Early Childhood Education
The mission of the early childhood program is to:
- Provide optimal professional teaching and learning experiences at the bachelors, masters, and doctoral level;
- Provide quality care, education, and family support programs for children and families of NMSU and Dona Ana Community College students, faculty and staff;
- Provide opportunities for faculty and graduate students for research, teaching and service.
The field of Early Childhood Education is concerned with the development and learning of children from birth through age eight. Our program focuses on early children education through a theoretical orientation which places early childhood education within broader social, historical, political, and cultural contexts. Coursework provides a context for students to critically examine early education and child care. Themes of bilingual and multicultural education and care, critical thinking, and reflective teaching are infused throughout the Early Childhood coursework. Early Childhood Education is an exciting and dynamic field in which standards for teachers are being raised and career opportunities are constantly developing.
The NMSU program offers a range of coursework encompassing infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and primary-aged children. Through field placements at Myrna's Children's Village Laboratory School and the local public schools, candidates develop competence in the use of culturally relevant and developmentally appropriate practices. Main themes within the program include understanding children as the protagonists of their own learning, supporting families in their roles with young children, respecting diversity, and addressing the needs of children with diverse abilities in inclusive settings.
The program follows the personnel recommendations established by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education Programs, the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the New Mexico Public Education Department.