A New Opportunity to Magnify the Expertise of Hoosier Teachers
For many years early childhood teachers in the state of Indiana have not had a lot options for assistance with furthering their education past a Bachelor’s degree. According to the American Institutes for Research, “Teachers need career pathways that provide new challenges and sustained opportunities for leadership without leaving the classroom.” Thanks to funding from the Lilly Endowment and a collaboration between Partnerships with Early Learners, Indiana Association for Education of Young Children and Ball State University the dream of a new pathway is about to become a reality! Beginning in January 2017, up to 25 students will begin coursework for a Master Teacher Credential at Ball State University.
Offering a Master Teacher Credential focused on early childhood education meets a critical need within early childhood organizations. Master teachers can support best practices and mentor new teachers entering the field. In early learning programs, this new can provide support in classrooms, helping teachers enrich their educational practice, mentoring and coaching colleagues. Master teachers can provide evidence-based help to teachers in areas including curriculum, classroom environment, family relationships. To achieve these goals, Ball State University crafted specialized courses that ensure master teachers will have the knowledge to assist in improving program quality.
From Experience to Expertise – Coursework to Support Your Goals
This credential consists of five graduate level courses, totaling 15 credit hours, to be completed online. The courses align with the Indiana Core Knowledge and Competencies. Additionally, they support master teacher competencies, as identified by Early Learning Indiana, including the ability to:
- Apply research-based early childhood education skills in the area of child development and learning to elevate teaching practices;
- Apply effective teaching strategies and practices to promote positive outcomes for young children and families;
- Demonstrate an understanding of cultural responsiveness in interactions with early learning professionals, children, families and community partners; and
- Apply a variety of perspectives that are knowledgeable, reflective and critical to promote professional growth, as well as social change in the classroom and in the field of early childhood education.
The courses also articulate into a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education, which requires an additional five courses (15 hours) to complete. Courses to be taken online are:
- Early Childhood Education (EDEL 640) – Students focus on principles and practices of teaching young children, including child development theory, current research in neuroscience, and social emotional development across the early childhood years.
- Educational Programs for Young Children (EDEL 651) – Considers historical and current program models in early childhood education, as well as current theory and practice in early childhood curricular content areas. Related research and issues are examined and discussed. Students examine practices to ensure sustainable and high-quality curriculum implementation, along with methods to improve teaching practices through reflective cycles and interpretation of assessment data to support planning. Learning outcomes are integrated into the course as a foundation to support improved child outcomes.
- Education in a Diverse Society (EDEL 644) – Addresses diversity in early childhood settings. Educators explore common elements of learning experiences and environments that provide meaning, inspire learning, offer inclusion to families and encourage children to thrive and honor differences in supportive learning environments. Includes in-depth understanding of social, economic, cultural, and linguistic diversity, with emphasis on how these impact realtionships and interactions between providers, children, and families.
- Observation and Assessment in Early Childhood (EDEL 653) – Educators develop an understanding of the uses and types of observation and assessment for planning instruction, identifying children with special needs, and program development and use of assessments to promote development and guide planning and teaching strategies.
- Mentoring Early Childhood Professionals (EDEL 672) – Explores coaching methods for use with early childhood professionals to implement effective change and improve teaching strategies that impact child outcomes.