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Early Childhood Director Practicum

I.     Course Prefix/Number: ECE 274

       Course Name: Early Childhood Director Practicum

       Credits: 3 (2 lecture; 15 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

ECE 273 or consent of department chair.

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course provides hands-on experience for students pursuing the ECE Advanced Administration Certificate.  Focus is on practical application of early childhood administrative principles and theories.  Students are supervised by qualified early childhood program director and a college instructor, and required to work in an approved center a minimum of 4 days/15-18 hours per week, in addition to attending a 2-hour weekly seminar.

IV.   Learning Objectives

Students who successfully complete the course will

1.    Demonstrate ability to reflect on her/his own personal and professional communication and managerial style in order to be an effective administrator.
2.    Demonstrate ability to use management principles to develop successful relationships with teaching staff, advisory boards, program staff, families, and children.
3.    Demonstrate ability to appropriately support parents and families through referral to community agencies.
4.    Demonstrate ability to develop collaborative relationships with community agencies.

5.    Demonstrate ability to model leadership skills and to articulate relevant early childhood principles, practices and issues
6.    Demonstrate ability to effectively promote and advertise program services to the community.

In addition to the objectives listed above, this course also meets the following Illinois Professional Teaching Standards and the Early Childhood Content Standards as put forth by the Illinois State Board of Education.

IPTS

STANDARD 1 – Content Knowledge
The competent teacher understands the central concepts, methods of inquiry, and structures of the disciplines and creates learning experiences that make the content meaningful to all students.

Knowledge Indicators – The competent teacher
1A.  understands major concepts, assumptions, debates, principles, and theories that are central to the discipline(s) in which certification is sought.
1B.  understands the process of inquiry central to the discipline.
1D.  understands the relationship of knowledge within the discipline to other content areas and to life and career applications.

STANDARD 3 – Diversity
The competent teacher understands how students differ in their approaches to learning and creates instructional opportunities that are adapted to diverse learners.

Knowledge Indicators – The competent teacher
3A.  understands the areas of exceptionality in learning as defined in the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) and the State Board’s rules for Special Education (23 111. Adm. Code 226).

Performance Indicators – The competent teacher
3G.  facilitates a learning community in which individual differences are respected.
3M.  identifies when and how to develop and implement strategies and interventions within the classroom and how to access appropriate services or resources to assist students with exceptional learning needs.
3N.  demonstrates positive regard for individual students and their families regardless of culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and varying abilities.

STANDARD 7 – Communication
The competent teacher uses knowledge of effective written, verbal, non-verbal, and visual communication techniques to foster activity inquiry, collaboration, and supportive interaction in the classroom.

Performance Indicators – The competent teacher
7E.  models accurate, effective communication when conveying ideas and information and when asking questions and responding to students.

STANDARD 9 – Collaborative Relationships
The competent teacher understands the role of the community in education and develops and maintains collaborative relationships with colleagues, parents/guardians, and the community to support students’ learning and well-being.

Knowledge Indicators – The competent teacher
9A.  understands schools as organizations within the larger community context.
9B.  understands the benefits, barriers, and techniques involved in parent/family relationships.
9C.  understands school and work-based learning environments and the need for collaboration with business organizations in the community.
9D.  understands the collaborative process.
9E.  understands collaborative skills which are necessary to carry out the collaborative process.
9F.  understands concerns of parents of individuals with disabilities and knows appropriate strategies to collaborate with parents in addressing these concerns.
9G.  understands roles of individuals with disabilities, parents, teachers, and other school and community personnel in planning individualized education programs for students with disabilities.

Performance Indicators – The competent teacher
9H.  initiates collaboration with others and creates situations where collaboration with others will enhance students’ learning.
9I.  works with colleagues to develop an effective learning climate within the school.
9J.  participates in collaborative decision-making and problem-solving with other professionals to achieve success for students.
9K.  develops relationships with parents and guardians to acquire an understanding of the students’ lives outside of the school in a professional manner that is fair and equitable.
9L.  works effectively with parents/guardians and other members of the community from diverse home and community situations and seeks to develop cooperative partnerships in order to promote students’ learning and well-being.
9M.  identifies and uses community resources to enhance students’ learning and to provide opportunities for students to explore career opportunities.

STANDARD 10 – Reflection and Professional Growth
The competent teacher is a reflective practitioner who continually evaluates how choices and actions affect students, parents, and other professionals in the learning community and actively seeks opportunities to grow professionally.

Knowledge indicators – The competent teacher
10A.  understands that reflection is an integral part of professional growth and improvement of instruction.
10B.  understands methods of inquiry that provide for a variety of self-assessment and problem-solving strategies for reflecting on practice.
10C.  understands major areas of research on the learning process and resources that are available for professional development.

Performance indicators – The competent teacher
10F.  collaborates with other professionals as resources for problem-solving, generating new ideas, sharing experiences, and seeking and giving feedback.
10G.  participates in professional dialogue and continuous learning to support his/her own development as a learner and a teacher.
10H.  actively seeks and collaboratively shares a variety of instructional resources with colleagues.

STANDARD 11 – Professional Conduct and Leadership
The competent teacher understands education as a profession, maintains standards of professional conduct and provides leadership to improve students’ learning and well-being.

Knowledge Indicators – The competent teacher
11A.  understands the unique characteristics of education as a profession.
11B.  understands how school systems are organized and operate.
11C.  understands school policies and procedures.
11D.  understands legal issues in education.
11E.  understands the importance of active participation and leadership in professional organizations.

Performance Indicators – The competent teacher
11I.  contributes knowledge and expertise about teaching and learning to the profession.
11J.  follows codes of professional conduct and exhibits knowledge and expectations of current legal directives.
11M.  actively participates in or leads in such activities as curriculum development, staff development, and student organizations.
11N.  participates, as appropriate, in policy design and development at the local level, with professional organizations, and/or with community organizations.
11Q.  promotes and maintains a high level of integrity in the practice of the profession.

ECCS

STANDARD 1 – Curriculum
The competent early childhood teacher understands and demonstrates the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the content areas and creates and integrates meaningful learning experiences that develop children’s competence across all developmental areas and content areas.

Knowledge Indicators – The competent early childhood teacher
1A.  demonstrates current knowledge of integrated learning experiences for children from birth through grade three and understands the central concepts and tools of inquiry in each of the following content areas:  Language and Literacy (English Language Arts); Mathematics; Science; Health, Safety, Nutrition, and Movement (Physical Development and Health); Art, Music, Drama (Fine Arts); and Social Science.
1B.  understands conceptually sound and meaningful curriculum for children from birth through grade three.
1C.  demonstrates an understanding of current research, best practice and professional standards.

STANDARD 8 – Human Development
The competent early childhood teacher understands how individuals grow, develop, and learn and provides learning opportunities that support the intellectual, social, emotional, and physical development of all children from birth through grade three.

Knowledge Indicators - The competent early childhood teacher
8A.  understands how children from birth through grade three develop physically, socially, emotionally, cognitively, linguistically, and aesthetically.
8B.  understands how to provide learning opportunities, which support and enhance each area of development-physical, social, emotional, cognitive, linguistic, and aesthetic.
8C.  understands how brain development from birth through grade three is promoted through developmentally and culturally appropriate learning experiences.
8D.  understands how children from birth through grade three differ in their development and in their approaches to learning.

STANDARD 9 – Diversity
The competent early childhood teacher understands how children and families differ in their perspectives and approaches to learn and creates opportunities for growth and learning that are developmentally and culturally appropriate and are adapted for children from birth through grade three.

Knowledge Indicators:  The competent early childhood teacher
9A.  understands conditions that affect children’s development and learning, including risk factors, developmental variations, and developmental patterns of specific disabilities.
9B.  understands cultural and linguistic diversity and the significance of familial, sociocultural, and political contexts for development and learning,
9C.  recognizes that children are best understood within the contexts of family, culture, and society.
9D.  understands the function of the home language in the development of young children and the interrelationships among culture, language, and thought.

STANDARD 15 – Collaborative Relationships
The competent early childhood teacher understands the role of the community in education and develops and maintains collaborative relationships with colleagues, parents/guardians, and community service agencies, to support children’s learning and well-being.

Knowledge Indicators – The competent early childhood teacher
15A.  understands schools as organizations within the larger community context.
15B.  understands the benefits, barriers and techniques involved in parent/family relationships.
15C.  understands the collaborative process and skills, which are necessary to carry out the process.

Performance Indicators – The competent early childhood teacher
15E.  establishes and maintains positive collaborative relations with families, colleagues, and other professionals working effectively to support child development, learning and well-being.
15F.  develops relationships with parents/family to acquire an understanding of the students’ lives outside of the school and to support parents/family in making decisions related to their child’s development and learning.
15H.  applies family systems theory, knowledge of the dynamics, roles, and relationships within families and communities.

STANDARD 16 – Reflection and Professional Growth
The competent early childhood teacher is a reflective practitioner who continually evaluates how choices and actions affect students, parents, and other professionals in the learning community, and actively seeks opportunities to grow professionally.

Knowledge Indicators:  The competent early childhood teacher
16A.  understands that reflection is an integral part of professional growth and improvement of instruction.
16B.  understands methods of inquiry that provide for a variety of self-assessment and problem-solving strategies for reflection on practice.
16C.  understands major areas of research on the learning process and resources that are available for professional development.

Performance Indicators – The competent early childhood teacher
16D.  reflects on practices, articulates a philosophy and rationale for decisions, and continually self-assesses and evaluates the effects of choices and actions on others (young children, parents, and other professionals) as a basis for program planning and modification, and continuing professional development.

STANDARD 17 – Professional Conduct and Leadership
The competent early childhood teacher understands education as a profession, maintains standards of professional conduct, and provides leadership to improve children’s learning and well-being.

Knowledge Indicators – The competent early childhood teacher
17A.  understands the unique characteristics of education as a profession and a professional code of conduct [as defined by the Illinois School Code].

Performance Indicators – The competent early childhood teacher
17F.  demonstrates an understanding of conditions of children, families, and professionals; current issues and trends; legal issues; and legislation and other public policies affecting children, families; and programs for young children and the early childhood professional.
17G.  demonstrates an understanding of the early childhood profession, its multiple historical, philosophical, and social foundations, and how these foundations influence current thought and practice.
17H.  follows codes of professional conduct and exhibits knowledge of expectations of current legal directives.
17I.  serves as an advocate on behalf of young children and their families, improved quality of programs and services for young children, and enhanced professional status and working conditions for early childhood educators.
17J.  demonstrates an understanding of basic principles of administration, organization, and operation of early childhood programs, including supervision of staff and volunteers and program evaluation.

V.    Academic Integrity

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.
Details of the Code of Academic Conduct can be found in the Student Handbook.

VI.   Sequence of Topics

Personal and Self Awareness Staff Management and Human Relations Family Support
Leadership and Advocacy Marketing.

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Discussion and Reflection
Journal Entries
Case Studies
Special Individual Projects
Participation in planning meetings, staff meetings, and professional development meetings
Course may be taught as face-to-face, media-based, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

A.    Reading of texts and supplemented readings will be required.
B.    Students will be required to demonstrate competency by successfully completing written tests, assignments, and reports.
C.    Students will be required to make complete a special individual project approved by the instructor.

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

Evaluation of written case studies, students' individual projects, and participation in staff meetings and professional development projects.

XI.   Other Course Information



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.