History and Philosophy of Early Childhood Education

I.     Course Prefix/Number: ECE 105

       Course Name: History and Philosophy of Early Childhood Education

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite


III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course presents historical development and social philosophies of early childhood education.  Field experiences included for observation and comparison of various philosophies of education.

IV.   Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this course, students who satisfactorily complete all work will be able to:

A.    Understand the historical roots of early childhood education.
B.    Identify different philosophical foundations of early
C.    Identify key figures in the field of early childhood education.
D.    Demonstrate a working knowledge of the various principles, theories or history and philosophy of early childhood education.
E.    Discuss the major issues facing early childhood education today and its impact on early childhood education today and its impact on early childhood programs.  Identify the state and federal rules and regulations governing early childhood programs.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

A.    Course Introduction
B.    Early history of early childhood education
C.    Early Childhood Education in the U.S. before the depression
D.    Early Childhood Education, during the depression
E.    Early Childhood Education during the 1950s
F.    The 1960s:  Head Start and compensatory education
G.    Education in the 1970s:  Piaget, Montessori, open education and traditional nurseries
H.    Where does early childhood go from here?
I.    Components and universals for all programs
J.    Teaching as a career

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Lecture, class discussions, films, and program observations.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Attendance:    Except in unusual circumstances, students must notify the instructor prior to absence.

Make-up Exam:    A student who is absent may take a make-up exam, if she or he calls prior to the test, and then re-schedules the exam in the Testing Center.  The instructor may administer a different test for the make-up exam.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Varies by instructor.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Students are to be evaluated through tests and program evaluations.

XI.   Other Course Information

A.    The instructor will provide each class with further information as to attendance, policies, and support systems.
B.    Plagiarism/cheating policies are covered under the Academic Dishonesty section of the current catalog.

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at www.oakton.edu/title9/.

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at www.oakton.edu/lgbtq.