenues for advocacy in support of young children and their families.