The doctoral program in early childhood/elementary education is intended for educational professionals who wish to study learning and teaching in early childhood/elementary settings. The program has four major goals: (1) to foster a vision of learning as an active process in which students construct their own knowledge and understandings; (2) to foster a vision of teaching that promotes depth of understanding and problem solving rather than mere curriculum coverage and that recognizes children's individual and cultural differences; (3) to prepare educational leaders who are knowledgeable about current research and theory on learning and teaching so they can make informed decisions about educational practice and can help to bring about change in schools; and (4) to prepare students to undertake independent research so they can identify and investigate significant educational questions and problems.
The program is appropriate for individuals who plan to pursue careers as college or university faculty in early childhood/elementary education; as curriculum developers, supervisors, and instructional leaders in schools or other educational organizations; or as administrators of early childhood settings.
I. FOUNDATIONS OF EDUCATION (9 credits, in at least 3 of the following 4 areas; the 9 credits must be outside your own program area)
A. Psychological Foundations
B. Sociological/Philosophical Foundations
C. Policy and Leadership
D. Learning in a Content Area
II. EARLY CHILDHOOD/ELEMENTARY EDUCATION (30 credits)
A. Perspectives on Learning and Teaching in EC/El Ed Classrooms (12 credits)
251:570 Research and Practice in Elementary Classrooms
251:577 Constructs of Early Childhood Education
251:675 Independent Study in Early Childhood/Elementary Education (a supervised
research experience that
precedes the dissertation and culminates in a written product)
251:676 Research in Early Childhood/Elementary Education
B. Area of Specialization (12 credits)
Chosen from the following:
(1) Content Area Concentration (creative arts education, literacy, ESL and bilingual
technology, mathematics education, science education)
(2) Early Childhood Education and Applied Child Development (focus on settings for
children birth through five;
child care, family and parenting issues; developmentally
appropriate practice; development of infants and toddlers,
including those "at risk")
C. Electives (6 credits)
Taken with adviser's approval.
III. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY (at least 9 credits in 2 of the following 3 areas)
A. Qualitative Foundations
B. Quantitative Foundations
C. Program Evaluation
Courses must be selected from the existing list of approved research courses as well as courses designed for the Ph.D. program.
IV. QUALIFYING EXAMINATION
Doctoral students must successfully complete a three-part qualifying
examination, written at home and evaluated by
a faculty committee
consisting of two members, at least one of whom is in the student's
program. The first part of
the exam involves general issues in
early childhood/elementary education. The second part is in the area of
specialization and typically involves an integrative literature review that
can serve as the basis of a dissertation
proposal. The third part focuses on
research design and methodology. (See adviser for details.) Questions are
developed jointly by the student and the chair of the qualifying
examination committee (usually the student's
program or dissertation adviser).
V. DOCTORAL DISSERTATION (24 credits)
250:701 Dissertation Study in Learning & Teaching (Note: No more than 12 credit hours of dissertation study may be taken before the successful completion of the Qualifying Examination.)
The dissertation is a report of research construed broadly to include, but not be limited to, historical ethnographic, descriptive, evaluation, correlational, or experimental studies.
The Dissertation Committee consists of at least three members approved by the program and department chair. The chair of the Dissertation Committee must be a member of the Graduate School of Education, and at least one committee member must be a member of the student's program. At least two committee members must be
faculty members; at least one must be from outside the student's department.
SUMMARY OF CREDITS
Foundations of Education 9 credits
EC/Elementary Education 30 credits
Research Methodology 9 credits
Dissertation Study 24 credits
TOTAL 72 credits