e-Learning for Educators
Course Information

Early Childhood 15 Week Child Development for ECCATS
Course Description

The Early Childhood Introduction to Childhood Development course has been specifically designed for early childhood educators working in West Virginia Universal Pre-K and teacher assistants working in WV Pre-K and Kindergarten classrooms who are seeking the Early Childhood Teacher Assistant Authorization. This includes collaborative classrooms and educators seeking courses to meet the needs for the Community Program Authorization. This course will address the following topics:

  • Introduction to Early Childhood Development,
  • Physical Development in the Early Childhood Years,
  • Social Emotional Development in the Early Childhood Years,
  • Cognitive Skills in Early Childhood Development,
  • Language Development in the Early Childhood Years, and
  • An Integrated Approach to Child Development.
Course Syllabus

By the end of this course, participants will

  • develop an understanding and working definition of early child development,
  • investigate how understanding developmentally appropriate practices and the developmental progression of children birth-8 years of age impacts the caring for and teaching of young children,
  • describe how a developmentally appropriate environment will impact your role as an early childhood educator and the experiences of students in your classroom, 
  • understand the influence of the learning environment as it is used to encourage children to move their bodies, explore their surroundings, and develop fine and gross motor skills,
  • analyze the impact of the use of structured movement experiences as they are intentionally facilitated in the classroom environment,
  • relate the importance of the time spent in moderate to vigorous physical activity during the daily routine,
  • discover ways of building positive relationships with children,
  • explore environments that support social emotional behavior,
  • understand the importance of promoting positive social emotional teaching practices,
  • understand that cognitive development is influenced by other developmental factors,
  • understand that exploration is the key to learning,
  • understand that cognitive skills develop through processes as assimilation and accommodation,
  • consider the benefits of a positive  classroom environment to promote language development,
  • gain an awareness of how other developmental domains effect language development,
  • identify strategies to promote children’s communication and oral language development,
  • develop an awareness of how utilizing literature can impact children’s vocabulary,
  • utilize the knowledge gained from each domain of child development to describe a comprehensive approach to an early childhood program, and
  • correlate current West Virginia Content Standards to child development domains.
Course Organization

This course includes several different activity components, all of which are described below. During each session, you will participate in a unique collection of these activity components, depending on the particular focus of that session.

When you see this icon you will be reading relevant articles, resources, and instructional materials that will help inform your online course development process.

When you see this icon you will be completing activity-based curriculum and inputting various components of your course content into a course project.

When you see this icon you will be using the online discussion board to share ideas, resources, and thoughtful conversation with your fellow course participants and facilitator.

Early childhood educators working in West Virginia Pre-K and Kindergarten classrooms have the opportunity to participate in e-Learning courses designed to meet requirements for the Early Childhood Teacher Assistant Authorization. This authorization includes pre-k and kindergarten classrooms. The Office of Instructional Technology offers three courses for pre-k and kindergarten teacher assistants including a course targeting early language and literacy, an introduction to preschool special needs, and an introduction to child development. 

Note:  All ECCAT 15 week course participants are now required to log the hours that they have participated in a Pre-K or Kindergarten classroom during instructional time while enrolled in the online course.  Participants must be working in the classroom with the cooperating teacher at least 4 hours per week during instructional time in order to get credit for the course. A total of 60 hours is required for each ECCAT course taken.

A form will be provided on which to log the hours spent in the Pre-K or Kindergarten classroom beginning with the Orientation  Each week the hours spent in the classroom are to be listed, along with both the participant's signature and that of the lead or cooperating teacher. The principal or site coordinator must sign the form at the end. The form will be uploaded to the course dropbox at the end of Session Six. This completed document is part of the requirement for a course certificate of completion. 

Course participants in EC Child Development must have access to a digital camera or other device such as a tablet or smartphone capable of taking digital photos for inclusion in the project assignments for this course.

Microsoft Word is required in order to read, edit and/or create documents for this course. If you have a WVDE k12.wv.us email account, you have access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive, etc. as part of Microsoft Office 365. You should see your school/county technology support person if you need help in using/installing Word and/or other Office applications. 

If you do not have a k12.wv.us email account, Word must be acquired through other means.  One way to get access to Word Online at no charge is by  Creating a Microsoft Outlook Account with Access to FREE Office Online.

Format and Requirements

This workshop is divided into six sessions, plus an Orientation, which each include readings, activities, and an online discussion among workshop participants. 

The outline for the workshop is as follows:

Session One Introduction to Early Child Development
Session Two Physical Development in the Early Childhood Years
Session Three Social Emotional Development in the Early Childhood Years
Session Four Cognitive Skills in Early Childhood Development
Session Five The Individual Language Development in the Early Childhood Years
Session Six An Integrated Approach to Child Development

This orientation session should be completed prior to the start of our course. It includes a participant survey; an introduction to the course website; and the opportunities to update your profile, email your facilitator, and introduce yourself to fellow participants as you experiment with the online discussion board.

Session One: Introduction to Child Development
This session will give a working definition of child development and the skills and milestones that children typically achieve from birth to 8 years of age. Educators will investigate appropriate practices that impact the caring and teaching of young children across all learning domains.

Session Two: Physical Development in the Early Childhood Years
Physical activity works in coordination with the brain and muscles throughout the body.  Educators will learn the influence of the learning environment and the importance of intentionally planning for physical movement.  This session will focus on the impact of both fine and gross physical activity throughout the day. 

Session Three: Social Emotional Development in the Early Childhood Years
Social and emotional milestones are often more difficult to identify than signs of physical development.  This session will focus on gaining knowledge in teaching practices that support building positive relationships with children and creating environments that support positive social emotional behavior as well as self-awareness and self-regulation.

Session Four: Cognitive Skills in Early Childhood Development
Cognitive development is the progression of abilities in thinking, reasoning, problem solving, judgment, and symbolic thinking. This session will focus on the importance of a child's exploration as the key to learning including logical thinking and problem solving as well as how cognitive development is influenced by other developmental factors.

Session Five: The Individual Language Development in the Early Childhood Years
Language is essential to every aspect of a child’s life. Listening, speaking, reading and writing are elements of language development in children. It is important that children have opportunities for hearing and discriminating the sounds of language, understanding and following directions, answering and asking questions and actively participating in conversations. It is ideal for children also show excitement and enjoyment in reading, understanding print concepts, comprehending and interpreting meaning from books and other texts as well as writing letters and words

Session Six: An Integrated Approach to Child Development
This session serves as a conclusion to the course and provides educators the opportunity to reflect on early childhood development and an integrated approach to learning.

Assignments and Project Assessment

Workshop participants will complete an orientation and then six workshop sessions that include readings, activities, and online discussions.  There will be a pre-workshop survey and a post-workshop survey.  Quizzes are scheduled in the Orientation and in Sessions Five and Six. Participants are expected to score a minimum of 90% on all quizzes. Participants will complete and submit weekly assignments and develop a newsletter as a final project in Session 6. Participants will need to take and edit digital photos and upload them for the assignments in this course. Completing each session is estimated to take between six and a half to seven hours.  

Participants will upload their session assignments to the course discussion forum during Sessions 2 - 6 and receive Rubric Review feedback from their peers and then submit them to the Dropbox.  The projects will be peer-reviewed using peer-review rubrics which are modified versions of the project rubrics that the facilitator will use to assess the assignments and provide feedback in the Dropbox. 

Course project information follows: 

Session Two Template  Session Two Rubric  Session Two Peer-Review Rubric
Session Three Template  Session Three Rubric  Session Three Peer-Review Rubric
Session Four Template  Session Four Rubric  Session Four Peer-Review Rubric
Session Five Template  Session Five Rubric  Session Five Peer-Review Rubric
Session Six Newsletter Instructions and Rubric  Session Six Peer-Review Rubric

Discussion Participation

Participants will be evaluated weekly on the frequency and quality of their participation in the discussion forum. This course has dual discussion posting for each session. 

Participants are required to post a minimum of one substantial original posting each session in response to the discussion prompt for that session. They are to read all original messages by course participants and enough additional responses to make a total of 50% of the messages posted for that session. Participants are to respond thoughtfully to a minimum of two colleagues' original postings each session. Postings will be evaluated on their relevance, demonstrated understanding of course concepts, examples cited, and overall quality.

The guidelines for the discussions and how they will be evaluated are located in the Discussion Guidelines and the Checklist for Evaluating Discussion Postings. In certain discussions, participants will be asked to peer review others' projects using this Rubric Review Help Guide.

Course Grading Expectations

All grades in the course gradebook must be a "C" for successful course completion.  A grade of "C" indicates that all work has been completed and the work meets the expectations for that assignment.

Copyright and Plagiarism Information

All resources referenced during the course will be properly documented. 

Copyright guidelines are to be observed throughout the course project and all course activities.  All work associated with course projects, course assignments and course discussions will be original to each course participant. Fair use does not apply to the course project. 
Plagiarism, the reproduction of all or any part of another individual’s or organization’s work, by a course participant of work associated with the course project or other course assignments at any point during the course will result in no credit being awarded for the course  

Course projects are to be the work of an individual course participant. Group projects require special permission of the program coordinator, Donna Landin  (dlandin@k12.wv.us).

Software Disclaimer

Participants are to seek assistance regarding the appropriate software programs to be downloaded when updating or installing new programs on their computers. Inappropriate downloads of software may result in malicious programs being installed on your computer.

Certificate of Completion

Upon successful completion of this course, EC Child Development, participants will receive a Certificate of Completion documenting successful completion of the course requirements. Certificates are distributed to each qualifying participant by attachment to the course feedback in the Dropbox shortly after the completion of the course.

Content and Technology Standards

This workshop, EC Child Development, will help participants meet the ISTE Educational Technology Standards and Performance Indicators for All Teachers (https://www.iste.org/docs/pdfs/20-14_ISTE_Standards-T_PDF.pdf). For more information about Technology Integration visit: http://www.iste.org.

In addition, participants may reference specific WV Standards (http://wvde.state.wv.us/policies) as they engage in course content.

About this Course

This workshop was developed for the West Virginia Department of Education (http://wvde.state.wv.us

Original design (before format modifications) by EdTech Leaders Online (http://www.edtechleaders.org), a project of Education Development Center, Inc, © 2007.  All rights reserved.