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Course Planning by Program


Essential Objectives

Course Syllabus

Revision Date: 17-Jul-24

Fall 2024 | EDU-1030-VT01 - Introduction to Early Childhood Education

In Person Class

Standard courses meet in person at CCV centers, typically once each week for the duration of the semester.

Location: Brattleboro
Credits: 3 (45 hours)
Day/Times: Thursday, 06:00P - 09:00P
Semester Dates: 09-05-2024 to 12-12-2024
Last day to drop without a grade: 09-16-2024 - Refund Policy
Last day to withdraw (W grade): 11-04-2024 - Refund Policy
Open Seats: 11 (as of 07-19-24 8:05 PM)
To check live space availability, Search for Courses.


Kim Freeman
View Faculty Credentials
View Faculty Statement
Hiring Coordinator for this course: Philip Crossman

Course Description

This course is an overview of early childhood education and the ways in which early childhood experiences can enhance the development of the whole child. Students examine the provision of early education and services for children from conception to age eight. Topics include child development, national and state standards, curriculum development, early intervention, regulation, and career exploration.

Essential Objectives

1. Discuss the cultural, historical, and philosophical evolution of early childhood education.
2. Explore early education programs in the context of family and community relationships, including the need for cultural competence when supporting and collaborating with individuals from diverse backgrounds.
3. Understand the theories of child development and how they relate to the implementation of Developmentally Appropriate Practices (DAP).
4. Discuss national and state standards for the provision of education to young children and how early childhood education programs meet these standards (VELS & NAEYC for children and professionals).
5. Review the elements of early childhood education curricula, the theoretical framework for different approaches to what is taught, and the pedagogy of inclusion and universal design.
6. Analyze evidence-based research on effective models of early education.
7. Examine the early intervention system and the provision of services to support the development of children with diverse abilities and/or affected by trauma.
8. Discuss the regulation of programs, staff, and facilities to ensure health and safety, including the role of the state in policy development and regulation enforcement.
9. Explore the scope and diversity of career opportunities in the field of early childhood education, the NAEYC Code of Conduct, and dispositions required for work in the field, through assignments such as informational interviews, job shadows, or other career exploration activities.

Required Technology

More information on general computer and internet recommendations is available on the CCV IT Support page. https://support.ccv.edu/general/computer-recommendations/

Please see CCV's Digital Equity Statement (pg. 45) to learn more about CCV's commitment to supporting all students access the technology they need to successfully finish their courses.

Required Textbooks and Resources

*** This is a no cost textbook or resource class. ***

This course only uses free Open Educational Resources (OER) and/or library materials. For details, see the Canvas Site for this class.

Artificial Intelligence(AI) Policy Statement

CCV recognizes that artificial intelligence (AI) and generative AI tools are widely available and becoming embedded in many online writing and creative applications.

Prohibited: The use of generative AI is not allowed in this course, with the exception of spellcheck, grammar check and similar tools. This course rests in the value of students engaging in the learning process without relying on AI-generated content. Students will develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills independently, owning their learning journey from start to finish. If you use these tools, your actions would be considered academically dishonest and a violation of CCV's Academic Integrity Policy.

The nature of this course requires original, reflective thought. Grammarly, when used for spelling, punctuation, and sentence structure, is acceptable. This is your learning experience, and anyone other than you cannot authentically generate your thoughts and reflections.


  • small and large group discussions
  • interactive projects and/or activities
  • multimedia presentations and resources
  • readings, writing, and inquiry-based research
  • professional work-based learning experiences
  • interviews
  • reflective journaling

Evaluation Criteria

This course uses a weighted categories system to calculate final grades.

Participation = 20%

Assignments = 40%

Midterm Project = 20%

Final Project = 20%

Grading Criteria

CCV Letter Grades as outlined in the Evaluation System Policy are assigned according to the following chart:

A Less than 9893
A-Less than 9390
B+Less than 9088
B Less than 8883
B-Less than 8380
C+Less than 8078
C Less than 7873
C-Less than 7370
D+Less than 7068
D Less than 6863
D-Less than 6360
FLess than 60 
NPLess than 600

Weekly Schedule

Week/ModuleTopic  Readings  Assignments


What is High Quality Early Childhood Education?


Why Early Childhood Education?

VT. Northern Lights Professional Dispositions

NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct

NAEYC Professional Standards and Competencies



Read resources

Self Assessments (DISC, ACES/Resiliency, Learning Style)

Online Discussion forum assignments

Professional Growth Journal Entry- Wellness goal setting



ECE Theories and Philosophies


Overview of Child Development Theories (Video)

Overview of ECE program Philosophies (Video)

NAEYC Principals of Learning and Development


1. Professional Growth Journal Entry

2. Assignment Buffet: Choose one

Menu #1: Write your philosophy of education/or create a video

Menu #2: Research and report about the modern influences on child development or early childhood education

Menu #3: Create a UDL Lesson plan

Menu #4: Create a visual representation of your current or dream classroom and explain the components related to theories and philosophies.

Menu #5: Write a reflection on theNAEYC Principals of Learning and Developmentas you see them play out in your classroom or one that you know.



Early Childhood Educators


The Many Ways of Caring that make a Difference (Harvard Video)

Teachers (Audio)

NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct

VTAEYC Advancing as a Profession resources


Listen to the audio chapter

Begin Interview assignment

Group Discussion Forum: Ethical Dilemmas

Professional Growth Journal Entry



Who are the Children in ECE?


NAEYC Webinar: Planning for an inclusive classroom (1 Hour)

The Science of Neglect


1. Read resources

2. Professional Growth Journal Entry

3. Please choose ONE of the following prompts.

Menu #1:Observe several children the same age. While maintaining confidentiality, describe what you saw and then reflect on a child who appears to be self-confident. How does this child express this confidence? Do you notice a difference between this child and another who seems less assured?

Menu #2:Observe an early childhood education classroom where children with special needs are integrated. What accommodations have been made for the child? How does the child interact with the other children? How is the child's independence encouraged? Does the Child participate in a few, some, or all of the activities?

Menu #3:Watch the attached video and write a summary. You are now the expert, and others will ask you about it.

https://developingchild.harvard.edu/resources/inbrief-the-science-of-neglect-video/Links to an external site.

Menu #4: Read NAEYC's Audacious Vision. Based on what you have read this week, explain to a newcomer why this vision is so important to society.



Families and Cultural Competence


Bronfenbrenner's Bio-ecological Systems Theory video

Cultural Competency Video

PBS Implicit Bias Videos

Awareness Test Video

Family Culture

NAEYC Welcoming Families Article


1. Watch videos

2.Complete the attached "Micro-Messaging" training modules 2.1-4.4Micro-Messaging Training Modules.

3. Choose one:

Menu #1:Review an Early Childhood Education Program's family handbook. Assess the handbook to determine how the teachers communicate with families. How does the handbook tell the family, "You belong here"? Please tell us what you discover and explain using the guidance from the reading and videos what you see and, perhaps, don't see.

Menu #2:Visit an Early Childhood Education Program and/or classroom. Assess the physical environment for the ways that the program communicates that every family is valuable, visible, and supported. Please tell us what you discover and explain using the guidance from the reading and videos what you see and, perhaps, don't see.

Menu#3:Design a Family Bulletin Board in a classroom. Incorporate what you have learned this week. Please take a picture and post it to the discussion with an explanation for the components you included.

Menu #4:Is there a child that you can't quite wrap your head around or a family you struggle with? Please spend some time creating a model of their ecological system to get to know them better. When you come upon questions you can not answer, think of ways that you can respectfully find out. Let us know, did you uncover any implicit biases or judgments on your part? How were you able to acknowledge your biases and move past them to find a deeper understanding of the family's culture and norms?

4. Professional Growth Journal Entry



Health, Safety, and Regulation


NAEYC Program Accreditation Standards

Head Start Performance Standards: Teaching and Learning Environment

VT Child Care Licensing Regulations FAQ's with links to regulations and guidance

.VT Childcare Licensing Regulations (After School) FAQ's with Regulations and Guidance

VT Child Care Licensing Regulations FAQ's (Homebased) with Regulations and Guidance

Health and Safety Checklist

Overview of VT QRIS "STARS"

STARS Guidance Handbook


1. Review multiple resources

2. Complete Professional Growth Journal Entry

3. Complete a classroom Health and Safety assessment

4. Choose one of the following:

Menu #1:How many STARS do you have? If you work for an early childhood education program, find out how many STARS you have and why the program has the number of STARS they do. Look at the New STARS guidance manual and talk with the program's Director about how the new STARS system will impact the program. Tell us about it in your post this week.

Menu #2:Have you ever wondered about the difference between center-based and Home-based early childhood education programs? Now is your chance to look through both regulation books and compare and contrast your findings. In particular, what are the differences between the health and safety standards and the curriculum standards?

Menu#3:How would your program do in a NAEYC accreditation visit? Look at the accreditation criteria 1, 2, 3, 5, and 9. How did you do? What would you need to change? Where were your strengths?

Menu #4:What would you need to do if you wanted to open an early childhood education program in your home? Check out the regulations around the physical environment and explain what you could do to open a program in your home.

Menu #5:Don't have a program to look at? Compare and Contrast the NAEYC accreditation with the Head Start Performance standards regarding the physical environment, health and safety, and quality interactions/relationships. Provide us with a summary of your findings.



The ECE Environment


Read the introduction and the "Approaches to Learning" section in theVermont Early Learning Standards

Read "Criteria for selecting Materials."

Catalogs for "Shopping"


1. Select a piece of equipment and critique it based on the selection criteria provided.

2. Complete Professional Growth Journal reflection

3. Mid-term assignment: self-reflection on essential objectives



Curriculum and the Importance of Play



Constructivism Learning Theory

The Importance of Play

Video about Open-ended materials


Please read the introduction and section D in the attached article:DAP and Play

Please read this article from NAEYC:Playful Learning

Parten's Stages of Play

Article about "Rough and Tumble Play"

PlayGarden Toolkit 9_17_21_ Electronic_Version


1. Read and review resources

2. Complete Professional Growth Journal reflection

3. Choose one:

Menu #1: Observe a group of children at play. Take observation notes (objective), and then assess the types of play and developmental stages of play that you observed. Explain your assessment using the vocabulary and concepts from this week's reading.

Menu #2: Observe a classroom. Describe the schedule and the types of daily activities (large group, small group, transitions, planned activity time (whether teacher-directed or child-directed). Describe the "Play Spectrum" and reflect on the balance of activity in the classroom.

Menu #3:Using section "D" in the DAP article, assess a classroom for its level of developmentally appropriate practices. Please describe the setting, the ages of the children served, and any other details to help us understand the context.

Menu#4:Do you have strong beliefs about Play? Create an argument for your perspective. For example, do you favor "free play" over guided play? Why? Find resources that support your viewpoint.

Menu#5:Vygotsky says, "Teach to the future child." With that said, look at the VELS under the "Approaches to Learning" domain, element 1, "Play and Exploration." Observe a child you know and determine which stage of play they are currently in. Using the guidance of the VELS, choose the next stage the child will be moving to and reflect on a play experience that you could provide to enhance their learning.

Menu #6:Create your own "tiles" like the picture at the top of this page. Produce at least five "Tiles" that illustrate how children learn through play. Attach the "tiles" for us to see and tell us about your process.



Guiding Social Behaviors



How children and Adults Build Core Capabilities (Harvard video)

NAEYC Webinar: Culturally Appropriate Positive Guidance (1 hour)

Pyramid Model Overview





1. Use the TPOT or TPITOS to assess a classroom

2. Complete Professional Growth Journal Reflection

3. Watch and read resources



Supporting Social and Emotional Development


1.NAEYC Article DAP: Planning and Implementing an Engaging Curriculum

2. Universal Design for ECE Article

3. VELS: Read pages 30-38


Born Good? Video

The Doll Test Video

Inside the Doll Test video

Kohlberg's Six Stages of Moral Development Video

Emotional Literacy video

Strategies for teaching social and emotional skills video


1. Review Resources

2. Complete Professional Growth Journal Reflection

3. Choose one:

Menu #1:Once you understand the stages of Moral Development, develop an assessmentfor a classroom teacher to determine if the curriculum supports developmentally appropriate moral development. Your assessment should be based on a specific age group (infants, preschool, third grade...) and intentionally eliminate potential bias. This assessment should be attached to your post as a PDF so that someone else can download and use it.

Menu #2:Let's collaborate! You canuse the assessmenta peer created in the first menu choice for this menu option. (I know this is tricky because we don't know if anyone will complete this menu choice.) Use it if you have ready access to a classroom with children at the stage/age for which this assessment was created.Complete the assessment form and a summary of your findings and experience using the assessment.This discussion post will be due Tuesday by midnight.

Menu #3:Review theVELSsection on Social and Emotional Development. Choose an "Element": Emotions and Self-Regulation, Self-Awaresness, or Relationships with Peers and Adults. Then, Choose an "Indicator" in the age group you prefer, andcreate a lesson planusing the lesson plan template (Lesson Plan TemplateLinks to an external site.) . Attach the completed lesson plan to your post so that a peer can download it and implement the lesson plan in their classroom.

Menu #4:Implement a social/emotional lesson plan created by a peer. If you can take pictures, at least complete the reflection part of the lesson plan andprovide a summary of the outcome. How did the implementation go, and what did you see the children gain from the lesson?This discussion post will be due Tuesday by midnight.

Menu # 5:Observe Sociodramatic play.This observation needs to be a sustained period of time where a group of children are engaged in a cooperative pursuit. Share your in-depth observationand then write a reflection on the interactions that you saw that positively or negatively reflect their attitudes toward other people in relation tosex, gender, race, culture, or disability.Give specific examples to illustrate your reflection.



Supporting Physical Development


1. Review Resources

2. Complete Professional Growth Journal Reflection

3. Choose One:

Menu #1: Write a persuasive essay.Which is better for children: an academic curriculum that focuses on language and cognitive skills with the supplementation of physical activity (skills) or a curriculum that intentionally teaches and provides opportunities for quality physical activity and academics? Attached is avideoon how to write a persuasive essay. Review the video in the learning materials tab for guidance on citations.

Menu #2: Make your case.Does the program that you work infully demonstrateimplementing a curriculum that supports physical development through physical activity as defined by the sources provided on the Learning Materials page? Create a checklist and assess your classroom. Please provide us with both the checklist and your summary.

Menu #3: Take another look.I prepared for this week's topic andlooked at the NAEYC accreditation criteria and the DAP Principles. What I saw was interesting to me, so I looked at it repeatedly. Please reviewDAP Principals #2 and theNAEYC Accreditation Criteria,specifically pages 23, "Physical Development," 32-38, and 40-52, "Teaching." What do you think? Does NAEYC emphasize intentional physical activity or academics? Be sure to cite your examples from the reading when making your argument. I encourage you to make a video or slide presentation of your findings.



Supporting Cognitive Development


Foster children's thinking skills video

Foster Children's Thinking Skills Handout


CLASS "Instructional Support" Overview Video

CLASS Concept Development video

Vermont Early Learning Standards

CLASS and Children with Disabilities Podcast

How to Improve Your Instructional Support Interactions Article


1. Review Resources

2. Complete Professional Growth Journal Reflection

3. Complete Buffet Menu Choice



Supporting Language Development


Read:Handout: Language Modeling

Watch:Overview: CLASS "Language Modeling" Video


Dual Langauge Learners:

Welcoming Dual Language Learners Article

Conversations with Multilingual Students Article

CLASS Language Modeling and Dual Language Learners


Language Modeling Video

Having Conversations with Pre-K Children Video

Encouraging Conversations with Toddlers Video

Encouraging Language during Free time Toddlers Video

Engaging in a Feedback Loop preschool video


1. Review Resources

2. Complete Professional Growth Journal Reflection

3. Choose One:

Menu #1:Use the NAEYC Accreditation Standards, Pages33-34, to assess an early childhood classroom's proficiency in supporting language development. Where are the classroom's strengths and challenges, and what might the teacher do to strengthen their language development practices?

Menu#2:Read a children's book to us (video) using the "Concept Development" indicators from the CLASS ToolCLASS Concept Development.

Menu #3:Observe a conversation between a teacher and a child and assess it using theHELLOstrategy for meaningful conversations. Submit the written running observation and then reference the Hello components you observed. What were the teacher's strengths and areas for improvement?

Menu # 4:UsingThe ECKLC Action Plan DocumentPlan for a "Thick" conversation with a child and implement your plan. Reflect on the outcome. Submit both your plan and your reflection.

Menu #5:Create a short assessment and assess a classroom with dual language learners using the three articles about dual language learners. Submit your assessment form and a report of your findings. Welcoming Dual Language Learners Article Conversations with Multilingual Students ArticleCLASS Language Modeling and Dual Language Learners.



Supporting Creative Self Expression


1. Review Resources

2. Complete Professional Growth Journal Reflection

3. Create to inform about the importance of creative self-expression: Choose one

  • Create a webinar
  • Create a play and record it for others to see
  • Create a Brochure
  • Write a magazine article
  • Write and record a song
  • Create a photo collage displaying do's and don'ts

Attendance Policy

Regular attendance and participation in classes are essential for success in and are completion requirements for courses at CCV. A student's failure to meet attendance requirements as specified in course descriptions will normally result in a non-satisfactory grade.

  • In general, missing more than 20% of a course due to absences, lateness or early departures may jeopardize a student's ability to earn a satisfactory final grade.
  • Attending an on-ground or synchronous course means a student appeared in the live classroom for at least a meaningful portion of a given class meeting. Attending an online course means a student posted a discussion forum response, completed a quiz or attempted some other academically required activity. Simply viewing a course item or module does not count as attendance.
  • Meeting the minimum attendance requirement for a course does not mean a student has satisfied the academic requirements for participation, which require students to go above and beyond simply attending a portion of the class. Faculty members will individually determine what constitutes participation in each course they teach and explain in their course descriptions how participation factors into a student's final grade.

Participation Expectations

Full participation requires active and thoughtful engagement in class each week. The following habits and skills are important. You'll have the opportunity to self-assess and receive instructor feedback on each of these areas at the mid-point and the end of the semester.

  • Attend class regularly, on-time and for the full session
  • Complete all of the week's reading and assignments before the start of class
  • Listen to others attentively and with an open mind
  • Positively contribute to class discussions and activities
  • Ask questions and seek help when you need it
  • Challenge yourself to do your best work

Missing & Late Work Policy

  • Late assignments can be submitted up to one week past the deadline. You will lose 10% each day that an assignment is late. After a week, it will no longer be accepted for credit.
  • Late work is not accepted in the discussion forum. Interacting with classmates is an essential part of online discussions and cannot be made up after the fact.
  • Extensions will be granted only in extenuating circumstances. If a lengthy medical problem or other emergent personal issue will result in missing weekly discussions and/or assignments, please contact your instructor as soon as possible.
  • Students who know that they will not have course access for any given week should make arrangements with their instructor to complete assignments and participation requirements prior to the absence.

Experiential Learning Expectations

Hours: 11-14

Students will be asked to observe early childhood classrooms, interview early childhood educators, and assess physical ECE spaces. Observations of children and potential classroom lessons further supplement the experience of this course. These experiences intend to provide the student with deeper insight into ECE if they are currently working in the field or to enhance their understanding of the complexity of early childhood education for a student who may be exploring it. If a student cannot observe in an ECE program, alternative assignments can be created.

Accessibility Services for Students with Disabilities:

CCV strives to mitigate barriers to course access for students with documented disabilities. To request accommodations, please
  1. Provide disability documentation to the Accessibility Coordinator at your academic center. https://ccv.edu/discover-resources/students-with-disabilities/
  2. Request an appointment to meet with accessibility coordinator to discuss your request and create an accommodation plan.
  3. Once created, students will share the accommodation plan with faculty. Please note, faculty cannot make disability accommodations outside of this process.

Academic Integrity

CCV has a commitment to honesty and excellence in academic work and expects the same from all students. Academic dishonesty, or cheating, can occur whenever you present -as your own work- something that you did not do. You can also be guilty of cheating if you help someone else cheat. Being unaware of what constitutes academic dishonesty (such as knowing what plagiarism is) does not absolve a student of the responsibility to be honest in his/her academic work. Academic dishonesty is taken very seriously and may lead to dismissal from the College.