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.
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.
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:
|General Elective Courses
|Department Elective Courses
|Total Number of Credits
Study program and Credits
University Requirements (12 Credits)
|English Communication Skills I
|English Communication Skills II
|Arabic Communication Skills I
|Arabic Communication Skills II
Core Courses (42 Credits)
|Psychology of Development
|Theories of Learning
|Introduction to Educational Sociology
|Measurement and Classroom evaluation
|Educational Technology I
|Statistics in Education
|Educational Technology II
Concentration Courses (31 Credits)
|Introduction to Early Childhood
|Curricula in Early Childhood
|EDUC 210 +
|Arabic Language and literacy in early years
+ EDEC 311
|English Language and Literacy in early years
+ EDEC 311
|Early Childhood Care
|Psychology of Play
|Mathematics in early years
+ EDEC 311
|Science in early years
+ EDEC 311
|Behavioral modification in early childhood
|70 credits +
EDUC 317 +
TERMS OF AFFILIATION
- 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.