What is Early Childhood Major?

Any child in kindergarten is in continuous contact with his teacher in the classroom, in the playground and during the mealtimes. Children pose a considerable number of questions, and it is the duty of the teacher in the kindergarten or the daycare center to answer them with utmost sincerity and professionalism.

In light of these challenges, we find that kindergartens at schools in general, and in daycare centers in particular, lack the presence of qualified teachers for this specific stage. Taking into consideration that the programs, daily activities and educational objectives adopted in kindergartens can only be carried out by a specialized teacher who is familiar with the requirements of early childhood and its basic needs, the most suitable teacher must be educationally prepared with all the necessary knowledge and expertise, so that she can be able to perform the duties assigned to her for the best interest of the child.

Early Childhood major in the Faculty of Education at USAL is prepared to meet the need for specialized teachers in the field of work, bearing in mind that this is an important stage in a child’s life during which he is exposed to a lot of triggers.

Courses in this major tackle different subjects designated to the age groups 0-3 years and 3-6 years, some of which are Psychology of Play, Early Childhood Curricula, Children’s Literature, Psychomotor Education, Art Education, teaching languages, mathematics and science in kindergartens, added to skills of social-emotional learning.

These courses enable graduate teachers or caregivers to obtain the following cognitive characteristics:

  • Be highly knowledgeable of the principles and facts of a child’s behavior, for any behavior demonstrated by the child needs special attention. This requires the teacher to understand and recognize the nature of these acts.
  • Recognize individual differences among children relevant to their potentials, abilities and readiness to learn.
  • Familiarize with contemporary educational thought, and the latest theories based on researches relevant to the field of early childhood.
  • Enable the teacher to learn how to observe children, evaluate their daily progress and take advantage of every opportunity to help them grow in a comprehensive and complete manner.
  • Know children’s social and spiritual background in light of society’s philosophy.
  • Direct children’s behavior using scientific methods and appropriate reinforcement techniques, and assess their needs and formerly acquired knowledge.

The teacher greatly influences children’s emotional side, mental health and orientations in general. And whether it be a negative or positive influence, educators agree that a child benefits from his enrollment in a kindergarten depending on the teacher’s personality and competence. The role a teacher plays comes second directly after the role of the family in the sense of her influence on the child.

Expected Outcomes

This major provides students with the necessary knowledge, skills, values and trends in teachers of Early Childhood. It instils a deeper understanding of children’s growth in their early years and in all aspects, with particular emphasis on the progress of language, learning and modern approaches in the field of education and childcare from the age of 1 year until 8 years. Graduates shall seek to achieve both developmental and international education standards and outcomes. They will also be able to establish education and positive growth in children who belong to this specific age group.

By the end of their studies, graduates will be able to:

  • Adapt the educational curriculum in accordance with the learners’ requirements.
  • Monitor special needs in children and be able to recognize them.
  • Specify the causes of some emotional, behavioral and developmental disorders in children, and set schemes for prevention and treatment.
  • Design a classroom environment that is supportive to the growth of children, and teach them within the best conditions that may be found in institutions of education and childcare.
  • Employ playing in the process of education and evaluation as per the set educational objectives.
  • Employ different genres of children’s literature in educational activities, taking into consideration the age group and the dimensions of culture and values.
  • Design art activities and implement them in order to help children express their feelings and thoughts, and enable them to use various techniques in a classroom environment that promotes creativity.
  • Promote major and minor motor skills appropriate to a child’s age characteristics.
  • Use various evaluation tests and standards to detect different growth disorders in children.
  • Evaluate early childhood education experiences based on quality standards relevant to early childhood.
  • Communicate orally and in writing in various contexts related to the profession of education.
  • Design and implement learning positions in line with outcomes and characteristics of the growth of children who belong to this stage.
  • Evaluate the learning process and measure the achievement of required competencies.
  • Utilize technology and employ it in a manner consistent with the needs of learners.
  • Use skills of creative thinking and independent self-learning skills.

Fields of work

Graduates of Early Childhood major can work in daycare centers, kindergartens and Cycle 1 sections in schools, early intervention centers and early childhood organizations.

Graduation Requirements

The program was designed in accordance with a comprehensive academic plan based on both theoretical and practical levels. It includes courses of 97 credits distributed over 6 semesters (fall and spring) in each academic year. These are:

University Requirements 12 Credits
Core Courses 42 Credits
Concentration Courses 31 Credits
General Elective Courses 6 Credits
Department Elective Courses 6 Credits
Total Number of Credits 97 Credits

Study program and Credits

University Requirements (12 Credits)

Course Code Course Title Prerequisite Credit Hours
ENGL 201 English Communication Skills I 3 credits
ENGL 202 English Communication Skills II ENGL 201 3 credits
ARAB 201 Arabic Communication Skills I 3 credits
ARAB 202 Arabic Communication Skills II ARAB 201 3 credits

 

Core Courses (42 Credits)

Course Code Course Title Prerequisite Credit Hours
EDUC210 Psychology of Development 3 credits
EDUC211 Health Education 3 credits
EDUC212 Theories of Learning EDUC 210 3 credits
EDUC310 Introduction to Educational Sociology 3 credits
EDUC311 Action Research EDUC316 3 credits
EDUC312 Measurement and Classroom evaluation 3 credits
EDUC313 Learning Difficulties 3 credits
EDUC314 Citizenship Education 3 credits
EDUC315 Instructional Procedures EDUC312 3 credits
EDUC316 Educational Technology I 3 credits
EDUC317 Statistics in Education EDUC311 3 credits
EDUC416 Educational Technology II EDUC316 3 credits
EDUC490 Practicum I 3 credits
EDUC491 Practicum II EDUC490 3 credits

 

Concentration Courses (31 Credits)

Course Code Course Title Prerequisite Credit Hours
EDEC 310 Introduction to Early Childhood EDUC 210 3 credits
EDEC 311 Curricula in Early Childhood EDUC 210 +

EDUC 212

3 credits
EDEC 312 Art Education   2 credits
EDEC 410 Arabic Language and literacy in early years

 

ARAB 202+

EDUC 312

+ EDEC 311

2 credits
EDEC 411 English Language and Literacy in early years ENGL202+

EDUC 312

+ EDEC 311

2 credits
EDEC412 Early Childhood Care EDEC 310 3 credits
EDEC 413 Psychology of Play EDEC 310 2 credits
EDEC 414 Childhood Literature EDEC 410 2 credits
EDEC 415 Psychomotor Education EDUC 210 2 credits
EDEC 416 Mathematics in early years EDUC 312

+ EDEC 311

3 credits
EDSP 417 Science in early years EDUC 312

+ EDEC 311

3 credits
EDEC 418 Behavioral modification in early childhood EDUC 210 3 credits
EDEC 491 Project 70 credits +

EDUC 311+

EDUC 317 +

EDUC 490

1   credit

 

 

Registration Requirements

  • Obtaining official Lebanese BACC II degree or any equivalent document.
  • Conducting a placement test in Arabic Language and one of two foreign languages (English or French).
  • Passing the academic orientation stage that determines the suitability of a student’s abilities and qualifications in accordance with the field of study.