The Art of Teaching program gives students a solid philosophical framework and a strong background in current thinking about educational theory and practice, as well as extensive opportunities for classroom research and experience. It provides the tools for teachers to articulate and demonstrate a clearly defined, child-centered, and culturally sensitive approach to education for use in classrooms and schools. And it prepares graduates to become strong leaders and agents of change in the complex and highly demanding profession of early childhood and elementary classroom teaching (NYS standards).
Studying in small seminars, students take courses that emphasize reflective teaching, observation of children’s learning, documentation and assessment, and multicultural and multiethnic perspectives. In pursuing their course work, students are helped to see themselves as lifelong learners in all subject areas. Upon completion of course work, fieldwork, and student-teaching requirements, master’s candidates prepare a project to be shared orally in their last semester of the program. This oral presentation draws together the documentation gathered in the teaching/learning inquiry and is organized around an issue or question that has been at the heart of the student’s work.
Throughout the program, students are placed in early childhood and/or elementary classrooms under the guidance of experienced teachers to allow for maximum connection between theory and practice. In close collaboration with faculty, students explore their student-teaching experiences in practicum settings. The program’s resources include the Early Childhood Center, a pioneering, on-campus laboratory school for children ages 2 through 6, and strong relationships with local Westchester public schools and progressive educational institutions such as Central Park East 1 and Ella Baker public schools in New York City, and the Prospect Center in Vermont.
The Art of Teaching is designed as one program with three New York State certification tracks: the Early Childhood Education Track I, leading to a certificate in Early Childhood Education; the Childhood Education Track II, leading to a certificate in Childhood Education; and the dual Early Childhood/Childhood Education Track III, leading to one certificate in Early Childhood Education and a second certificate in Childhood Education. Each track of the program will lead to a Master of Science in Education degree.