Early Childhood Education/Early Childhood Special Education/Elementary Education/Elementary Collaborative Education (P-6th grade)

This unique program offers four certifications in the following:

  • Early Childhood Education (Preschool-3rd grade)
  • Early Childhood Special Education (Preschool-3rd grade)
  • Elementary Education (Kindergarten-6th grade)
  • Elementary Collaborative Education (Kindergarten-6th grade)

The curriculum consists of four integrated semesters called "blocks." Each block includes significant applications of problem-based learning strategies, technology and clinical experiences. Woven throughout the program are emphases on assessment strategies and planning for grades preschool-6th students from diverse backgrounds and with special learning needs.

Block Curriculum

Semester 1: Introductory Block

  • EDUC 221: Issues Within the Educational Culture
    The focus of the course is to help teacher candidates develop insight into contemporary educational issues. Candidates examine philosophy and historical bases of education as a profession.
  • EDUC 222: Clinical Experiences in the Educational Culture
    Candidates spend 45 clock hours in an urban school setting. Candidates work with individual and small groups of children, and with the teacher as an aide. Candidates observe, interact, and reflect on child development, and best teaching and learning practices. This is an opportunity for candidates to experience the classroom from the other side of the desk and to determine whether they wish to pursue formal admittance to Teacher Education.
  • EDUC 223: Introduction to Technology
    The focus of the course is to introduce teacher candidates to currently available technologies and to prepare them to use various media for their own education as well as
    in their professional careers.

Semester 2: Early Childhood Education Block

In semester two, candidates take a sixteen-hour block of integrated education classes dealing with early childhood education, Monday through Friday from 8:00 am - 12:00 noon.

  • EDUC 311: The Development of the Young Child
    The focus of the course is the developmental characteristics of the child from birth-age 8.
  • EDUC 312: Principles of Early Learning
    The focus of the course is the development of an integrated curriculum in the content areas, assessment, classroom management, teaching to divergent cultures, and inclusion of special needs students in preschool, kindergarten, and primary grades.
  • EDUC 313: Application of Early Learning
    Application of early learning principles through problem-based decision cases that focus on self-reflection and decision-making, plus the technology that supports the instructional process. Includes seminars with classroom teachers and interactive clinical experiences.
  • EDUC 316: Practical Teaching and Learning
    Emphasis is on curriculum development and implementation, plus reflective decision-making and integrated teaching/learning strategies within the framework of a multicultural educational and special needs setting.

Clinical component: Candidates spend one full week at the beginning of the semester working in an Alabama Reading Initiative school. The purpose of this experience is for students to experience school during the opening weeks and to provide help for teachers who are administering individual reading tests to children. Later in the semester, candidates spend 3 full weeks, 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. in a rural school. Candidates observe, work with individual and small groups of students, and teach whole class lessons, including lessons from an author study developed by the students.

Semester 3: Elementary Education Block

In semester three, candidates take a sixteen-hour block of integrated education classes dealing with elementary education, Monday through Friday from 8:00 am - 12:00 noon.

  • EDUC 323: Overview of Child Development
    The focus of the course is the physical, cognitive, language and social development of children ages 8-12.
  • EDUC 324: The Arts
    The focus of the course is methodological training in the teaching of elementary reading and remedial reading and language arts. This course contains an assessment and special education strand.
  • EDUC 329: The Sciences
    The focus of the course is methodological training in the teaching of science and social studies with an assessment and special education strand.
  • EDUC 414W: Reading, Writing & Assessing Across the Curriculum
    The focus of the course is to assist with the identification of problems related to educational assessment, including the assessment of reading and writing levels and abilities, strategies for effective measurement of teacher performance, and an understanding of standardized testing. This course is fully integrated within the other courses.

Clinical component:Candidates spend two days at the beginning of the semester getting to know K-5 teachers and students and working with the teacher to determine a topic for a unit that the student will write and teach. Toward the end of the semester, candidates spend three full weeks, 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., in the classroom. Students observe, work with individual and small groups of children, teach whole class lessons, and teach and assess a unit.

Semester 4: Special Education/Pre-professional Block

In semester four, candidates spend three days a week in a K-5 classroom and two days a week in class at Samford, focusing on seminars and class discussions dealing with a wide variety of educational topics.

  • EDUC 413: Classroom Management
    The focus of the course is to establish a foundation of content and application relative to classroom management and discipline emphasizing reflective decision-making and integrated teaching/learning strategies.
  • EDUC 415: Technology Across the Curriculum
    The focus of this course is to provide ways in which technology can be used effectively to teach a wide variety of subjects to diverse learners and to develop an electronic portfolio for reflection and assessment.
  • EDUC 416: The Professional Educator
    The focus of this course is on major issued related to becoming a professional educator.
  • EDUC 418: Collaboration in Educational Practices
    The focus of the course is on the principles of early childhood special education and elementary collaborative teaching. 

Clinical component: Candidates spend 12 weeks in inclusion classrooms, 3 rotations of 4-weeks in each placement. Candidates spend Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday mornings from 8:00 until 12:00 in a K-5 classroom. Candidates observe, work with individual and small groups of children, and teach whole-class lessons, which include modifications and accommodations for children with special needs. Candidates research a topic of interest for each teacher and observe and implement classroom management techniques. In addition, candidates begin developing their electronic portfolio, to be used in the final assessment of their teacher education program.