EdM in Early Childhood Education

The goal of the Early Childhood Education program at Boston University is to prepare teachers dedicated to excellence in the field of early childhood education (Pre-K–2). Our students focus on the development and learning of young children in preschool, public school classrooms, and other appropriate settings in urban and suburban communities.

Professional coursework is concentrated on research and theories of child development and learning, and their implications for curriculum planning and instruction. Among the topics addressed are:

  • The design of educational environments;
  • The content and methodology related to mathematics, science, reading, social studies, and the arts; and
  • The application and integration of knowledge and skills through fieldwork and the development of curriculum and learning materials.

Upon acceptance into the program, you will be assigned an Early Childhood Education faculty member as an advisor. This assures that you receive individual, consistent, and informed advisement throughout your experience at Wheelock. The program meets the Commonwealth of Massachusetts requirements for an initial teaching license in Early Childhood: Teacher of Students With and Without Disabilities Pre-K–2. Students who are not interested in licensure develop an individualized program of study in coordination with their faculty advisors.

All students in the Early Childhood Education graduate programs complete one semester of fieldwork in the Early Childhood Learning Laboratory (ECLL). The ECLL is a laboratory and demonstration preschool affiliated with and located at the Wheelock College of Education & Human Development. The school enrolls 20 children, ages 2.9–5, whose families live in the local neighborhood. The children are taught by licensed early childhood teachers.

The preschool program employs an innovative, inquiry-based approach to curriculum design. Teachers determine a topic of study that relates to the children’s interests. The concepts or big ideas of this topic are decided upon, and activities are designed to teach those concepts. Teachers continually monitor the children’s engagement in the activities, documenting their comments, questions, and interactions in order to make ongoing adjustments to the plan and the environment. You will work closely with the teachers, meeting and planning with them, and implementing their plans with their guidance and support.

The ECLL classrooms are equipped with video recording equipment, which enables the staff to regularly record each student’s work in the classroom. You will have the opportunity to view the recording to reflect on your teaching performance. In addition, you will meet with your faculty advisor to review the information and discuss your growth in your teaching skills. Our students also observe lead teachers and children from the adjacent Observation Room, where you can listen through headphones and view the classroom through the one-way viewing windows.

Coursework for EdM Initial License

Coursework for an EdM without licensure may be planned by the student with an academic advisor.

Program Requirements (Total Credits: 46)

Required Courses (30 cr)

  • SED ED 502/503 Analysis of the Fundamentals of Teaching (2 cr)
  • SED EC 605 Topics in Child Development (4 cr)
  • SED SE 504 Introduction to Early Childhood Disabilities (2 cr)
  • SED ME 503 Mathematical Reasoning in the El. Grades (4 cr)
  • SED EC 557 Classroom-Based Assessment of Young Children (2 cr)
  • SED LR 551 Reading Development, Assessment, Instruction (4 cr)
  • SED RS 600 Introduction to Research (4 cr)
  • SED EC 507 Role of Play in Early Childhood Education (4 cr)
  • SED TL 520 Teaching English Learners (4 cr)

Field Experience Practicum (16 cr)

Students participate in three field placements. Boston University enjoys longstanding relationships with many urban and suburban school systems in greater Boston that offer our students rewarding field experiences under the guidance of expert teachers and faculty.

  • SED EC 611 Preschool Curriculum & Fieldwork (4 cr)—Students participate in two mornings of fieldwork, plus two weekly seminars.
  • SED EC 516 Curriculum and Practicum in Early Childhood: K (4 cr)—100 hours of supervised classroom experience, plus two weekly seminars.
  • SED EC 653 Early Childhood Seminar & Practicum 1 & 2 (8 cr)—300 hours of supervised classroom experience, plus seminars held every other week.

Early Childhood Learning Laboratory (ECLL)

The ECLL is a demonstration preschool that serves as a field placement for all early childhood majors and an observation site for teaching and research purposes. Twenty children, ages 2.9–5, are in the program; a number of them have first languages other than English. There are microphones strategically placed in the classroom and digital recorders in the Observation Room so that classroom activities can be recorded and analyzed by early childhood faculty and student teachers. In addition, there is a resource center for preparing teaching materials that is available to all early childhood students. For more information, visit the website.