Early and Middle Grades Education
106B Recitation Hall
West Chester University
West Chester, PA 19383
Dr. Leaman, Chairperson
Dr. DiLucchio, Graduate Coordinator
Dr. Lucas, Graduate Coordinator, Post-Baccalaureate Teacher
Dr. Prudhoe, Graduate Coordinator, M.Ed. in Early Childhood
Lynda Baloche, Ed.D., Temple University
Michael Bell, Ph.D., Univerisity of Texas at Austin
David F. Brown, Ed.D., University of Tennessee
Wei Wei Cai, Ed.D., Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Martha Drobnak, Ed.D., Nova University
Heather Leaman, Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University
Catherine M. Prudhoe, Ph.D., University of Delaware
Connie DiLucchio, Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania
Linda Hanna, Ed.D., Immaculata University
Karen Johnson, Ph.D., University of Albany
Sara Lamb Kistler, Ph.D., University of Delaware
Lisa J. Lucas, Ed.D., Immaculata University
Katherine Norris, Ed.D., Temple University
Donna Sanderson, Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania
Sally Winterton, Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania
Vicky M. Patton, Ph.D., Temple University
Jacqueline G. Van Schooneveld, M.Ed., Columbia University
Laura Fiorenza, M.Ed., West Chester University
Programs of Study [top]
No new students are being accepted in the post-baccalaureate certification program in elementary education.
The Department of Early and Middle Grades Education offers programs leading to the master of education in early childhood education, as well as one leading to certification in early childhood education.
THE MASTER OF EDUCATION PROGRAM ALONE DOES NOT LEAD TO LEVEL I CERTIFICATION IN SPECIAL EDUCATION.
Master of Education in Early Childhood Education
The M.Ed. in early childhood education is an advanced program of study designed to prepare individuals for leadership positions in the field as teachers or administrators. The accomplished teachers track is designed to enhance the knowledge and skills of in-service, certified teachers. The program administrators track is focused on developing the leadership skills of child-care administrators and primary-level principals. Students in either track will take the same eight core courses and then two additional courses based on their track. All candidates will take the capstone course to complete the program. The M.Ed. in early childhood education is an online program.
Admission Requirements for Accomplished Teachers Track
- Undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university
- Pennsylvania Instructional I Teaching Certification or its equivalent
- Undergraduate GPA of at least 2.8 on a 4.0 scale. (If the applicant possesses a master’s degree, the GPA requirement applies to that degree.)
- Undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university
- Undergraduate GPA of at least 2.8 on a 4.0 scale. (If the applicant possesses a master’s degree, the GPA requirement applies to that degree.)
- At least one year of professional experience in an early childhood setting. Individuals with limited early childhood background may be required to complete additional course work or readings.
- Satisfactory completion of the curriculum as outlined below. Selection of courses should be determined in consultation with an appointed adviser.
- Cumulative GPA of at least 3.0.
- Satisfactory completion of an action research project in ECE 550.
Curriculum (33 semester hours)
- Core courses (24 semester hours)
ECE 502, 504, 505, 508, 511, 512, 513, 515
- Accomplished teachers track (6 semester hours)
Two courses chosen from one of the following areas: special education (EDA 506, 513, or 542), teaching and learning (EDE 532, 554), literacy (EDR 505, 507, 509, or 535), or educational technology (EDT 500, 501). Both courses must be from the same discipline.
- Program administrators track (6 semester hours)
ECE 514, 517
- Capstone course (3 semester hours)
Program of Study in Elementary Education
The Department of Early and Middle Grades Education offers a post-baccalaureate certification program in elementary education. Courses are available to teachers desiring Level II Pennsylvania elementary certification, Act 48 credits, or professional growth.
On June 1, 1987, the Pennsylvania State Board of Education implemented revisions to the Pennsylvania School Code. These revisions require all students who apply for Pennsylvania teaching certificates to pass competency tests in basic skills, general knowledge, professional knowledge, and specific knowledge of the subjects in which they seek teacher certification. Students also must demonstrate that they have met the requirement for computer literacy.
As changes are made in requirements for elementary certification, it is the student’s responsibility to satisfy the new requirements.
The State Board of Education adopted changes that affect all of Pennsylvania’s teacher certification programs by adding nine credits or 270 hours or equivalent combination for adaptations and accommodations for diverse students in an inclusive setting, and three credits or 90 hours or equivalent combination to meet the instructional needs of English language learners. Additional program requirements will be developed and incorporated into the certification programs to comply with new regulations that became effective January 1, 2011.
The State Board of Education also adopted changes specific to early childhood, elementary (K-6), and special education. New certification guidelines will apply after August 31, 2013 regardless of a candidate’s enrollment date. Candidates seeking current certifications must complete their program by August 2013, including all certification requirements.
After the student’s application has been submitted to West Chester University’s Office of Graduate Studies and Extended Education and appropriate transcripts have been received, the student will be mailed information regarding the program and advisement.
Curriculum (minimum 54 semester hours)
- Group one (to be completed during first 18 hours)
EDE 551, EDF 510 or 589; EDP 550 and 531,
EDE 526 (early field experience)
- Group two
Students may enroll in group two courses upon completion of early field experience and at least six additional credits of courses in group one.
EDA 511; EDE 533, 544; EDR 509, 510, and 515; EDT 500; MTE 553; SCE 595
- Group three
Students may enroll in group three upon completion of all other course work.
EDE 410-411 (student teaching)
Credit summary: Without considering analysis of undergraduate and/or transfer courses for equivalency, students complete 54 semester hours for certification.
For the post-baccalaureate program, students must take the Praxis II Curriculum Instruction and Assessment Examination before admission to student teaching and pass the Praxis II CIA examination as a means of completing the teacher education program. (Post-baccalaureate applicants must submit passing scores on the Praxis II Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge as an admission requirement.)
Master of Education in Applied Studies in Teaching and Learning
The master’s degree in applied studies in teaching and learning gives experienced educators an opportunity to advance the knowledge and skills needed to be teacher-leaders within their profession. This program recognizes the value of experience; it has been developed to strengthen and deepen the practice of educators through course work designed to emphasize reflection, collaboration, and classroom-based inquiry.
This 36-credit program includes an 18-credit core requirement, a 12-credit area of focused inquiry, the development of a professional portfolio, and a six-credit, classroom-based inquiry project.
- Applicants for the degree program are expected to have an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university, Pennsylvania Level 1 Teaching Certification or its equivalent.
- Applicants must have one year of full-time, satisfactory K-12 teaching experience in public or private schools. (All other cases will be considered by the department on an individual basis.)
- An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale is also required. (If an applicant possesses a master’s degree, the GPA requirement applies to that degree.)
- Satisfactory completion of the curriculum as given below. Both the selection and the sequence of courses should be determined in consultation with an appointed adviser. Workshop credits (EDE 580-589) are not permitted. Up to six credits of “Special Topics” courses (EDE 591-593), within an area of focused inquiry, may be counted towards the degree.
- A cumulative GPA of at least 3.0.
- Development of a professional portfolio. (The portfolio will be formally evaluated during EDE 571.)
- Completion of a classroom-based inquiry project in EDE 611.
Curriculum (36 semester hours)
- Initial courses (6 semester hours)
EDE 532 and 554 (to be taken during first 15 hours of study)
- Intermediate courses (9 semester hours)
EDE 556, EDF 583, and EDR 535
- Area of focused inquiry (12 semester hours)
Students are to complete a 12-credit area of focused inquiry; students should confer with the assigned adviser to determine an appropriate and desirable area of focused inquiry.
Areas currently include the following:
• 3E Institute: Entrepreneurial Educator
• Autism Spectrum Disorder
• Culturally responsive education
• Education for sustainability
• Inclusion/special education
• Teaching English as a second language
• Open area: Students are encouraged to propose their own focus areas based on personal interests and needs and available graduate-level offerings at West Chester University. These areas would be developed with faculty in the student’s area of interest and approved by the early and middle grades graduate coordinator. Workshop credits may not be used to satisfy requirements for the area of focused inquiry.
- Culminating courses (9 semester hours)
EDE 571 and 611
Level I Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Certification Programs – Pre-K through Grade 4: Early Grades Preparation (EGP), and Grade 4 through Grade 8: Middle Grades Preparation (MGP)The Department of Early and Middle Grades Education offers two flexible programs leading to Pennsylvania Level Certification, granted by the Pennsylvania Department of Education: certification in Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 4 (EGP) and certification in Grade 4 through Grade 8 (MGP). Both programs are designed for candidates who (a) have completed a B.A. or B.S. degree in an area other than education, or (b) hold a teaching certificate in another grade range or in a content area.
As part of the application process, candidates must submit the following materials:
- official academic transcript(s) from all colleges and universities attended, demonstrating a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale;
- a professional goals statement;
- two recommendations; and
- for MGP, a copy of passing scores on PDE-mandated Praxis II subject concentration tests in either math, science, or social studies.
Note: Educational Testing Services will not send a copy of candidates’ Praxis scores to WCU’s Office of Graduate Studies. More information and registration for the Praxis Exams are available on the College of Education website.
Level I Certification program requirements are determined on an individual basis. Each candidate will receive an approved program of study which will include a checklist of (a) previously completed courses that the graduate coordinator accepts as equivalent to required courses in the program, (b) work and volunteer experiences the graduate coordinator accepts as equivalent to required courses, and (c) courses required to complete the candidate’s certification program.
- Pennsylvania Certification Tests
Those seeking an Instructional I Certificate in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 by program completion, plus passing scores (as determined by the PDE) on required Praxis exams. The PDE periodically changes testing requirements and passing scores. Up-to-date information about the Pennsylvania certification tests is available at http://www.wcupa.edu/_academics/coe/paTests.aspx.
- Formal Admission to Teacher Education (FATE)
All students who enter the post-baccalaureate certification program for either the early grades or middle grades preparation program are designated as probationary teacher education students until they achieve FATE. Note: FATE is not the same as admission to graduate studies. Students apply for FATE after receipt of the acceptance letter to graduate studies.
Only students achieving FATE will be able to enroll in the “professional semester,” which includes field experience and student teaching. Because students need to file an application for student teaching two semesters prior to the professional semester, they are strongly encouraged to apply for FATE as soon as possible after being admitted to graduate studies. The Department of Early and Middle Grades Education sends information about FATE requirements soon after students are accepted into WCU.
Clearance Requirements for Field Experiences in the Professional Education UnitAll students participating in West Chester University academic courses that require participation in observation, practicum, field experience or student teaching experience must provide up-to-date clearances prior to the fourth day of the semester in which they enrolled in such courses. Students will provide clearances to the university in a manner stipulated but the dean of the college of education in accordance with the WCU Professional Education Unit Policy Requiring Current Criminal Background Clearances for Enrollment in Field Experience Courses and Student Teaching. Students who fail to provide the proper clearances, as stipulated, will have their enrollment in the course revoked.
Curriculum (EGP) (57 semester hours)
Group I: EDA 542, EGP 501*, and EGP 520*
Group II: EGP 522*, EGP 535, EGP 540, EDP 553, EDR 503, EDR 513, EDR 533*, EDR 545,
LAN/ENG 586, MTE 553, and SCE 520
Group III (the professional semester): EGP 550*, EGP 551*, EGP 552*
(includes 12 weeks of student teaching)
Note: Students wishing to enroll in the professional semester must have (a) completed all required course work and field hours in Group I and II courses, (b) achieved FATE, and (c) shown evidence of having taken the PDE-mandated specialty area Praxis II Exam(s).
Curriculum (MGP) (51 semester hours)
Group I: EDP 501*, MGP 520*, and EDA 542
Group II: EDP 554*, EDR 518, EDR 528, EDR 538*, EDR 545, LAN/ENG 586, MGP 535*, MTE 553, MTE 555*, SCE 530*
Group III (the professional semester): MGP 550*, MGP 551*, MGP 552* (includes 12 weeks of student teaching)
Note: Students wishing to enroll in the professional semester must have (a) completed all required course work and field hours in Group I and II courses (b) achieved FATE, (c) presented passing scores on one subject concentration Praxis tests (social studies, reading/language arts, math or science; either math, science, or social studies is required), and (d) shown evidence of having taken the PDE-mandated specialty area Praxis II Exam(s).
Accelerated Program for Holders of the PreK-4 Certification to Acquire Grades 4-8 Certification (16-18 semester hours)For candidates adding Grades 4-8 certification to an existing PreK-4 certification, students will be required to complete the following courses and field experiences: EDP 501; EDR 528; MGP 535, 590; MTE 555; SCE 530.
Accelerated Program for Holders of the Grades 4-8 Certification to Acquire PreK-4 Certification (16-18 semester hours)For candidates adding PreK-4 certification to an existing Grades 4-8 certification, students will be required to complete the following courses and field experiences: EDR 513; EGP 501, 522, 540, 590.
* Since these courses include field work, students must have all current criminal, child abuse, FBI fingerprinting, and TB test clearances on file before the first day of class.
Course Descriptions [top]
Early Childhood Education
502 Advanced Child Development: Prebirth–Eight Years (3) Covers development of children prebirth through age eight. A review of historical and contemporary theories of development, as well as emerging research, is included.
503 Foundations of Early Childhood Education (3) The content of this graduate course focuses on critically examining the historical, philosophical, and sociocultural foundations of early childhood education, as well as contemporary issues in the field.
504 Play as a Learning Medium (3) This course focuses on the significance of play in human development and learning, analysis of play environments, and their contexts.
505 Families, Communities, and Education in a Multicultural Society (3) This graduate course focuses on important contexts in which young children develop. The educator’s role in relation to family cultures and communities will be analyzed.
506 Curriculum and Assessment I: Birth Through Age Eight (3) This course focuses on curriculum development and assessment in early childhood education from historical, national, and cultural perspectives
507 Curriculum and Assessment II: Birth Through Age Eight (3) This course builds on and expands curriculum and assessment knowledge in early childhood education. The course covers learning contexts, unit planning, family involvement, and classroom management. PREREQ: EDC 506.
508 Advocacy and Leadership in Early Childhood Education (3) Personal service, leadership, and advocacy on behalf of children, families, and communities will be highlighted. Students will develop an action research proposal as a requirement of this course.
511 Trends and Issues in ECE (3) This course provides an understanding of the evolution of early childhood education. Contemporary issues and trends in the field of early childhood education are discussed in view of historical, social, cultural, and political influences.
512 Integrated Curriculum and Assessment: Birth to Age 8 (3) Designed for teachers, program administrators, and principals in early childhood settings, this course is an in-depth examination of the curriculum frameworks, standards, and assessment in early childhood education.
513 Advocating for Young Children and Families (3) Professional service and advocacy on behalf of children, families, and communities will be course highlights. Students will analyze policies and develop skills in advocacy and community mobilization.
514 Leadership in ECE (3) Through this course students will enhance their knowledge, skills, and dispositions for management and leadership as defined by NAEYC accreditation criteria.
515 Coaching and Supervision in ECE (3) This course explores the current theory, research, and best practices related to mentoring/coaching and supervision of professional practice in early childhood settings.
517 Small Business Management in ECE (3) This course is designed to help directors and teacher/supervisors successfully plan, organize, and manage a child care center. This course assumes that students have little or no knowledge in economics, finance, accounting, and general business management.
550 The Early Childhood Professionals as Researchers (3) Students in this course will conduct “teacher as researcher” activities focused on early childhood education contexts. This course serves as the capstone for the master’s degree in early childhood education. PREREQ: ECE 508.
598 Workshop in Early Childhood Education (3)
503 Contemporary Influences in Early Childhood Education (3) Current factors that affect the educational needs of young children and classroom practices reflecting those influences.
509 Writing Development and Instruction (3) Strategies for teaching the language arts. Methods, materials, and resources for organizing creative programs in school settings. This course is crosslisted as EDR 509.
526 Professional Dimensions of Teaching and Learning (3) An introduction to the dimensions of teaching and learning in the context of the culturally responsive, elementary classroom. Observations and supervised experiences in field-based settings are required.
532 Teaching and Learning: Linking Theory to Practice (3) This course is intended to help teachers connect knowledge of curriculum design and learning theory with the development of culturally responsive curriculum and effective classroom practice.
533 Social Studies and Health Education in the Elementary School (3) An interdisciplinary overview of the content, context, purpose, and strategies for teaching history, geography, the social sciences, and health education in the elementary classroom. National, state, and local standards are used as frameworks for exploration.
543 Creative Expression in the Elementary School (3) Theories and techniques to promote creative thinking and enhance children's creative potential in all areas of the school curriculum.
544 Integrating Creativity and the Arts Across the Curriculum (3) An examination of creativity theory and the arts disciplines, with emphases on the purposes and processes of integrating arts skills and knowledge across the elementary curriculum.
551 Child and Adolescent Behavior I (3) A survey of characteristic development and behavior of children between 5 and 13 years of age, situated within theories of human development with emphasis on application to classroom settings. Open to elementary education majors only.
552 The Middle School Child (3) Development, behavior, and specific needs during late childhood and early adolescence (10-15 years); applies to working with children in the middle school. PREREQ: Recent course in child/human development.
554 The Reflective Teacher: Examining Cultural Paradigms in the Contemporary Classroom (3) An investigation of the origins of popular, personal, and theoretical constructions of teaching and learning processes and how these constructions influence contemporary practice.
556 Human Development (3) Study of cross-culturally evolving perspectives on healthy developmental processes in children and adults. Application of findings to interaction between teachers and learners within the contexts of family, school, and community. PREREQ: EDE 554.
557 The Foundations of Cooperative Learning (3) Exploration of various theories, models, and strategies for cooperative learning, with the goal of systematic implementation into all areas of the school curriculum.
563 Teacher as Leader (3) This course will provide opportunities for teachers to study their roles in change processes through an examination of teacher leadership.
565 Effective Classroom Management (3) Dynamics of interpersonal relations in planning and facilitating classroom instruction.
571 Educational Change: A Systemic View (3) Exploration of theories and models of educational change, with emphases on systems thinking and the central role of the teacher in the change process. PREREQ: EDE 532, 554, 556; EDF 583; EDR 535.
580-589 Workshops in Elementary Education (1-6) Additional course numbers will be assigned as new areas of study are announced. Credits vary. The series currently includes the following:
586 Workshop in Curriculum Enrichment
589 Workshop in Humanizing Teaching and Learning
590 Independent Study (1-3) Enrollment by permission; number of credits determined by graduate coordinator. Crosslisted with EGP 590 and MGP 590.
591-593 Special Topics (1-3)
598 Workshop in Elementary Education (3)
600 Research Report (1-2)
605 Educational Leadership and Change Theory (3) This course examines the purpose and process of literacy coaching through the perspectives of teachers as leaders, change agents, and collaborators. The course regards change as both a focus of inquiry and of action.
610 Thesis (4-6)
611 Teacher as Classroom Researcher (6) This course explores the role of classroom research in the professional life of the teacher. With the goal of informing personal practice and collegial discourse, participants review existing literature, design and carry out an investigation in their own setting, and report results to professional colleagues. PREREQ: EDE 532, 554, 556, 571; EDF 583; and EDR 535.
Early Grades Preparation
501 Human Development from Gestation through Adolescence (3) An examination of typical and atypical development, across all developmental domains, from gestation to 18 years. PREREQ: Current field clearances.
520 Professional Dimensions of Teaching Early Grades (3) An introduction to the teaching profession within the context of the contemporary Pre-K–4 classroom; 30 hours supervised field work are required. PREREQ or COREQ: EGP 501. PREREQ: Current field clearances.
522 Pre-Kindergarten Programs and Methods and Pre-K–4 Family Partnerships (6) A comprehensive study of developmentally appropriate pre-kindergarten programs. A study of the role of families and family/school partnerships in the education of children Pre-K–4; 75 hours of supervised field work are required in Pre-K settings. PREREQ: EGP 501, 520, and current field clearances.
535 Teaching Social Studies and Health, Pre-K–4 (3) A study of social studies and health education curricula, instruction, and assessment Pre-K through grade 4. National, state, and local standards are used as frameworks to explore the context, purpose, content, and interdisciplinary nature of the social studies and health. PREREQ: EGP 520.
540 Building Community and Integrating the Arts in the Pre-K–4 Classroom (3) Study of the classroom as a unique social system and international community, with emphasis on the knowledge and skills essential to facilitating cooperation. Study of the arts disciplines, with emphasis on the knowledge and skill needed to integrate the arts into the Pre-K–4 classroom. PREREQ or COREQ: EGP 535.
550 Developmental Field Experiences in Inclusive Classrooms (3) Developmental field experiences in inclusive classrooms. COREQ: EGP 551, 552. PREREQ: FATE, Praxis testing, professional course work.
551/552 Student Teaching (3/6) A 12-week, full-time field experience. The student teacher assumes increasing responsibility in the classroom, as demonstrated by effective methods for planning, delivering, and reflecting instruction. Weekly seminars are required. COREQ: EGP 550. PREREQ: FATE, field clearances, all course work, and Praxis testing.
590 Independent Study (1-3) Enrollment by permission; number of credits determined by graduate coordinator. Crosslisted with EDE 590 and MGP 590.This course may be taken again for credit.
Middle Grades Preparation
520 Professional Dimensions of Teaching Middle Grades (3) An introduction to the teaching profession within the context of contemporary grades 4-8 classrooms; 30 hours of supervised field work are required. PREREQ or COREQ: EDP 501. PREREQ: Current field clearances.
535 Teaching Social Studies in Grades 4-8 (3) A study of social studies teaching and student learning in grades 4 through 8, focusing on related curricula, instruction, and assessment. National, state, and local standards are used as frameworks to explore the context, purpose, content, and interdisciplinary nature of social studies. PREREQ: MGP 520.
550 Developmental Field Experiences in Inclusive Classrooms (3) Developmental field experiences in inclusive classroom. COREQ: MGP 551, 552. PREREQ: FATE, Praxis testing, professional course work.
551 Student Teaching (3-6) A 12-week, full-time field experience. The student teacher assumes increasing responsibility in the classroom, as demonstrated by effective methods for planning, delivering, and reflecting instruction. Weekly seminars are required. COREQ: MGP 550. PREREQ: FATE, field clearances, all course work, and Praxis testing.
590 Independent Study (1-3) Enrollment by permission; number of credits determined by graduate coordinator. Crosslisted with EDE 590 and EGP 590. This course may be taken again for credit.