Undergraduate Studies in Early Childhood

The Early Childhood Education Program

"Grownups are not the only ones who know it all. Children also know …" (a kindergarten child).

The Early Childhood Education program encourages students to learn about the fascinating world of early childhood through listening and observing. The students learn to assist children in their special encounter with the physical and social-cultural world and to teach them concepts and skills related to the different aspects of their significant relationships.

The training in early childhood education is based on the perception of teaching as a practical reflective activity. Accordingly, the training focuses on practice and development of the ability to engage in a constant dialogue with oneself, the educational environment and educational theory.

The training process is designed to cultivate early education teachers as individuals who become socially involved, active, and effective educators even during the training period. Towards this end, the students are introduced, in the course of their studies, to state-of-the-art educational ideas and practices and they begin leading processes of change in keeping with these approaches.

Students in the program are offered two tracks of study:
The focus of both tracks is early childhood education, concentrating on infancy to age 6. The studies extend over four years, with fieldwork beginning the first year. The fourth year is devoted to student teaching.

Child development – Dialogue education
This track is based on the perception of education as dialogue, an approach that views children as curious, proactive individuals who are capable of making choices and developing their own fields of interest, and adults as those who should create an appropriate environment that respects children and enables them to express themselves and learn. Such education emphasizes the development of dialogic relations between adults and children, among the children and between the members of the educational staff.
Graduates of this track receive a teaching certificate for kindergarten. They may also expand their studies to earn a teacher's certificate for grades 1 and 2 without extending the period of study.

Child development – Special education
The program in this track introduces the students to a broad spectrum of special needs among children from birth to age 6: autism spectrum disorders, language disorders, physiological, motor and sensory syndromes and difficulties, as well as borderline disorders.
Graduates of this track receive a teaching certificate for regular kindergarten and for special education kindergarten.