This course focuses on the family, community, and the well-being of the young child.

Topics include how families, schools, peer groups, and mass media affect the social construction of what it means to be a child; how social class, ethnic diversity, and gender differences influence childhood socialization and outcomes; and how policy and community programs foster positive outcomes for children and families. Additionally, the social construction of childhood and how young children are situated in the family, the community, and the larger global community will be explored. The special needs of children from three to eight years of age are studied as well as the contributing factors and characteristics of young children at risk (public-school-dependent).  Resources in the community are identified and linked to child and family needs.  Diversity in family and caregiver units is explored.  The impact on development and learning of children’s homes, communities, health and cultural experiences is studied.  A family and community-centered approach is used to develop understanding of the social, historical, political, legal and philosophical constructs that resonate in current day education of young children, including those with limited English proficiency or have special educational needs.  Teacher-child interactions and the advocacy role of the Inclusive Early Childhood teacher are considered.  Three credits, one semester.


Students will practice making and interpreting observations, critically evaluating research, and supporting an argument through writing, group work, and project-based learning.