Degrees & Programs

Early Childhood Education

Inspire a new generation of young learners. With more and more infants, toddlers, and young children attending early childhood programs, and more kindergarten-primary grade children being exposed to the pressures of standardized, high-stakes testing, it has become more important than ever to discover how to create and implement appropriate care and education environments for children birth to age 8 to ensure their well-being in the present, and their academic success and healthy developmental outcomes far into the future.

As an early childhood educator, your influence on the young children and families with whom you work lasts throughout their educational careers and into their adult lives. At the IU School of Education, you will build upon your prior knowledge and experience as an early childhood professional in courses with nationally known faculty who provide research-based content and emphasize how theory and research impact real-life practice.

Overview

Our graduate degree programs are open to students with bachelor’s degrees who wish to engage in advanced study of early childhood education. Course work focuses on supporting the healthy overall growth, development, learning and well-being of young children from birth through age 8 and families.

Degrees

The IU School of Education offers the following degrees in early childhood education:

M.S.Ed. in Elementary Education (Early Childhood Education Track)

Build upon your bachelor’s degree in early childhood or elementary education and classroom experience to become a more effective educator. In this 36-hour program, you’ll:

  • Organize and administer early education programs
  • Design curricula for early childhood programs
  • Gain a deeper understanding of child development

The degree offers a thesis or practicum option. You may also choose to take additional course work.

M.S. in Elementary Education (Early Childhood Education Track)
Brochure
Program of Studies

Degree Requirements

Course descriptions and complete degree requirements can be found in the IU School of Education Graduate Bulletin.

Major (15 cr.)

  • J500 Instruction in the Context of Curriculum
  • E505 Organization and Administration of Early Childhood Programs
  • E506 Curriculum in Early Childhood Education
  • E508 Seminar in Early Childhood Education
  • E525 Advanced Curriculum Study in Early Childhood Education

Foundations (3–6 cr.)

  • P515 Child Development
  • An additional course in the history or philosophy of education to be selected in consultation with a faculty advisor

Electives (9–12 cr.)

Select courses from inside or outside the School of Education to complement your program. These courses must have a unified focus and the approval of an advisor. Course selections are open and may be taken in Sociology, Library Science, Psychology, Folklore, Language Education, or other areas. NOTE: Up to six credit hours may be at the 300- or 400-level.

Ed.D. in Curriculum Studies (Early Childhood Education Focus)

The Ed.D. degree prepares students to take on roles in general curriculum studies, in teacher education (P–3), or as educators. This 60-hour degree is designed for educators whose focus is practice rather than research.

Degree Requirements

Course descriptions and complete degree requirements can be found in the IU School of Education Graduate Bulletin.

Inquiry Core (9 cr.)

The inquiry core includes a survey course in research methodologies and beginning courses in statistics, measurement, program evaluation, or in ethnographic, qualitative, quantitative, and historical research methods. See a complete list of approved inquiry core courses from the Office of Graduate Studies.

Major (27 cr.)

At least three (3) credit hours must be in an inquiry linkage course. (No early inquiry experience course is required.)

Minor (9 cr.)

  • At least nine (9) credit hours of course work will be taken in an area of study outside of science and science education. The minor must complement the major. The committee member representing the minor field must approve the selection of courses in the minor area.
  • An interdepartmental/interdisciplinary minor is also possible. In this case, the student must submit a written description of the theme of the minor, an explanation of the contribution of each course to that theme, and a rationale for the selection of the minor representative.

Dissertation (9 cr.)

The focus of the dissertation is on data collection and analysis for the purpose of answering practical questions in the field. Course work will include:

  • At least three (3) credit hours of J795 Dissertation Proposal Preparation
  • At least six (6) credit hours of J799 Doctoral Thesis in Curriculum and Instruction
Ph.D. in Curriculum Studies (Early Childhood Education Focus)

Help shape the future of early childhood education policy. As a Ph.D. candidate, you’ll combine advanced course work with independent research on how different strategies in early childhood education affect long-term outcomes.

This degree prepares you for a career as a faculty member or institutional researcher.

Degree Requirements

Course descriptions and complete degree requirements can be found in the IU School of Education Graduate Bulletin.

Inquiry Core (9-15 cr.)

See a list of approved inquiry courses.

The inquiry core includes a survey course in research methodologies (e.g., Y520) and beginning courses in statistics, measurement, program evaluation, or in ethnographic, qualitative, quantitative, and historical research methods. Inquiry core courses are to lay a rudimentary methodological foundation for applied inquiry courses in the major, and for dissertation research.

Major (36 cr. minimum)

There is substantial flexibility in the major. Courses from related areas of study may be included in the major component if their relevance to the major can be demonstrated and if committee approval can be secured.

In addition to the inquiry core course work, six (6) credit hours of inquiry course work are required in the major. One of these inquiry courses must be an early inquiry experience, during which a student carries out an actual research project, including the collection and analysis of data to answer a research question, and the writing of a research manuscript. This research is to be prior to the dissertation and not a direct part of the dissertation research. The early inquiry experience may be implemented through an independent study course (e.g., a 590 course), through a master's thesis (a 599 course), or through a departmental research seminar. Each student must carry out an independent research project. The research manuscript that results from this study must be read and approved by the student's advisory committee.

The second of the two major area inquiry courses is an inquiry linkage course. This is a course in which research relevant to the major field of specialization is studied. Such study, however, focuses more on the research design and methodology of research in the major area than on the findings of the research. Analyzing and critiquing the research methodology are of primary importance in this experience. Each department has a research seminar or a specialized research methodology course for this purpose. The inquiry core courses normally should be completed prior to taking inquiry courses in the major.

Minor (12 cr. minimum)

The minor must complement the major. The committee member representing the minor field must approve the selection of courses in the minor area. An interdepartmental (interdisciplinary) minor is also possible. In this case the student must submit a written description of the theme of the minor, an explanation of the contribution of each course to that theme, and a rationale for the selection of the minor representative.

Electives or Second Minor (6–18 cr)

The electives category is designated to allow students freedom in course selection. This is also the place to put foundations courses. Each program area has specified courses in foundations, substantive core perspective, or other areas outside the major and minor, which are required for breadth. Courses that may fall into this category are those needed to meet the doctoral program requirement for 27 credit hours outside of the major program area. (This ordinarily includes the 12 credit hours of minor course work, and the 9 or more credit hours of inquiry core courses.)

Dissertation (15 cr. minimum)

  • C795 Dissertation Proposal Preparation (3 cr.)
  • C799 Doctoral Thesis (12 cr. minimum)
Faculty

Our faculty include outstanding researchers in the field of early childhood education. From evaluating daycare environments to incorporating technology into young children’s learning experiences, they offer broad perspectives on children’s education from infancy to grade 3.

  • Jacqueline Blackwell, Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education, IUPUI
  • Cary Buzzelli, Professor of Early Childhood Education
  • Melissa Keller, Co-Director, Elementary Certification Master's Program
  • Mary McMullen, Professor of Curriculum Studies in Early Childhood Education and Coordinator of the Doctoral Program in Curriculum Studies
  • Karen Wohlwend, Associate Professor of Literacy, Culture, and Language Education
Careers

Most graduates of the master’s program in early childhood education continue in or return to careers as practitioners in infant/toddler, preschool or primary grade settings; or become policy makers, leaders of agencies and organizations, or consultants for employers who serve families and young children or the professionals who work with them. Graduates of the doctoral program typically go into academic settings as researchers and teacher educators.

Contact

For further information about the M.S. in Elementary Education (Early Childhood Education Track),
please contact:

Cary Buzzelli, Program Coordinator
Professor of Education in Early Childhood Education
Department of Curriculum and Instruction
W.W. Wright Education Building, Room 3208
201 North Rose Avenue
Bloomington, Indiana 47405-1006
Phone: (812) 856-8184
Email: cbuzzell@indiana.edu

For further information about the Ed.D. or the Ph.D. in Curriculum Studies (Early Childhood Education track),
please contact:

Keith Barton, Program Coordinator
Professor of Education in Curriculum Studies
Department of Curriculum and Instruction
W.W. Wright Education Building, Room 3234
201 North Rose Avenue
Bloomington, Indiana 47405-1006
Email: kcbarton@indiana.edu
Phone: (812) 856-8058