Course Descriptions

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Progam of Studies

[title type=”fancy-h2″ color=”#323436″ class=”hb-alignleft”]NEW Course Descriptions 2019-2021[/title]

Semester I

[vc_toggle title=”COM 100 — COMMUNICATIONS” open=”false” icon=”hb-moon-plus-circle”]
This course focuses on becoming proficient in basic communication and writing skills expected at the post secondary level. Students will become aware of appropriate form, style, and level of analysis/detail, based on message, audience, and purpose of communication. Students will develop skills in the following areas: research, writing (including APA referencing and citing), editing, and oral presentation.

30 Hours
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[vc_toggle title=”ECE 101 — CHILD GROWTH & DEVELOPMENT” open=”false” icon=”hb-moon-plus-circle”]This course focuses on the genetic and environmental factors which influence children’s growth and development from preconception to age twelve. Students will be introduced to the major theories of child development and their connection to best practices in Early Childhood Education. Social, physical, language, cognitive/intellectual, and emotional development will be considered during the major stages of growth. Students will study factors affecting development, and the relevance this has for those who work with young children. Special emphasis will be placed on practical application of theoretical knowledge.

60 Hours
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[vc_toggle title=”ECE 113 — PLAY: PEDAGOGY & CURRICULUM” open=”false” icon=”hb-moon-plus-circle”]
This course will integrate elements of Capable, Confident and Curious: Nova Scotia’s Early Learning Curriculum Framework and apply the framework’s learning goals and objectives to program planning and the design of learning environments. Specifically, students will promote play-based learning, reviewing the following curriculum areas in an early childhood education program: art, music, science, math, and literacy (reading). Students will recognize how the outdoor space is an extension of the indoor classroom and will identify opportunities to support play-based learning in an outdoor environment. Students will be introduced to various curriculum approaches and will focus on emergent curriculum, learning how to follow children’s interests and ideas to create meaningful learning and play experiences. Students will recognize their own role as educators in supporting children’s play as an observer, a scaffolder, and a facilitator

60 Hours
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[vc_toggle title=”ECE 127 — HEALTH, SAFETY, AND NUTRITION” open=”false” icon=”hb-moon-plus-circle”]
This course focuses on elements which have a profound influence on children’s health and well-being, particularly in the early years when children are most vulnerable to environmental influences (University of New Brunswick Early Childhood Research and Development Team 2008, p. 14). Students will be challenged to promote the health and safety of young children and of professionals working in early learning environments. This course will also examine the role of nutrition in early childhood education settings. Students will reflect on curriculum experiences which promote health, safety, and nutrition with young children.

30 Hours
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[vc_toggle title=”ECE 147 — CHILD GUIDANCE I: STRATEGIES & APPROACHES” open=”false” icon=”hb-moon-plus-circle”] This course provides a foundation for understanding and guiding children’s behaviour. Students will learn the principles and techniques of developmentally appropriate guidance strategies, which will be explored and applied in the context of curriculum, role modelling, and appropriate intervention. A variety of direct and indirect guidance strategies will be introduced and opportunities to practice these will be integrated in all content areas. Students will explore prevention and intervention techniques. This course focuses on assisting adults in early learning environments in their understanding of children’s behaviour as it is influenced by developmental and environmental factors. Students will learn practical skills for supporting and guiding healthy interactions between children and between adults and children. Respectful guidance strategies will be practiced which promote children’s development and learning by facilitating trusting relationships and positive interactions. Students will review policies as they relate to guiding children’s behaviour, including centre-based policies and provincial regulations.

30 Hours
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[vc_toggle title=”ECE 105 — PRACTICUM I” open=”false” icon=”hb-moon-plus-circle”]
This course will be a combination of classroom content and a field placement opportunity in a licensed child care centre. In the classroom portion of this course, students are provided with an introduction to the roles and responsibilities of the Early Childhood Educator. Upon completion of these modules, students are placed in child care centres working with children from infancy through school age. Practicum I is designed to provide students with an opportunity to become familiar with child care through observation and reflection and to gain experience interacting with children and families.

127 Hours | (ECE 101 or ECE 147 or concurrent)
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Semester II

[vc_toggle title=”ECE 201 — FOUNDATIONS OF EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION” open=”false” icon=”hb-moon-plus-circle”]
This course introduces students to the historical, theoretical, and philosophical antecedents of the early childhood education profession. Students will explore the origins of early childhood education, the theoretical perspectives that have contributed to the history and philosophy of early childhood education, the role of history and philosophy in the current early childhood context, changing views of childhood and children’s learning, and social and political changes in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries and their impact on early childhood education. Students will also explore the impacts of Residential schools and orphanages in Canadian history and the impacts on children and families. Students will examine a variety of approaches in early childhood education by evaluating and reflecting on how these approaches inform their pedagogical practices and sustain quality program delivery. Students will examine Capable, Confident and Curious: Nova Scotia’s Early Learning Curriculum Framework to support current debates and future trends in society and education that directly impact contemporary early childhood education programs in Nova Scotia.

30 Hours
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[vc_toggle title=”ECE 203 — PLAY: EXTENDING EXPERIENCES” open=”false” icon=”hb-moon-plus-circle”]
This course will integrate elements of Capable, Confident and Curious: Nova Scotia’s Early Learning Curriculum Framework and apply the framework’s learning goals and objectives to program planning and the design of learning environments, including outdoor play spaces. Students will begin to examine transitions, focusing on transitions between the indoor and outdoor learning environment. Specifically, students will promote play-based learning in the following curriculum areas in an early childhood education program: block play, sensory play (including sand and water play), literacy (writing), and wood working. Students will also explore children’s use of technology in play. Students will be introduced to Thornhill’s (2018) practices of examining schemas. Students will continue to use an emergent curriculum lens, building on children’s interests and ideas to extend their play experiences. Students will begin to engage in reflective practice. Students will recognize their own role as educators in supporting children’s play and how their use of materials and environmental design impacts children’s behaviour, ideas, and play. Particular emphasis will be placed on the use of loose parts and natural materials in supporting children’s play.

60 Hours
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[vc_toggle title=”ECE 212 — PLAY: CREATIVE ARTS” open=”false” icon=”hb-moon-plus-circle”]
This course offers a framework for supporting creative arts in early childhood education programs. Using active learning principles, students will explore the value of creative arts, with particular emphasis on visual arts, musical arts, and dramatic arts. Students will begin to value art as a means by which children can express their identities and cultures. Students will design experiences for children to promote artistic expression and engagement and will be inspired by art to create experiences in other curriculum areas. Through an active learning environment, students will be encouraged to explore and interact with materials, ideas, and each other, discovering deeper meanings and connections, as they will do with children. Using art as a lens, students will practice making the learning process visible and communicating the value of creativity in early learning environments.

60 Hours
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[vc_toggle title=”ECE 211 — OBSERVATION & AUTHENTIC ASSESSMENT” open=”false” icon=”hb-moon-plus-circle”]
Observation and documentation are key areas outlining the scope of practice for Early Childhood Educators in Nova Scotia. This course focuses on elements of the Reflective Planning Cycle; specifically, students will learn to observe and listen by writing, collecting, and noticing ideas. Students will practice interpreting their observations and planning responses. Students will develop skills in both formal and informal observations using a variety of observation tools and will use objective observations to assess children’s progress across developmental domains. Students will be introduced to authentic assessment to capture children’s ideas, learning, and play.

30 Hours
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[vc_toggle title=”ECE 229 — WELCOMING FAMILIES IN ALL THEIR DIVERSITY” open=”false” icon=”hb-moon-plus-circle”]
This course provides students with an opportunity to study and comprehend the sociology of the family, the challenges families face, and the effects on children. Students will give serious consideration to the role of the early childhood educator and how they create environments that welcome all families. Students will recognize that children’s lives are shaped by their families, communities, and cultures, and that their earliest development and learning takes place through these relationships. Students will explore various aspects of human diversity and will examine their own biases and understand the roots of prejudice and stereotypes. This course will support the Early Childhood Educator in acquiring the knowledge, perspectives, and skills needed to include all children and families in their practice.

60 Hours
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[vc_toggle title=”ECE 205 — PRACTICUM II” open=”false” icon=”hb-moon-plus-circle”]
Building on previous practicum experience, students will continue field placement opportunities in licensed child care settings working with children from infancy to school age. Students will strengthen skills in communication, professionalism, curriculum planning and implementation, and behaviour guidance. Students will demonstrate an understanding of planning, implementation, and reflection of developmentally appropriate experiences in the areas of creative expression, small groups, circles and transitions. Students will function as a more effective team member during this time but may still require periodic assistance in demonstrating the required skills. Students will also actively participate in practicum seminars where they will share ideas and experiences with their peers through guided discussion and activities.

124 Hours | (ECE 105; ECE 101 or ECE 147 or concurrent)
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Semester III

[vc_toggle title=”ECE 306 — INCLUSION: RELATIONSHIPS & ENVIRONMENTS” open=”false” icon=”hb-moon-plus-circle”]
This course will offer students the opportunity to gain knowledge of children with developmental differences, including developmental disabilities and delays. Students will explore “Image of the Child” as it relates to views on disability and equity. Informed by a tiered public health model of promotion, prevention, and intervention practices, this course will focus on building an effective workforce through educating students about philosophies of inclusion, evidence based practices, and specific developmental differences. This course will also emphasize nurturing responsive relationships, including with families and with community partners and supports, following a transdisciplinary model. This course will emphasize family-centered practice and how to communicate with families. High quality supportive environments will be considered, emphasizing specific strategies to support the needs of all children in inclusive early learning environments.

60 Hours | (ECE 101)
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[vc_toggle title=”ECE 307 — CHILD GUIDANCE II: SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING” open=”false” icon=”hb-moon-plus-circle”]
Building on information covered in Child Guidance, students will continue to explore the principles of child guidance with an emphasis on social emotional learning (SEL). This course identifies the need for Early Childhood Educators to establish relationships, support play, and foster children’s acceptance within peer groups. It examines strategies that enhance healthy self-regard, social competence, resilience, and the development of moral identity. Students will learn about possible challenges for children, including early exposure to trauma. The focus will be on learning how to implement techniques which foster positive relationships and create opportunities for learning.

30 Hours | (ECE 147)
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[vc_toggle title=”ECE 312 — ETHICS & PROFESSIONAL IDENTITY” open=”false” icon=”hb-moon-plus-circle”]
This course introduces students to professional practice and ethical decision making in the field of early childhood education. Students will develop their professional knowledge and skills, and discover that working in partnership with children, families, and communities is the best way to ensure that all children experience positive learning opportunities. This course will introduce and explore interpersonal skills to increase students’ overall personal and professional effectiveness, using a variety of scenarios that may be professional, social, and/or personal in nature. Emphasis is placed on the following areas: communication styles, emotional intelligence, conflict resolution, working with teams and influencing others, and workplace diversity and intercultural communication. Students will consider how professional relationships between educators and other early childhood professionals allow for a collaborative, comprehensive, and consistent approach to early childhood education.

This course will also provide students with information which will assist them in working as professionals and advocates for children, families, and the ECE profession. Students will articulate their personal educator’s philosophy and will complete a professional portfolio, the components of which will assist in the student’s entry into the ECE workforce.

30 Hours
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[vc_toggle title=”ECE 313 — RESPONSIVE CAREGIVING IN THE EARLY YEARS” open=”false” icon=”hb-moon-plus-circle”]
This course offers a framework for engaging in responsive caregiving with children from infancy through school age. It is based on the principle that secure attachment sets the stage for healthy emotional development and the ability to form relationships throughout the lifespan. Using responsive caregiving as a foundation, students will be introduced to designing physical and social environments and routines that support the whole child. Students will appreciate infants and toddlers as capable beings and will be able to respond to infants’ and toddlers’ cues in respectful and sensitive ways. Special emphasis will be placed on developing developmentally appropriate, individually appropriate, and culturally appropriate experiences and environments. Theories of child growth and development and appropriate behaviour guidance principles will be discussed across infancy, early childhood, and middle childhood.

60 Hours
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[vc_toggle title=”ECE 323 — PLAY: PHYSICAL LITERACY” open=”false” icon=”hb-moon-plus-circle”]
This course offers students the opportunity to explore various aspects involved in creating and offering indoor and outdoor early learning environments that will support the recommended levels of active play for young children from birth to age 8. Content will focus on physical literacy and the creation of developmentally appropriate active play opportunities throughout the routines and activities of the day. Students will identify fundamental movement skills and CSEP’s 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for infants, toddlers, pre-schoolers, and school age children. Students will draw links to current research on the role of physical activity in brain development, healthy outcomes for children, and wellbeing for everyone involved in early childhood programs.

30 Hours
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[vc_toggle title=”ECE 305 — PRACTICUM III” open=”false” icon=”hb-moon-plus-circle”]
Building on previous practicum experience, students will continue field placement opportunities in licensed child care settings working with children from infancy to school age. Students will now have opportunities for “out-of-Classroom” placements that will provide a wider range of opportunities in inclusion, administration and family-centred practice. Demonstrating skills in communication, professionalism, curriculum planning and implementation, and behaviour guidance, students will continue using observations as a springboard for planning developmentally appropriate experiences for children and will function as an effective team member. Students will also actively participate in practicum seminars where they will share ideas and experiences with their peers through guided discussion and activities.

139 Hours | (ECE 205; ECE 101; ECE 147)
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Semester IV

[vc_toggle title=”ECE 406 — INCLUSION: SUPPORTS & INTERVENTIONS” open=”false” icon=”hb-moon-plus-circle”]
Extending from “Inclusion: Relationships & Environments”, this course will offer students the opportunity to gain experience with program planning for children with developmental differences, including developmental disabilities and delays. Informed by a tiered public health model of promotion, prevention, and intervention practices, this course will focus on implementing targeted social emotional supports and intensive intervention. This course will emphasize incorporating intervention in a child’s existing routine, implementing strategies for success. Family centered practice will remain at the core of developing and implementing inclusive practices, as “families are often children’s most influential teachers, and building genuine and respectful partnerships with children’s parents, guardians, and families helps educators build diversity and familiarity into children’s learning environments” (Nova Scotia, 2018).

60 Hours | (ECE 306)
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[vc_toggle title=”ECE 407 — PLAY: LITERACY & NUMERACY” open=”false” icon=”hb-moon-plus-circle”]
Building on knowledge of child development and curriculum planning, students will explore theoretical and practical issues regarding language, literacy, and numeracy for children from birth to age 8. Through active participation, students will learn practical methods to support the development of language as it emerges. Students will be introduced to methods of selecting children’s literature and using books to support the development of language and literacy in early learning environments. Students will use a lens of cultural responsiveness and learn how literacy can promote cultural identity and expression. Specifically, students will explore children’s books from the following demographics: Black Nova Scotian, Gaelic, newcomer, Acadian, and Indigenous. Students will learn how to support children’s numerical knowledge and concepts related to numeracy and symbolic representation.

30 Hours
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[vc_toggle title=”ECE 418 — EMERGENT CURRICULUM & PEDAGOGICAL DOCUMENTATION” open=”false” icon=”hb-moon-plus-circle”]
This course offers students the opportunity to explore the significant educational models and modern theorists that have influenced the field of early childhood education, in order to understand the Cycle of Inquiry as it relates to Emergent Curriculum and Pedagogical Documentation. This course offers students an opportunity to study Emergent Curriculum as a model of programme design used in early learning environments. Students will analyze the theoretical framework of this model and demonstrate an understanding of its practical applications. These will include observations and responses, reflection, pedagogical documentation, project development, and revitalizing the learning environment. Students will plan curriculum that is based on a thorough understanding of child development, and will learn to facilitate planned and spontaneous experiences, based on accurate systematic observations of children and reflection with peers. Students will design curriculum that provides for the holistic development of individual children and groups of children, across a range of ages, and learn how to design and implement curriculum which will effectively meet the emerging skills, strategies, and ideas of children. Students will explore pedagogical documentation in depth and practice making children’s thinking and learning visible.

60 Hours | (ECE 211)
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[vc_toggle title=”ECE 425 — ADMINISTRATION & MANAGEMENT” open=”false” icon=”hb-moon-plus-circle”]
This course provides students with the opportunity to explore the administrator’s role in using Quality Matters and to practice Continuous Quality Improvement as a member of a team. Students will examine issues and opportunities related to: Leadership (professional, pedagogical, and administrative), Staffing (qualifications, professional development, human resources, and compensation), Learning Environments (high quality and inclusive), and Relationships (interactions and partnerships with children, families, staff, other professionals, and the community). They will learn how to engage in the process of self-assessment, how to set priorities and how to set and evaluate goals. Students will learn skills to manage budgets, monitor expenditures, and analyse the impacts of funding opportunities. Students will understand the role of an Early Childhood Development Consultant in the process of Quality Matters. Students will recognize the impact of accountability, including compliance (with provisions of Nova Scotia’s Day Care Act and with provincial Day Care Regulations, policies, standards, and licencing and monitoring activities), accountability (for financial reporting and respecting any public funds
received), and program quality (to be maintained through the implementation of the Nova Scotia Early Learning Curriculum Framework and through the development, implementation, and assessment of Quality Improvement Plans). Students will practice using the CQI cycle of reflection and planning: Plan, Do, Review, Adjust.

60 Hours
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[vc_toggle title=”ECE 409 — PLAY: ENVIRONMENT AS TEACHER” open=”false” icon=”hb-moon-plus-circle”]
According to the Educator’s Guide to Capable, Confident, and Curious: Nova Scotia’s Early Learning Curriculum Framework, “young children learn best in environments where they can have secure relationships with caring and responsive adults, feel safe, and feel free to explore and learn” (p. 57). This course examines strategies for creating respectful and nurturing environments that build on children’s strengths and capabilities. Students will examine high quality and inclusive environments, with specific attention to curriculum, materials, space, routines, transitions, and people, as key to supporting children’s development, behaviour, and learning. Students will learn how to find and support opportunities for risk taking in both indoor and outdoor environments. Students will design a play-based learning environment that also provides a welcoming space for families, and reflects the culture of the centre and its families and communities.

30 Hours
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[vc_toggle title=”ECE 405 — PRACTICUM IV” open=”false” icon=”hb-moon-plus-circle”]
Building on previous practicum experience, students will continue field placement opportunities in licensed child care settings working with children from infancy to school age. Students will continue to have opportunities for “out-of- Classroom” placements that will provide a wider range of opportunities in inclusion, administration and family-centred practice. Students will consistently demonstrate skills in communication, professionalism, curriculum planning and implementation, and behaviour guidance. Students will combine skills in observation, knowledge of child development and curriculum planning to demonstrate an understanding of an inclusive and holistic approach to program planning. Students will also actively participate in practicum seminars where they will share ideas and experiences with their peers through guided discussion and activities.

154 Hours | (ECE 305; ECE 101; ECE 147)
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